|11/19/20 view across the street, 7:30 p.m.|
Inspired by the recent nighttime sketches of Swagatika Panda and Marcia Milner-Brage, I decided to give it a try myself. Unlike hardy Swagatika, who sits on sidewalks to do her nighttime sketching, I picked a cozy livingroom window with a view across the street.
I’ve sketched in the dark a few times before, usually around the holidays or during the last total lunar eclipse, so I know how challenging it is. In addition to the subject being barely visible, it’s also difficult to see one’s sketchbook. I don’t have a head lamp as Marcia had suggested, but I do have a Mighty Bright XtraFlex2 book light that I’ve used at concerts and other poorly lighted venues, and it worked like a charm for this sketch.
Once my pupils had finished dilating, I was surprised by how many subtle differences in hues I started to detect in this scene that I would otherwise describe as colorless and, except for the porchlight and string of holiday lights, “dark.” The house, which is yellow in daylight, retained a warm tone compared to the clouds, which looked bluish (though I’m not happy with the messy look I gave them). I could even detect the gold/orange tone in the small tree next to the car. The pavement and sidewalk reflected more light than I expected, too.
|11/22/20 7:10 a.m.|
The only thing to look forward to about the long nights growing ever longer is that I’ll have more opportunities to sketch in the dark.