If you haven't tried Sunset Paintings, please try some. It really gives you a rush. I know that alot of plein air painters wake up early. Then, they go out and paint the sunrise. GREAT. I heard it works really well. You block in the shadows, and the rest can be done at leisure. (Unfortunately, my leisure then might be 3 to 4 hours.) I paint very slowly in the morning.
I mean, mornings are great. I can go out and hike a bit. Drink from my mega coffee cup. There's no rush. It will be light out ALL DAY Long. Unfortunately, my morning paintings reflect this attitude.
Now, night time is different. I go out and make sure that I only have 1 hour to paint. There is no mega coffee cup. It's sort of like playing the old TV game Show, "Beat the Clock". I must remain focused on the task at hand. I have also limited my choices of paper sizes, paint color and brushes.
So, an hour before sunset, I am ready to go. I know that "Lights Out" will happen. It is a mad scramble to work as fast as I can. Decisions must be made quickly. What brush, what color grey, What to put in the painting, and what to leave out, etc! And during this mad rush, everything becomes clear.
It really is like having a timer set. You know when you have 15 minutes of light left. There is no bargaining with the setting sun. You must finish! Just like in school, when the teacher said, "pencils down", you had no choice.
Live, love and paint,