Studio Work: Last Light

Acrylic, 20×24″, stretched canvas
This has been a long relationship sort of painting, working on it off and on over the past month. It started out with a few brush marks, noting colors in a sketchpad on the side of the road as the shadows rose to the top of the trees. I think they are either cottonwoods or elms, but the yellows and bronze colors of the leaves hit by the deep orange-pink light of the sun seemed to set them on fire. Just behind the trees the sky was bright with a slight green tint that made the reds, oranges and yellows of the trees pop out even more. In contrast, the area in the shadows seemed to loose all color with slight shades of green gray that brightened towards a blue-gray as it went back in the distance. Although there’s no road, it was needed to lead th eye towards the trees. Giving the soil a muted red gave just enough variety to the grasses without making it shout out for attention. I also remember the other mental notes I took there on the side of the road was the high contrast in the sunlight off the tree trunks that seemed to soften along the edges as they dippped into the shadow. Everything emphasized the explosion of color on the ridgline between shadow and light. 

There might be a few small changes as I set it aside for a while in order to look at it again later with fresh eyes. 


4 thoughts on “Studio Work: Last Light”

  1. Nicely done. Your pallets and value choices really capture the fading sunlight beautifully! Will you by chance have a booth at Round Top Winterfest?

  2. Lovely burst of sunset colours. I like the fact that you’re taking the time to let the scene sink into you. The contrast between trees and sky is just so perfect, don’t do anything to it. For the foreground my monitor isn’t very good at reading that shadow’s value, so I wont comment. It’s a very pleasant, peaceful scene, a resting spot for the soul. Thanks for sharing. Best. Dominique.

    1. Thanks, Dominique! You really sound knowledgeable and I was trying to think of how I show it better. Maybe on the larger studio works I can post a video clip that pans over the painting to get a better close up view. I big reason I have this site is for feedback like yours! The foreground is the area I’m battling with most.

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