Friday, February 13, 2009

Warm Light, Warm Shadows?

"Spring Comes to Red Rock Crossing"
9x12, oil -

Out at Red Rock Crossing, a shelf of pink slickrock follows the creek. Oak Creek's annual floods have stripped away all the soil, leaving a blindingly bright slab.

At midday, the light bounces into all the shadows. The rule of "warm light, cool shadows" seems violated. The shadows are full of oranges and reds, and you have to look hard for any sign of what we normally think of as cool color - the blues and greens. But if you look closely, the oranges and reds in the shadows are still cooler than those same hues in the light. When I painted this scene, I always tried to mix a cooler color for the shadows. For example, if I used warm Cadmium Red in the lit areas, I used cooler Alizarin Crimson in the shadows.

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