I thought I would create a series of evening scenes of famous Washington landmarks. "Capitol Nocturne" was actually the third in the series, but it was the first one that turned out right at the get-go. Painting from the reference photos of nocturnal images that did not give much information about details and colors was not easy. I also wanted these nocturnes to be as evokative and stirring as Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata."
Capturing the drama of the brilliantly-lit US Capitol dome and lights and their reflections in the pond was my goal in "Capitol Nocturne." About half of the painting session was spent painting upside down in an effort to get the image and reflections to match up more or less. I would bring the painting to a mirror to look at it reversed, only to put it back on the easel in the wrong way! Wait a minute, which way was I painting?