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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Hudson Sunset


This painting was an exercise in color from a sketch I made at the Vanderbilt estate along the banks of the Hudson in Hyde Park New York. I tried to keep the pitch down using fully saturated color so that the sun would have sufficient contrast- much the way one would pitch the sky in a snow scene lower in value in order to make the snow appear bright. The foreground trees are silhouetted in dark values to establish the vignette and range of tone. I alternated cool and warm reds in the clouds to distinquish between the sky vortex (light filled air) and the cooler cloud shapes. In the sky zenith(top of the vault), I substituted a thalo green-viridian mixture without any blue to push the color contrasts between the red and greens. I suspect this kind of color layering and emphasis is what Rothko was exploring in his "landscapes".

1 comment:

Walter Lynn Mosley said...

Thanks for sharing your thought process on this, it's offers invaluable insight. I would say you were very successful in what you were trying to achieve. I saw an afterglow last year that was super intense like this, it was very dark outside yet the glow was reddish and as intense as you can imagine, in fact when I came over a hill and saw it I thought something was wrong with my eyes, not being used to see a sunset (or afterglow) so intense. Those are very rare moments I would say. And you've done an excellent job at portraying one of these rare moments and the feeling it gives you when you're blessed enough to witness such an event.