Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Snow Canyon: Shadow Temperature

"Snow Canyon Cliffs I" 9x12, oil - SOLD

We are back at Kayenta, near Ivins, Utah, teaching a workshop this week. Although we've had some weather the last two days that forced us in and out of the studio, today was ideal. Abundant sunshine ruled with pleasant temperatures and just the smallest of breezes.

We went out to Snow Canyon to focus on shadow temperature. Between the red rock walls and the strong, mid-day sun, we had some good warm shadows. Why? The light at mid-day tends to look cooler than it does during the earlier and later parts of the day. So, a cool light will invoke warm shadows - especially with red rock. On the demonstration above, you can see how the sunlit portions are a cool pink, while the shadows are a warm brown verging on orange.

The second piece (below), the light was shifting during the late afternoon and growing warmer. As the light warmed up, a cooler, red-violet worked its way into the shadows. Here you can see the warm, almost orange sunlit rock with the more violet shadows.


"Snow Canyon Cliffs II" 5x7, oil

8 comments:

Bill Cramer said...

Michael, Like the dynamics of the top painting. Brushwork and colors are really rockin' in them rocks.

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Thanks, Bill! I'll get those colors fixed in the other image.

Helen said...

These are both beautiful! I have always wondered about temperature of light when I am outside. What is "mid-day"? Noon? Is the light the coolest when the sun is directly above? thanks

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Thanks, Helen. "Mid-day" is that time halfway between sunrise and sunset; it doesn't always have to be high noon. I always consider this to be the coolest light of the day.

The Windrush Gallery said...

Michael, I really like your last several paintings and also like the new look of your blog!

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Thanks, John!

Don Coker said...

Love the lively brushwork in this piece Michael!

Mesothelioma said...

Interesting thoughts on the lighting of these paintings, great insights. Fantastic work.