Morning vs. evening light

15 Aug
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Sunset at the BeachI enjoy the long shadows of both morning and evening. I know that some artists like to paint the cool yellows of morning, but I am leaning more toward Charles Sovek’s preference of evening light. His point?

Warm afternoon sunlight

Moviemakers like to call the late afternoon light “magic time” I call it the best time of the day to paint. Why? Because, to me, the light at this time of day is at its most poetic position. While tints ranging from pink to orange reveal light-struck passages, luminous purples and blues, reflected from the sky, dance in the shadows. The cinematographers are right: Even a depressing slum can take on an inviting, never-never-land quality.

Another bonus of late afternoon light is the fascinating shadow patterns caused by the low position of the sun. While interesting shadows can also occur in early morning, it’s only in the late afternoon that the unbeatable combination of long, revealing shadows and warm, luminous color merge to create the most intriguing effects.

The Impressionists were probably the first artists to take advantage of this magical time of day. Spanish painter Joaquin Sorolla devoted practically his entire life to chasing after these effects. – Charles Sovek, Oct. 1984

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