An Online Artist's Coop for Artists who Paint on Location
I was just on the phone with a painting buddy of mine and called his cell phone thinking, for sure, he is out painting on a day like this. When he answered and I asked where he was, he said that he decided to take the day off and work in his front yard to catch up on some landscaping that was needed. It was overcast and just not a good day to be out painting. I said huh?
I told him that I was getting ready to go out and paint because it was overcast, I felt confident I could get a larger piece completed today because it was overcast and since the lighting would not be changing with the sun position, I would be able to work longer at any particular location and could do a bigger piece. His reaction was huh?
So here then are two ways of looking at the same subject. Depending on your point of view, it can be a good thing or a bad thing. How many things in life are like that? I have lost count.
On a sunny day you have very high contrast between the lights and darks, whereas on the overcast days the difference is very subtle. Don't get me wrong, I like both, and probably prefer sunny too, but the overcast days are not a waste of your time. Consider the benefits before you write off the cloudy days. Give it a shot at least. If I had only painted when the sun came out last year in Ireland, I would have only had a handful of paintings... instead I ended up with about 40 or so. Irish Fishing boast was done on an overcast day.
Do you have a preference?
I agree, just different. The colors can be very rich on an overcast day. I find myself painting different subject matter on different kinds of days. On an overcast day with just a little sun, you can manipulate the light deciding on the pattern that you want. Also, you can spend more time on the subject.
I agree with Becky. Gray days force you to look at different subjects to paint. Sure, raked sunlight is wonderful, but I also love the subtle color in a powerful gray sky. It’s all good, all a different challenge.
I like them both for all those reasons. Just going with the flow makes it interesting and I can't control the weather. We have had very smokey skies all fall. My latest plein air submission to this site LongBarnPA was started and finished on site under very smokey hazy skies. You can see the color was effected as well as the light/contrast and values. Originally I thought I would fix those little problems in the studio and post it as a studio painting. But now I rather like it the way it is and if I do "improve it later" I will post it on Studio site.