A few nights after my first sunset painting extravaganza, my husband and I were about to go out to dinner. He waited out in the living room while I went to the bedroom to get my shoes. Suddenly he hears my squeal: "Wow, look at the sunset! Hold on, sweetie! I just have to take a quick picture of the sunset, and paint it, and then I'll be ready to go." Poor guy.
Once again, it was so liberating to not worry about making a great--or even good--painting, but just getting down as much as I could for a fast study.
After a bunch of these twilight/sunset paintings, I'm a lot better at painting from memory when I need to recreate this light. Here is another twilight painting that I started on site and finished at home, mostly from memory. The actual painting is a little more mellow and less contrasty than you see here.
"Fleeting Light" - oil on board - 8"x10"
Here's the best photograph I was able to get of that sky right when I started the painting. When you compare the two you can really get an idea of the color and subtlety that you lose with the camera.
Here's how much the light had changed by the time I finished my study--somewhere around 10 or 15 minutes. Don't you love that purple light?
Here's a close up so you can see how little painting I actually got down on-site. But it was enough to get down the main elements of color in the sky (which you can't really see here) and jog my memory when I got back to it. Once dry, I painted right over the existing study.
And here's one more I did for fun, just from my noggin. :)