Light is the one thing that draws most artists to paint the landscape. Were all moved by color but its the quality of the light that creates the color. Dramatic lighting creates stronger contrasts of both value and color. Its usually early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the light is the most dramatic. The shadows are longer and have more color variety in them and the lights are warmer and more intense. Below is a painting of sheep grazing in Tucumcari, NM. It was late in the afternoon and the contrast of warm and cool color was intensified by the long shadows. What I'm interested in is the subtle color changes within the shadow.
Cloud shadows also create more drama because they create more contrast. Below is a painting from The Wind River Valley in Wyoming. Its close to mid day when the light is flat but the cloud shadows in the foreground and the background create more interest and drama. Here the subtle color changes are in the light areas. This view is outside Dubois WY. The wind River is winding to the Absaroka Mountains.
If you like this post