Saturday, 27 August 2016

Moon Child

We have had some beautiful Summer evenings lately here in the UK. Summer has arrived at last and at the end of the day when everything is quiet even our rather scruffy garden looks so lovely in the moonlight! 

There is usually a soft breeze which sways the branches of the trees and the shamefully overgrown grass and the large golden Harvest Moon makes everything looks magical.

I wanted to capture the way that the moonlight shines in cool, silvery slivers on everything it touches, only just highlighting the textures of nature and making us imagine the shapes still in shadow.

I'm not very good at drawing faces. I usually avoid them and draw something else instead. But as I usually encourage my students to be fearless I thought I'd take my own advice and try painting a moonlit face on a black background.

I started with a wash of black acrylic on watercolour paper followed by a wash of metallic gold and bronze to give a bit of shimmer.

Then I painted the face with a wash of thinned white. I wanted the darkness to provide the shadows. The rest of the paper was filled with plant shapes in the same wash of white. The brush still had a bit of gold on it so there are yellowy hints in there too.

I then had a lovely time back in my comfort zone, with my trusty white pen, doodling in all the moonlit highlights. 

I'm quite pleased with it! I like the way the gold peeks through the white wash to give it some depth and just a little bit of shimmer.

Here is a close up of the eye so you can get a better look at the layers. 


  1. That's gorgeous Paula. Love it and thanks for sharing.

  2. Looking for you on FB without success. Then I found your FB link here, but it doesn't work.

    I want to follow you and what you do!!


    1. Hello, Thank you and I'd love you to follow me, I'm sorry about that link. On Facebook I'm Paula Watkins Freckles and Flowers Art. Or just look for Paula Watkins and I will send you an invitation.

  3. Fabulous, love the face and the shimmery look you have achieved. Great idea. My faces all seem to look the same, must practice more.

    1. Thank you Wendy. I need to practice faces more too. Its a whole skill of its own. x