Will painting nocturnes elevate your skills? You bet!

A luminous night scene

Nocturne : Night Scene : Night Sky

Whatever you call them, they are magical

Ever been outside during a full moon when the landscape is brilliantly illuminated? It’s amazing what you can see, when you know how to look at it. In the deep shadows, the sounds and smells of nature come alive, unlike any daytime scene. This isn’t just a scene, it’s an experience. 

That's the beauty of a nocturne.

Evocative. Poetic. Magical.

By their very nature, painting nocturnes provides the perfect opportunity to develop and enhance critical skills. One of the most important skills painters must develop is learning to see so you can translate that onto the canvas.

Together, we'll paint this beautiful moonlit night scene. In this online course, you'll paint with me step-by-step through every stage, from the very beginning to the final details. In the process, you’ll learn essential principles and painting techniques that will elevate your skills for all your paintings.

There's something for everyone in this course.

What you'll learn in this online course

Much more than just painting a nocturne

> The subtle use of atmospheric perspective for creating mood that draws the viewer into your scene

> Using analogous colors to paint a poetic Tonal scene that evokes emotion and harmony

> How to translate a high-contrast scene into one full of depth, rich with nuanced colors and values

> How to subtly manipulate highlights and shadows

> Working with a limited palette, you'll improve your color mixing, value control, and color harmony

> Where to focus detail and how to create an impression of detail without distracting from your focal point

> The versatility and advantage of painting in a classical layering approach using a proven 4-stage process for painting any landscape


Learn tools & techniques to paint evocative, atmospheric nocturnes that sing with mood




all about essential concepts & tools for painting a rich, evocative night scene and luminous light



over my shoulder as I demonstrate each stage and technique in step-by-step on-demand video lessons



the concepts and tools yourself, as you paint along with me following a proven, repeatable process


Painting nocturnes provides the perfect opportunity to develop and enhance critical skills. By the end of this course, you'll be better equipped to paint luminous light, atmospheric perspective, and subtle colors & values.


Choose your best option and enroll today!


Here's what students have to say...

"As a result of Painting Mood & Moonlight, I now understand the importance of process, attention to detail in brushwork, values, and blending – and how to apply those to my future paintings. If you're considering the course don't hesitate; just take the next step and enroll. Layne is a great artist and his work is as honest as daylight; he's the same as an instructor. He’s so relaxed and conversational that it made me the same way. I'll definitely enroll in the other courses as I learned so much from this one."

—Bill Stewart, artist

"Being a new painter, I am hesitant to try something different, afraid I will "mess up" the painting. And I had no concept of how to do a nocturnal painting.

Using the concepts I learned in Painting Mood & Moonlight has really improved my paintings, especially the atmospheric perspective with the trees. Layne's approach to layering has given me the confidence to take chances and understand – as he puts it – "it’s always fixable and trust the process". Since completing the course I’ve even started a second nocturnal landscape.

The fundamentals and concepts that Layne teaches have increased my confidence and knowledge on how to achieve my goal on the canvas. I was 67 when I first picked up a brush and feel that his lessons are a big reason for my improvement."

—Dennis S., artist

"Before enrolling in PMM, my biggest challenge was handling color values. The course gave me more confidence and I’m I am no longer afraid of making mistakes in my paintings. Plus, I got so much better at painting in layers. If you’re thinking about the course, my advice is to definitely enroll. You will learn so much about color value and hue, the benefits of painting in layers, and creating atmosphere and mood. Plus, you will have a great time!"

—Daniela Ramos, artist


Hey there, I'm Layne Johnson.

I’ve been a painter most of my life.

After careers as a graphic designer, illustrator, and children's picture book artist, I returned to my roots in 2016 to focus on painting representational landscapes.

I believe anyone can learn to paint realistic paintings. But I understand how hard it is to figure that out on your own. 

Sometimes, you need someone who’s been there before to show you the way.

Which is why I created my online art school in 2018. To teach you the things I've learned over more than 30 years as a professional artist. Since then, I’ve helped more than 1400 painters from around the world improve their painting skills.

My goal is to save you time and frustration learning it all on your own, so you can enjoy your journey even more.

I invite you to join me {virtually} in my studio.

Come paint with me!


Here's our action plan for this course

We'll start with orientation and getting your supplies & reference materials ready.

Then we'll review the foundational concepts, beginning with the interesting and useful history of nocturnes and the emotions they evoke. You’ll also learn about important tools and techniques for painting a nocturne. Then we’ll complete a valuable exercise where we'll play and experiment with color mixing.

Next, we'll apply those concepts following a 4-stage process where we'll paint together – starting with drawing on the canvas, all the way through to the final details. You'll be able to watch over my shoulder as I paint, including everything I'm doing on my palette.

This is the heart of this course – applying the concepts will help you understand them even better.

And we'll wrap up our time together by reviewing the final painting.

(Scroll down below for the full curriculum.)

  PREVIEW: Inside the course
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  Orientation: Start Here!
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  Supplies & Resources
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  Special: For acrylic painters
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  Foundational Concepts
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  Stage 1: Drawing on the Canvas
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  Stage 2: Creating the Underpainting
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  Stage 3: Blocking In and Modeling Forms
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  Stage 4: Details and Adjustments
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  Wrapping-up: What We've Learned
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  Student Gallery
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Here's what you get when you enroll

Forever access

Once your enroll, this course is yours forever. You can login 24x7 – whatever time works for you and your schedule, from wherever you are, from any of your devices.

Learn with support

This course includes detailed step-by-step guided lessons. Still have questions? I'm always available to answer questions in the student discussion forum inside the course.

