Sunday, September 21, 2008

Time-of-day effects in a landscape

brilliantly colored sunset painting done with a knife in impasto style
That landscapes are subject to daily and seasonal changes provides opportunity to explore the same scene many times over. In the case of the impressionists, such exploration often spanned many years of their lives. The simplest approach I believe is to create a middle of the day study (such as Distant Coastline), then switch colors and adjust values for other times of day in subsequent pieces.

Sunset is an attempt to use the same composition as in Distant Coastline but with colors that might be more likely as the color hue and temperature changes with the waning of the day. The basic method used in Sunset is as I have previously described -- layers of gesso worked to a buttery cover for the canvas and then other colors worked into it with a knife.

Pictures like Sunset do not effectively separate the background, middle ground and foreground - except with the use of color. This can make the perspective appear a bit flat. This is less of a problem for an impressionistic work like this one but would be problematic for a more realistic style.

Sunset, Acrylic on canvas board, 8"X10" $90 (unframed)


  1. Wow. Well, I guess now I know how you are biding time without us. This is amazing (and I have a perfect wall for it...). You can almost feel the heat of the sun's reflection. Very well done.

  2. Almost apocalyptic! Strong new work Atul.