Thoughts on Painting Atmospheric Effects and Light Reflection
For today’s Gaia Fine Art Insights we will be reviewing the inspiration of “Clouds of Sparkling Light” oil painting in an impressionist style. (Click to purchase the Original Work).
This oil painting inspired so much thought when it comes to light and color. More specifically atmospheric effects and the way light moves through and around shapes and textures, then reacts in our eyes. As a visual artist, we all eventually learn how important the role of value and dark to light is in a piece work. But we also begin to unfold just how complex and intricate this really is.
Take a look at this oil painting, or the sky above you on a semi cloudy day. The landscape of that sky, although seemingly standard in our lives, is actually riddles with light and layers of color all playing with one another. The natural color of the sky, adds its own coloration to varying degrees depending on how far away the object is we are looking at. The further away, the more little water particles combine to add the blue hue we all know as sky.
But if you continue to look, you will see even more. As we near the light source, those blue droplets, in fact, reflect more color of the light source, the sun. Atmosphere adds even more complication as object in the sky alter this even further. This gives you a wide range of color as it shifts from the warm yellow of the sun, to cool blues of the sky. But this only for a single plane in space, and well, the sky is made up of nearly infinite planes as we look deep into it. So layer upon layer of gradients all pile up to give us such a wonderful display of light that it greatly surpasses any laser light show you will ever see.
Light Reflection and Textured Clouds
But this oil painting is not an original work of a clear sky, but one with a myriad of clouds. The specific transparency of these clouds allows a range of light to spill through. Then depending on the shape and edges of these clouds, including their edge texture, the light can be even further bent in space. Billions of combinations of color and light for every cloud. Sometimes the water particles in clouds block out the light, other times the reflect back a color that we do not expect, due to their undefined form and shape.
It is such a brilliant thing to recognize and witness every day of our lives, just how spectacular they sky really is. But that reminds me of one more thing to take into consideration, how light works in our eyes. Glowing light and radiant colors seem to spill out over what might even be darker shadow shapes. This means, that even the artist own way of seeing and understanding light plays a role in just how it is captured in their minds.
Our Eyes Capturing Light
This oil painting captures the light bursting through and around clouds in a relatively open sky. Our own eyes take in the complexity of all this information and simplify it down to a nice sunset. But to an artist eye, we study so much more. We see the warm sun glowing, spilling over the cool blue shadows of thicker clouds and treetops. Adding the warmth of the sun creates a wonderful spectrum of purples, pinks, oranges as it dances in our eyes.
But then we see this occurring even more where certain clouds have shapes that capture these warms relative to your viewing position. The variety of edges also spill and reflect their own mini spectrums within the larger one. So many value and colors, all bending and twirling with every gust of wind. Each edge of every layer of cloud, determining for itself just how it will reflect light rays back into our eye.
Sky landscapes are some of my most favorite pieces to paint. They contain within themselves a lifetime of knowledge for every moment you look. While we all know that a beautiful sunset is something to appreciate, even just a little meditation on the subject can inspire such a deepening, that it’s worth the moment. After all, the sky is the most brilliant spectacle on this planet, and one that is free for all to enjoy, unique every moment.