Site hosted by Build your free website today!

    Painting night scenes seems to be particularly difficult for the beginning artist. I suspect that this is because night scenes require that we think a good deal about values. In other words, about DEGREES of darkness. It is true that even on the darkest night there is usually some small light for if there were not we could surely see nothing at all! I'm sure that you have all heard the expression; "It was so dark that you couldn't see your hand in front of your face." Well, that is so dark that we could never paint a scene with that degree of darkness. However, that is rarely the case and for most other degrees of darkness, we can accurately depict a scene.
    In this lesson we will attempt to paint a fairly simple night scene. I hope that it will begin to introduce you to the thinking necessary to paint these kinds of paintings. I make the assumption that you are aware of how to open the program and how to produce a blank canvas. If not you can review Lesson #1 for that information. Let's get started and above all....HAVE FUN!
The first thing I do is produce a blank canvas. In my case, I have produced a canvas that is 325 Pixels wide by 250 Pixels in height. You may, of course, make your canvas as large or small as you wish.
As you can see, I have painted the entire area black using the airbrush tool. HOWEVER! NOT JUST ANY BLACK! At once we must concern ourselves with DEGREES of black.
I click on the "swatches" tab and select the 8th square from the left in the second row. This gives me a black that is dark but not TOO dark. This will allow us to paint other darkness into the painting using other degrees of black. This is VERY important!
Next, I want to position a "moon" in my painting. I obtain this by selecting the paintbrush tool. Then I click the "swatches" tab and select the white that is the 9th box from the left on the top row. You will notice that it is not the brightest white but instead a somewhat subdued white. We don't want to "light up" our sky with excessive light! Next select the "brushes tab and choose the largest brush size. This will give you the right size for your moon.
Choose a location for your "moon" and then position the tool over that spot and click several times while holding the tool perfectly still! This will give you a nice, round moon.
Here I have added a few clouds. This is accomplished by first selecting the paintbrush tool then I click the swatches tab and choose a black which is the 11th box from the left in the second row. (Notice that this black is slightly darker than the background.) I then select from the brushes tab, the next to smallest brush size.
Lay in some clouds. I prefer long, streaky, windswept clouds for night scenes as I tend to think that it lends an air of mystery to the offering. You may wish to make your clouds differently. Feel free to experiment!
Lastly, I use the smudge tool, in the same brush size, to take the "straightness" out of the tops and bottoms of the clouds.
I now select the paintbrush tool and then from the brushes tab select the SMALLEST size. Then from the swatches tab I select the white tone that is the 8th box in the top row.
I carefully lay in this white where it seems logical that the "shine" from the moon might strike the clouds.
Now, using the smudge tool, and selecting the NEXT TO SMALLEST brush size I carefully smudge the white so as to remove the "straightness" of the paintbrush tool.

In order to reduce load times I am spreading this lesson out over at least two pages and maybe three!
To access the next page of this lesson CLICK HERE.