Studio time

Painting is relaxing. Transport yourself away from your busy day into an environment where you can nourish your creativity. Just you and me in my virtual studio.


Choose your best option and enroll today!


"I truly enjoyed taking this course and believe it has helped me to improve and understand that every painting has its challenges but trusting the process and enduring through it will result in much needed experience and gained confidence."

—Yolanda H., artist

"I really have learned a lot of things that I know I’ll use from now on in every painting I do. I loved seeing the ENTIRE process of how you complete a painting, from the block in to the final touches! Thank you for the wonderful course, it’s definitely improved my painting and I look forward to the next one."

—Mitchell Z., artist

"As with the other courses, this was outstanding! From the layout of the course to the information in the course. I have taken other courses but yours are one of the best. Not everybody has teaching down cold but you do. I learned a lot and most important I had fun."

—Maria S., artist

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do you talk about mixing colors and show your palette?

Absolutely! Learning how to mix and use colors are essential skills for painters, especially if you're painting realistic landscapes. Throughout the course I'll show you exactly what colors I'm using and how to mix them in real-time, from beginning to end, as we paint. You'll see the specific colors, mediums, and the proportions I use to mix them.

Q: Is the course available as soon as I enroll?

Yes, all lessons are available as soon as you enroll. The lessons in the course are all completely self-paced so you can decide when you actually want to start painting.

Q: How interactive is the course? Can I ask questions?

This is a very hands-on course. While you will be able to watch me paint, you’ll also paint as well. Actually, applying the concepts is one of the best ways to learn.

You will also be able to ask me questions inside our student discussion forum (in the course). I normally answer within 24-48 hours. You can also read answers to other students’ questions (in case you have similar questions).

Q: I’m an acrylic painter – can I take this course too?

Yes, definitely! The concepts and techniques apply to both oils and acrylics.

This course is also a great way to give oils a try since we'll go through each stage, step-by-step.

Q: How long do I have to access to the course?

After enrolling, you'll have unlimited access to this online course for as long as you like – across all your devices (as long as you have internet access). There's no deadline to finish the course.

Q: I'm not sure I have the time right now. Can I enroll now and go through the course later?

That's the beauty of online courses, you can start whenever you're ready and paint at your own pace. There's no deadline to start, and no deadline to finish. There's also no set time that you have to be "in class", so you can paint whenever it suits your schedule. But I do encourage you to set aside regular time so you can get the most out of the course.

Q: How long will the course take?

I've organized this course into bite-size painting sessions so you can make meaningful progress in only a few hours each week. All together there are almost 14 hours of video lessons.

How long it takes is really up to you. You can go through the course as fast as you like (allowing for drying time). Or take your time.

Q: I've only been painting for a little while; is this be a good place to start?

My goal is to teach you concepts and techniques to help you accelerate your development as a painter. So this course is perfect for any painter who wants to improve their painting skills, especially realistic, representational landscapes.

This course is also a great way to learn more about how to paint in oils and in the layered approach I teach.

It's important to me that all of my students, no matter what your current skill level or stage, learn something from this course. So I show you and tell you what I'm doing every step of the way.

(If you've never painted before, I recommend you begin with a shorter introductory course, such as Key to Luminous Paintings.)

Q: Do you offer any refunds or guarantees?

I'm pretty positive you are going to love this course. To put your mind completely at ease, though, this course comes with a 100% risk-free guarantee.

If you finish the course and feel you haven't learned anything, email me within 30 days of purchase for a full refund.

Q: Can I download the content / videos?

All the PDFs are downloadable and printable. Videos are not downloadable, but you'll have access to them forever!


"I have been so thrilled with this course and also "Painting Clouds" I have learned so much being a new artist and am looking forward to more classes. Highly recommend - especially the ability to start and stop each lesson as many times as needed since we own the lesson on our computer"

—Jan G., artist

"Having painted for a few years without much guidance it was amazing to have access to such detailed explanations. Layne takes you step-by-step with stunning visuals of the canvas coming to life (and the palette becoming messier!) set to narration and relaxing music. It was a pleasure to complete the course over months – setting up my painting gear with a cup of tea and blocking off an hour or two to paint the next stage. I know that I will come back to this video in the future and discover new learning points. I can't wait for more!"

—Toby M., artist

"The 'Painting Distinctive Tree and Flora' course helped me reach results I never imagined possible. I consider myself at an intermediate level and I have learned a lot. Thank you Layne for leading the way!"

—Chantal D., artist


Choose your best option and enroll today!



I'm pretty positive you are going to love this course. To put your mind completely at ease, though, this course comes with a 100% risk-free guarantee.

Ask for a refund within the first 30 days and we'll give you 100% of your money back.

Remember, getting better as a painter takes time, patience and most importantly, lots and lots of practice.

This course will help you get there.

"I like the self-paced nature of Painting Mood & Moonlight and flexibility to do it at any time of the day. I have been exploring oils but am new to the medium and wanted to try subjects that interest me and further immerse me into the medium. Seeing all the positive feedback from past students on your Instagram and website helped me decide to try it."

—Lucas P., artist

"Loved loved loved this class!!! I got so much out of it! You did an OUTSTANDING job explaining and organizing this class, every lesson was completely taught with all the detail you would have gotten in a live classroom. Thank you so much!!!"

—Mary S., artist

"I’ve only been painting a short time and really have only done online courses. The detail and explanation of processes from someone as knowledgeable as Layne is invaluable. The course gives you valuable tools you’ll use over and over. The bonus is you will also finish the course with a painting you’ll be quite proud of."

—Greg C., artist

Still have questions?

Shoot us an email at [email protected]

We're happy to help

Note: Course prices are in USD and will automatically convert to your local currency at checkout