Okay, with the sky more of less finished, I moved onto Hogwarts itself and the hillside.
I wanted to place lots of artificial lights and moon light to create a contrast between the dark night. I love the contrast between night time and artificial lights, and paintings with flat light do not interest me.
For the dark night colours I mixed up some blue, black and white. I wanted to add the blue, as pure grey wouldn't have been very interesting. To contrast this I used some warm yellow and a little white to create the artificial light and it's affect on it's surroundings.
To paint the dark areas at this point a used just maybe 3 tones of the blue/black mix ... a bit like the cel shading technique. I then used the dry brush technique to add in the warm yellow once the blue/black was dry (the "dry brush" technique is when you have just a little bit of paint on your brush and you even try to rub some of that off with a tissue). Then draw your brush lightly over and over the area till the paint starts to take to the surface and continue till you get the correct amount ... I do love this technique! But you probably want to use an old brush as it can ruin it eventually.
I then moved onto the water. this was done quite quickly with an initial flat all over very dark grey with some blue, then once this dried, I used the dry brush technique again with a large brush and a much lighter version of the base colour (just added some white). to create the "peaks" of the waves which are obviously lighter in colour. I also added the moonlight hitting the water. To create some depth I made the waves bigger as I got more into the foreground.
You can see it is starting to take shape now :-)
Next, it was a lot of tidying up and adding more artificial light sources (to give loads of lovely contrast). I then used the dry brush technique again to show the light hitting the hill side / buildings. I maybe went to town on this a bit much .. but I think it looks okay?
I added some light reflections on the water too (did I mention I love painting light reflections on water :-) ). To do this just add a horizontal line of yellow etc on the "peak" of the wave .. it's a very easy effect and looks pretty good.
To finish the painting I added all the year 1 pupils from Hogwarts (so Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley etc) taking the boats over to Hogwarts with Hagrid.
Again, I added yet more artificial light in their little torches and more reflections of this on the water. Then painted the boats dark blue/grey ... just slightly lighter than the water. Finally, I added the light contrast on the boat edges and the pupils heads ... and it was finished ... apart from signing it :-)
Hope you like it, any C&C welcome.
If you're interested, I have this painting for sale on Etsy