Copy of James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s Nocturne in Blue and Silver 1872–78

Copy of Whistler's Nocturne in Blue and Silver 1872-78
Acrylic on paper. Zoom in to see the subtle highlights.

This is a copy of another painting I found in Mystical Landscapes: From Vincent Van Gogh to Emily Carr. I’m not quite sure why this one is called Nocturne in Blue and Silver. Unlike many of Whistler’s other nocturnes, I couldn’t see any blue in this one.

Night-time sketches

For fun, I went outside the other night and did some sketches. I could barely see what I was doing (I didn’t have a torch, only the moonlight), so I focused on the subject, and did them very quickly.

I actually quite like how some of them came out—especially some of the marks I made.

Is moonlight blue?

Moonlight is simply the white light of the sun reflecting off the gray surface of the moon. There’s nothing in that interaction to give the light a bluish or greenish quality. In fact, scientific instruments have shown that the light from the moon is very slightly redder in color than direct sunlight.

James Gurney

This article is fascinating and incredibly helpful. It answers the question of why artists tend to paint moonlight as bluish or greenish. Another one to add to my nocturne resources.