Nocturne Notes - Dan Mondloch

Nocturne Notes

Dan Mondloch


Campfire Time, 11 x 15", WC, © Dan Mondloch
Campfire Time               11 x 15"           Watercolor           © Don Mondloch

   In a 2016 interview with The Artist's Road, Dan Mondloch wrote, "When painting plein air, a lot of times I like to bite off way more than I can chew in terms of a subject. That can get me in trouble and I will often fall flat on my face, but I like the intensity and exhilaration of trying! That element of risk is one of the things I love about plein air—stretching yourself to capture that emotional experience as well as the visual one!" Add the quickly changing light of dusk or a moonlit night into a plein air painting experience and that stretch is increased!

   We've asked some of our favorite artists to show us examples of their night time paintings and to tell us a little bit about their processes in this series of Nocturne Notes. Mondloch shared with us this plein air watercolor nocturne, Garage in Moon Light, in four steps:

   "I use a light, mid, dark sequence of painting. When painting a nocturne I still start with the lightest values and try to work from an actual light source, identifying it as either warm or cool, and working outward from that. In a nocturne most of the painting is usually a mid value or darker, making it hard to see pencil lines, so placing these specific light source colors in first gives me a guide to follow later on. The sky and ground planes often become a mid value and are painted in next, isolating the light value shapes. Finally the darks and details are added to help define and separate objects and finish off the scene."

Garage and Moon Light, Step One, WC, 8 x 10", © Dan Mondloch
Garage and Moon Light     Step One     8 x 10"     Plein Air Watercolor

Garage and Moon Light, Step Two, WC, 8 x 10", © Dan Mondloch
Garage and Moon Light     Step Two     8 x 10"     Plein Air Watercolor

Garage and Moon Light, Step Three, WC, 8 x 10", © Dan Mondloch
Garage and Moon Light     Step Three     8 x 10"     Plein Air Watercolor

Garage and Moon Light, WC, 8 x 10", © Dan Mondloch
Garage and Moon Light          8 x 10"          Watercolor          © Dan Mondloch

   In our fascination with how the eye sees and then translates the world around us to our brains, we have found it particularly interesting to study how the eye sees at night. Search for the words "Nocturnes" and "Vision" in the search bar to read many interesting articles about the science of seeing at night and the art of painting at night, or, download our book, Nocturnes - A Primer on Night Painting.

   To see more of Dan Mondloch's work, go to:  Dan Mondloch Fine Art Paintings.

Copyright Hulsey Trusty Designs, L.L.C. (except where noted). All rights reserved.
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A Primer on Night Painting - Nocturnes

Nocturnes - A Primer on Night Painting

Filled with inspirational examples by the masters of nightime painting, this little book is sure to fire up your creative energies. Never tried painting at night? We show you how it's done with a step-by-step-oil demo and a tale of night painting in the wilds of Rocky Mountain National Park. The Primer on Night Painting - Nocturnes is a 7 x 7" PDF download with 40 pages of text and images. It includes a gallery of paintings by masters of the nocturne, information to inspire and encourage you in your plein air nocturne painting, an illustrated step-by-step demo and tips for working in pastel and oil. Also available in a softcover edition. Check out the tools and other products that we use in our own art and travels in The Artist's Road Store. We only offer things for sale that we enthusiastically believe in.







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We are artists, authors and teachers with over 40 years of experience in painting the world's beautiful places. We created The Artist's Road in order to share our knowledge and experiences with you, and create a community of like-minded individuals.  You can learn more about us and see our original paintings by clicking on the links below.
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