Monday, January 24, 2011

Final Light [of the decade]

The latest, and maybe the last, of the Impressions of Winter paintings based on northern New Mexico references.  I may revisit them at some point, but now I'm going to move on to some different locales for winter paintings.

This painting depicts the late afternoon sun shortly before it dips below the horizon, but also as it is partially obscured by a distal winter cloud.  The trick, or challenge, was to try and capture that in the painting without it appearing contrived.  The cloud's edges act like an aperture of sorts, causing some of the sun's rays to form a radiating pattern of light.  It's an effect I quite like in photos when it is expertly done, and I've seen many painters pull it off as well.

So, I thought I'd give it a shot.  This is also the first time I've done anything approaching a sunset in oils.  This really didn't photograph as well as I'd hoped - it looks better in person.  As I look at it now, the small dark scattered clouds in the upper left are bugging me...enough that I'll probably re-do that area when the painting is dry.

It's titled as such, with the portion in brackets, because this was indeed the last sunset of the first decade of the new millennium:  Dec 31, 2010 - 6:20:13 PM, according to the EXIF data on the reference photo.

Final Light
9x12 - oil on board


  1. Boy, you really got the colors right on this, it really sets the mood. The upper left works for me.

  2. Thanks, Susan - I'm glad it still reads okay despite the fact that the photo is not so great. I do love these types of pre-sunset skies, though!

  3. Cool--thought it was a photo at first. ! Do they call that phenomenon God rays or some such religious thing?

  4. Jala - I think you're thinking of "crepuscular rays', which are basically the same phenomenon, but where the cloud is pretty much obscuring the sun, so all you see is rays either through the cloud or radiating from the sides. This is more of a starburst, but I don't know if that's an actual phenomenon or just an informal term :).


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