Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cottonwood: First Light

8 x 10 inches
Oils on canvasboard
Time: 6am to 7:30am

I decided to go out and paint the cottonwood again; this time with a slightly different composition. I really want to be able to capture how it looks when the first rays of the sun spread over the horizon; the leaves gleam and shimmer like fireflies.

Starting about 30 minutes earlier than the previous painting, this was quite the challenge! Apparently, the closer one paints to sunrise or sunset, the more quickly one has to deal with radical changes in the light. By the time I got most of the canvas covered with paint, the dark green bands of shadow in the field had all but vanished. I thought to add a missing dramatic shadow in the foreground from memory, but decided not to. Sometimes, you just have to let it go.

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