Painting a Sunset: Catching a Glimpse.
This time it worked out very well. Rapid change and no turning back. It doesn’t always work out these sunsets. Perhaps a sunrise is a tad easier because you don’t lose the light literally. But a sunrise is perhaps 10x more rapid in changing colors!
Sometimes I see sunsets painted from photos. And although ‘a non-painter’ might have no idea, I can almost always see it. Why?
Works from photos have often a too harsh contrast game going on in the sky, not natural. And shapes are often ‘simplified’. There’s nothing wrong with that of course. But the truth is out there. And painting it on the spot will reflect that truth back onto the canvas.
Personally, I rather see an incomplete plein air work than a ‘completed work’ from a photo. And about ‘the studio blow-ups’: some can: but a lot cannot. Truth is more important than size. At least that’s how I think about these things :) Of course, this maybe doesn’t apply to all painting: I’m merely talking from the ‘landscape-painting’ perspective. Still: I think some of the stunning abstract works that were made by ‘de Kooning’ were also painted after life (!!) (art critics will deny perhaps because they haven’t read it in a book :( ;) –Truth. Nothing beats it. Abstract painters like Mondrian, he decorated his studio to match his subject so he could get ideas from life!
Patterns of Color, Light and Shade Sing to the human brain when applied ‘believable’.
If you are an abstract painter: create abstract ‘still lifes’ and work from there (from life) (from actual light!).. you will find some truth.
And it will resonate much better (with viewers and) in ‘the end product’.
oil on canvas, 24×30 cm | 9.6″ x 11.8″ 2014
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