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Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Pay Attention to the Time of Day When you Paint

'Lavender Impressions'       5x7      pastel       ©Karen Margulis
available $95
Scroll back and forth between these two lavender paintings. They both depict the same place! Yet they look so different from one another. Why? The conditions were completely different for each one. The top painting was done under a slightly hazy day around noon. The bottom painting was done when the sun was low in the sky during the late afternoon.

What differences do you observe?

'Lavender Impressions II'        5x7        pastel       available $95
The time of day, the weather conditions and the quality of the light source (the sun) changed the way the colors appeared.

  • When the sun was directly overhead around noon the light is generally cool and there aren not much in the way of shadows. The light is flat. The purple color in the lavender appeared cool and looked blue-violet and even blue. Since it was hazy the lavender was softer and seemed more grayed.
  • We went back to the lavender in the very late afternoon. The sun was lower in the sky and even though the sky was still bright and still blue.....the landscape was beginning to take on a golden/orange glow. The warmth the sun touched everything and changed the colors....the purple color in the lavender was now much warmer and looked red-violet. There was also a yellow green and a bronzy orange green look to the foliage. 
Observation in real life is important! Being aware of the time of day and the weather conditions will help your paintings look more authentic and believable. If we aren't paying attention we might allow our logical thinking part of our brain tell us that the lavender is purple. Period. Just purple....as in crayon box purple. We need to override this part of our brain and take into consideration the way the light changes the way we see color!

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