Friday, November 11, 2011

Twilight on the River

There are three kinds of twilight.  Who would have known?  Civil, Nautical and Astronomical are their names...I discovered this when I wanted to know the exact time of the sunset.

With my twilight chart in my back pocket I headed out to York Harbor, Maine, to paint some sunset pictures on the York River... 

I've discovered that if I set up early when there is enough light to see the lay of the land, I'm well prepared when it gets dark... 

   I wanted the twilight and tide to work together so I would have some nice light reflections.
Steadman Woods Study, 8x10 oil

 When I arrived in early afternoon the tide was going out, the sky was clouding up and things were looking gray.

I spent some time walking around looking for a spot that would offer me a view with water, land and sky and be interesting enough to paint several times as the light changed.

The tide was going out fast. Sand started appearing where there was once water and nice reflections.

I started painting, focusing on completing my studies at timed intervals, so I would capture the different moods...
Sand & reflections study, 11x14 oil

The sun hadn't even set and the moon was already up in the sky peeking over the tops of the trees ! 

As the clouds arranged themselves in attractive clusters I gathered up a variety of additional panels to paint on.  

It was now "civil" twilight and the view was expansive.

Lobster boats were returning from a long days work.

The light was shifting fast and "nautical" twilight was approaching. 
Twilight I study, 8x16 oil

I set up to paint facing southwest because the light would last the longest in that direction.

The banks of trees and wet sand on the edge of the river steadily changed colors as the clouds and sky deepened in tone. 

The lights came on in houses on the marsh edge and on the docks along the river front.
It was that time of the day when the sky and river surface were glowing.  

Sometimes the water looks like it is lit from within, the color is so rich and beautiful.
Twilight sky study, 8x16 oil

The last boat came up the river from the harbor's mouth.

As the moon rose, the sky got darker and the moored boats on the river floated like blue ghosts on the surface of the water.
Twilight II study, 8x16 oil

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