How to Paint Night Scenes

How to Paint Night Scenes | How I paint a night view:

When you want to paint a night view outdoors you might want to:

  • – Premix your darks (indoors): to know/to be conscious about the color palette you will use (what color family you will choose)
  • – Start the painting with a fully tinted background (color: can be anything: brown, purple, green, yellow, red) (Can be ‘wet’ or dry)
  • – I paint with oils. When I have a full midtone/dark underlayer – I add in lights first (!)
  • – That way when you touch these dots, painting surrounding colors, you automatically get the ‘halo’ effect
  • – Never forget what light is, like viewing a candle: the effect of the light dot in the immediate surroundings/reflections/halo
  • – The small lights I apply with the point of the palette knife (or back of a brush will do)
  • – Re-add the painted-over lights (and still have the lighter (mix) part in, giving the dot the halo effect. Example white light here in the middle.)
  • – Squint squint squint, testing values, simplify the scene
  • – Use a mirror to keep testing ‘the abstract’ shapes and compo
  • – Use LEDs if there isn’t a street lamp
  • – Leave your painting alone when finished, sleep on it and view it again in the morning!


CA20-2014 Cityscape California Schuring “Night View on Street and Hillsides”
18 x 24 cm |7.1″x 9.6″ Paintings in Shop



Thanks Painting Buddies! In the picture: Roos Schuring, Carole Gray-Weihman, Thomas Jefferson Kitts.
More painting buddies: Al Tofanelli, Peggi Kroll Roberts, Ray Roberts, Stuart Fullerton, Sergio Lopez, thanks to Rich Brimer also.
September 2014.

That’s it!

We’re at the end of this California 2014 Series!
Thanks for being interested!!

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