|Blue Moon Reflection - 12x16"|
Moon + reflections = even neater, so I drove out to Pastorias SWA to paint. An internet search told me that moonrise in Denver would be at 7:26 PM, so I arrived around 6:30 to the west side of the lake where I've never painted before. Not knowing exactly where the moon would come up (its azimuth), I didn't worry, and just went with the best composition, and just plugged it into my chosen location when I had it and the reflection as a reference.
I used to think it would be difficult to paint sunsets because the light changes so rapidly. Actually, I had no problem capturing the colors, even on this larger size paper. The issue was having to change them while waiting for the moon to actually appear above the horizon!
I got 90% of it done on location, but had to completely re-do the moon in my studio because I didn't have any colors bright enough in my box. Actually, it's almost an indescribable color, especially when it first comes up over the horizon - it's almost a neon orange-yellow.
Actually, the best time to paint and photograph the moon, unless you are going for a full nocturne painting, is the day before it is full; it looks full, but rises earlier when it is still light out. If I can plan ahead, I'll try that next time.
Did you know? A "blue moon" refers to a second full moon in the same month. It's rare; there won't be another until 2015. On Sept 29, the next full moon, will be a "harvest moon", which refers to the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox.