How to Paint a Moonlit Night in Pastels

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Pastels are a great tool to use when painting an image like a moonlit night. Paint a moonlit night in pastels with help from a graduate of the Maine College of Art in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Art Tips & Information
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Abbeth. I'm an Artist from Portland, Maine, and I'm going to show you how to draw a moonlit night with pastels. So, grab your container of pastels and pick any deep tone that you would like for your horizon line. I'm going to choose purple because I think that represents kind of the eerie look that you get on a moonlit night. And you can put your horizon line either higher or lower on the page. I wouldn't really recommend doing it right in the center of the page because it it's not as interesting that way. But, if you want more ground, put your line higher up on the page. So, I've put mine about two thirds up and if you want more sky, you can do the opposite, put it lower on the page. Now, I'm going to take my white and I have this sort of off white paper here so the white is going to show up. If you have pure white paper, you can use more of a tan color of the moon, or you can just leave the space for the moon blank and let the paper, the color of the paper show through for the moon and just outline it with black. So, I'm drawing my moon in white and I'm going to add some peach flex to the moon just to show the variation on its surface. And then, I am going to draw a bunch of little circles with my black pastel. And these circles are going to end up being stars that are really far off. Then, you can use your black or you can use dark blue for this too to draw some star shapes in the sky. And this looks really huge right now, but once you've fill in the sky, you're going to kind of bring the sky more into the stars so that they seem a little more realistic. And so, once you've made all those circles and the star shapes, then you can take your black and just fill in everything in the sky that isn't a star or the moon. Don't worry about completely filling every centimeter of the sky. It looks kind of interesting to have some variation a little bit of the paper showing through. And you'll find these use up a lot of the pastel and you probably need to peel off some of the paper that's wrapped around it. Once you've filled in your sky with black or dark blue, you can take your yellow and add a little bit of color to the center of the stars just to give it some brightness. Then, I'm going to go back and take the color I use for the horizon line and make some horizontal lines going down the page and these lines are going to get gradually further and further apart as you go down the page. Notice I'm adding more space between on each time and this gives the illusion of the ground coming towards you. And now, I'm going to add just a little bit of white scribbled in below the moon to make it look like the moon is reflecting on the ground. My name is Abbeth and I just showed you how to draw a moonlit night with pastels.


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