Cloudy Day Colors

On a recent painting trip to Colorado I spent 4 days painting in the Rocky Mountain National Park.  Unfortunately it rained most of the time and was overcast the rest of the time.  It’s a little disappointing when you’re looking forward to early morning light and shadow and sunsets.   But cloudy days present a good opportunity to practice different lighting conditions.  On cloudy days the values are always closer together, you don’t have the strong value and temperature contrast that you find on a sunny day, so it forces you to really see the subtle value changes. The colors are also strong or richer on a cloudy day.  On a sunny day the strong sunlight washes out the color, you have to add more white to get it light enough, but on a cloudy day there isn’t any direct sunlight to wash out the color so it’s more pure.  Spend some time really looking at color on a sunny day and compare it to colors when its mostly cloudy.  No excuse now not to paint on a cloudy day.

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