The Difference Between Sunrise & Sunset

If you looked at one of my paintings, could you tell what time of day I painted?

Every painting that I work on is based on an actual photo. When I am out at the Farm, I snap photos like a madwoman, catching every cool cloud, every beautiful sunset, and if I can get myself out of bed early enough, an epic sunrise. Over time, I’ve noticed some clear differences in the mood, colors and feel of a sunrise versus a sunset. I try my best to capture the feeling of each time of day with my color palette, so that I can communicate on the canvas that very same feeling as when I took the photo out at The Farm.

If I had to characterize a sunrise with a few words, I would describe it as soft, gentle, and cool. Mornings at The Farm are quiet. There isn’t a lot of movement early in the morning, and often only a gentle family of deer might pass through, looking for corn. The sky goes from the deep, blue-ish black of the night and slowly starts to warm up with the rising sun. Colors that I often notice most in a sunrise are purples, pale blues, and rosy pink. The growing light reflects off of the cool dew on the grass, giving the land a blue, almost teal tint, and light fog might still remain. When I set out to intentionally watch the sunrise, all of a sudden, the world becomes bright. Blue and purple fades into soft green and pale yellow, and the brightness of it refreshes the scene and welcomes you into the new day.

Sunsets are a little bit different. The words I would describe sunsets with are bold, burning, and sudden. More often than not, it’s been a hot day in Texas, and everyone begs for the coolness of the evening. As the sun begins to fall into the horizon, it slowly starts to take the warmth with it. The sky turns neon pink, and salmon-y orange, which casts a warm glow onto the dry land. The sky lights up, as if it is on fire in a last blaze of glory. Before you know it, the sun falls below the horizon, and the light quickly drains from the sky. Pink and orange turn into lavender and indigo, but a slight remnant of the light hovers just above the horizon. Even then, the light slips fast into night, and the moon and stars fixate themselves above us.

There are a million moments that I have the opportunity to capture on the canvas. There are endless ways the light changes, and it happens in the blink of an eye. My attempt to capture each of these moments are the paintings that I create. Each moment is precious and worth reproducing, and it is my life’s goal as an artist to capture as many of them as I possibly can.