I've Got the Blues..but they're all wrong

I’m trying to find the right color mixture to convey a sense of moonlight.

I started to shift the hue of the shirt towards blue using a greyed ultramarine mixture.

I think its both too blue and/or the wrong hue (might be leaning too much towards purple). I also simply didn’t like how it looked next to the skin tones I had down.

Then I thought I would make the skin much more blue but now I think that looks bad too.

  1. Any recommendations on a paint color/hues/brands/mixture to achieve a good moonlight quality to the shirt?

  2. Any opinion on whether or not the skin should look more like how I have on the right side limbs (which is more violet/purple-y) or make it more gray/more blue?

Would appreciate any suggestions! Thank you!

I apologize for the amount of sinking-in and blotchiness. :frowning:


Thanks for sharing this here Tony!

Building a effective representation of a night scene can sometimes be very difficult. As we discussed before, when were are moving to lower light levels we see a significant shift in the ways colors are percieved. This shift is known as The Purkinje effect or Purkinje shift (named after the Czech anatomist Jan Evangelista Purkyně.). This form or perceptual adaptation is the tendency for the peak luminance sensitivity of the human eye to shift toward the blue end of the color spectrum at low illumination levels.


As such, if we shift your image darker, diminishing the saturation of red and yellows, amplifying the saturation of the blues and greens (minus the areas affected by the secondary illumination in the composition of course), we arrive at a fairly promising representation of the nighttime, low light level.

From here I used Zsolt M. Kovacs’ color mixing tools (color2drop) to come up with a few ballpark starting points:

Here’s the same calculations with Winsor&Newton Colors instead of Rembrandt. Let me know if this is helpful!


Thank you so much for looking at this and for the suggested shifts and paint recipe. I’ve since modified the color using a new mix. I’ll upload a pic of how it looks now.

Thanks again!

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Great input! You’re awesome and kind!

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