Friday, September 05, 2008


I would like to explore light in painting over the next few days, specifically twilight.

Often confused with dusk, twilight is specifically defined as the period before or after nighttime during which it is possible to conduct outdoor activities without the aid of artificial light. Due to the unusual, romantic quality of the ambient light at this time, twilight has long been popular with photographers and painters, who refer to it as the "blue hour", after the French expression l'heure bleue.

The light in this photo of the Sonoma desert is subdued and dimming fast, taking with it a lot of the colour and sharpness out of the detail. I would like to understand the palette that can be used to capture the light during twilight. So many of us want bright sun and dramatic shadow for our paintings, yet the diffused light of dawn or dusk can as easily be as dramatic and make the viewer want to linger and see more in the muted colours and shapes.

When light disappears and is replaced by moonlight, a whole new and more limited palette comes forward. I am so near the water, yet haven't painted a similar scene to this before. I need to visit the water at the next moonlit night and capture how it lights the landscape and the ocean.


vivien said...

yes, I love twilight too and love trying to catch it in paint :>)

these are great

Jo Castillo said...

Good luck on the project, beautiful AZ photo. Wow.