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  • Writer's pictureNicola Kulesza

Illustrating a night scene

Illustrating a night scene can be a fun and challenging task for any artist. Whether you're creating a cityscape, a forest, or a starry sky, there are a few key elements that you'll need to consider in order to create a believable and engaging image. Recently I had the pleasure of illustration a whole board book which was about a hedgehog, of course as you can imagine the whole thing was set at night !


1. Lighting: The most important aspect of a night scene is the lighting. You'll need to think about how to create the illusion of light sources, such as street lamps, headlights, and the moon. This can be done by using different shades of blue, purple, and black to create shadows and highlights.


2. Colour: Night scenes often have a limited colour palette, so it's important to use colours effectively. In addition to blues and purples, you can also use warm colours such as orange and yellow to create the illusion of light sources.


3. Composition: The composition of a night scene is crucial. Think about how you want to lead the viewer's eye through the image, and use elements such as lines,paths and shapes to guide them.



4. Texture: Adding texture to a night scene can help to create a sense of depth and realism. For example, you can use a variety of brushes to create the look of trees, buildings, and other elements. Adding a grain texture and crosshatching can also give the impression of intense depth (see example below).



5. Detail: Be mindful of the amount of detail you include in your night scene. Too much detail can make the image feel cluttered and overwhelming, while too little can make it feel flat and uninteresting.


6. Printing : When sending night illustrations to print its really important to slightly lighten the whole image. Generally images come out darker so make up you do your artwork justice by being able to see it all!


In conclusion, illustrating a night scene can be a fun and challenging task. By keeping in mind the lighting, colour, composition, texture, and detail, you'll be able to create an engaging and believable image. Remember to take your time and experiment with different techniques, and most importantly have fun with it.




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