An exciting project as I’ve wanted to try out the black velour for ages.  I’ve taken so many lovely twilight shots of my view here in Belfast I thought it was perfect for a trial working from black.

The finished painting ‘Twilight City’ pastel on black velour 27″x19|


Lush black sheet of velour mounted as normal on self adhesive
mount board and taped to my drawing board.


All I’ve bothered to draw out are the areas in the foreground.  The
black paper is going to do a lot of the work for me hopefully.
I started on the sky gradient and found it harder than normal to get
the colour to really show up with vibrance.  I think for the type of
picture I’m doing the back speckles showing through the sky is
perfect to give the effect of that looming darkness.


I’ve managed to blend the sky ready for the clouds


Using deep purples for the clouds which are very silhouetted
against the sky.


The great thing about working on black velour is that I can clean
up the black areas with a black pastel when dust gets on the areas
I want to be jet black.  It’s very easy to clean it up.
I decided to work the foreground at this stage as it will create
the most dust and I would have to clean around each city light after
this if I put the city lights in first.
The lightest highlight on the foreground houses is a deep orange.
Everything is tinted with with orange streetlights.


With just a light bit of yellow to highlight the back of the car I think
this has been really simple letting the black areas of the painting
create the majority of the shapes.


This right side of the foreground brings the rest of the houses
in the row into view.  I’ve outlined the lit windows with a vibrant
red and used rich oranges and yellows to give real warmth
to the cosy windows.


Now it’s just the laborious task of dotting in all the city lights.  I use
a red dot first with either a light yellow or orange dot in the middle of
that for each twinkling light.  It’s so hard to get a round dot with big
blunt pastels so I have to go back and shape each dot with a
black pastel.



Hope you enjoyed the progress of “Twilight City’.  I love the effect given by the lush black velour which really looks great in person like a rich velvet.  It’s a view I spend a lot of time in front of as I like working at night and this is precisely what I see from my studio at night.  Glad I could share the view with you!