The sun is beaming and you see a tree all lit up. Question: “How to paint sunshine?”
Most painters are drawn to the light, whether it is created by Mother Nature or interior light. It’s ethereal and a challenge to capture in paint. The problem we have to solve is trying to create this sensation while using human-made products. And, in essence, we are trying to paint air with solid materials.
Recently, I spent a week in the Colorado Rockies basking in the sun and in awe of its magic while gazing upon the changing aspen leaves. It’s truly glorious to hike, sit or stand while marveling the yellow light created when the sun bounces off of those golden aspen leaves. It’s captivating especially when there is a light breeze. Notice in the white on the leaves in the photo on the right.
During this same week, I happened upon a week long plein air event that included over 30 artists painting in the area. This culminated in a show at the Steamboat Museum of Art in Steamboat Springs, CO. This was my first time attending such an event and it was exciting and fascinating to peruse over 100 paintings.
Much to my dismay, I was surprised to see that few paintings adequately, in my humble opinion, and effectively displayed how to paint sunshine.