The light source of a plein air painting plays an important role in the look and feel of the outcome. When the sun is shining brightly on the landscape, the colors in the areas receiving that light tend to be relatively warmer than those in the shadow areas. The shadow areas catch the blueness of the sky being reflected into them. The result is a beautiful interplay warm and cool contrasts. On an overcast day, there is a subtle reversal of this phenomenon. Because the cloud layer filters the sun's rays, it sheds a cooler light source onto the landscape, and the areas in the light tend to display that. There isn't a powerful sky-dome of blue to reflect light into the shadows, so they tend to show the more tawny hues of the material they're made up of. The effect isn't always obvious, but it's well-worth examining the appearance of light and shade hue relationships, because they offer the opportunity to play off of beautiful subtle harmonies. The effect has a kind of moodiness that can be very appealing.
BEFORE MORNING BURN-OFF
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
11X14 oil on canvas panel
subjective realist landscape paintings