Painting night scenes

Ever since we put up string lights in the backyard, I’ve wanted to try to paint the warm glow they create in the garden at night! I’d never created a “nocturne”, or painting of a night scene before, but I read a bit about it, and learned that it involves a lot of layers, working from light to dark. After a few small “studies” (tiny test paintings to get the colors and layout the way I wanted it), I took it full size (9×12 in), and this was the result.

“Backyard Nocturne with Calladium” by Katie Broussard

I was so happy with it, and it was so different than anything I had ever painted, that I entered it in a show at the Carrollwood Cultural Center called “Florida Landscapes”, and was thrilled that it received an honorable mention!

I was intrigued enough to sign up for a workshop about this, and I took Lynne Ferris‘s amazing workshop at the Florida Watercolor Society’s annual conference called “Chasing the Light”. We painted a night scene from a photo she had taken, and she walked us through each step. I loved the piece I created in the workshop, and I learned a ton about what colors to use, how to plan out the painting, and a cool trick for creating electrical wires in a painting! Here’s the finished product (a copy of Lynne’s original painting)

Exercise from Lynne Ferris’s workshop “Chasing the Light”

I can’t wait to try more! I’m working on a new book project about the night sky and the stars… so I will have plenty of opportunities to practice. More updates soon!