Thursday, June 9, 2016

Le Diplomate

"Le Diplomate" 24x36 oil on panel

    Last week I completed this nocturne of a very popular brasserie at the corner of 14th street and Q Street in Washington DC, Le Diplomate. I passed by it one rainy night and found the colors and warmth of the place very inviting and the many reflections interesting and beautiful. By day the place makes a strong statement. The deep red brick of the Romanesque church provides a powerful backdrop to the restored, one time corner laundry. Primary colors dominate the scene and contribute to the cheer.

    For my night scene I used a primary and secondary color palette. I chose several blues, reds and yellows. The blues dominated (lately they always seem to with me) ultramarine blue, cerulean blue, cobalt and indigo. My reds were cadmium and alizarin and my yellows were ochre, cadmium yellow light and naples yellow light. While it appears in the photo that I used black for things such as the lamp posts, it was actually a mix of indigo, alizarin and ochre. I used white very sparingly and it appears in some of the headlight reflections and on the street signs as well as the lights beside the door.

    A friend commented that he found this an upbeat, cheerful nocturne which is opposite to the mood that most nocturnes set. I appreciated the comment because that is precisely what drew me to the scene. I wanted to be inside enjoying the food, wine and life while watching the rain outside. It may be a street scene but it speaks to the life within.

ON EXHIBIT: "The Noble Nocturne Exhibit at the Salmagundi Club NYC. My painting "Indigo Sky" will be on exhibit there until June 17th when the show closes. The Club is located at 47 5th Ave. NYC


  1. Very nice! I love night scenes.

  2. Thanks Juliette. They are a challenge but great fun to paint. So many different colors of the night!