Saturday, March 02, 2013

Painters prefer painting in the early morning (Poll result)

The most popular time for painting is early morning - 20% of you prefer to be "up with the lark" and at it bright and early

White Frost, Sunrise (1889) by Claud Monet
Oil on canvas, 25 x 36 in. (64 x 91.3 cm)
Collection: Hill-Stead Museum
In 1888-89, Monet painted three canvases depicting two identical grainstacks, then two more paintings of single grainstacks. Grainstacks, White Frost Effect was one of the first three, and Monet included it in a joint exhibition with Auguste Rodin, in 1889.Hill-Stead Museum
The Making A Mark Opinion Poll for February asked you 'What's your best time of day for painting'?.  123 of you responded and answers were spread across the options

The top four results were as follows:
  • 20% prefer to be "up with the lark - bright and early"
  • 14% opt for "whenever I have free time"
  • 12% like "whenever it's quiet and nobody else is around" best 
  • AND another 12% regard painting as "a job" and are "in the studio before 10am"
up with the lark - bright and early
  25 (20%)
it's a job - in the studio before 10am
  15 (12%)
midday gives me the longest period of static light
  6 (4%)
afternoons are for painting
  15 (12%)
sunrise and sunset
  2 (1%)
late nights are best
  12 (9%)
all day long - however long it takes
  11 (8%)
when I've got a brush in my hand
  4 (3%)
whenever I have free time
  18 (14%)
whenever it's quiet and nobody else is around
  15 (12%)

Poll Results: What's your best time of day for painting'?. 

Convention suggests that the best times for painting plein air are during the cool morning light at the beginning and the warm evening light at the end of the day - which both have long cast shadows.  However I think the poll must have had a bias toward studio painters as "sunrise and sunset" drew the LEAST number of votes at only 1% of the total vote!

The best time of day for painting?

Here are some more thoughts on the best time of day for artists to paint - whether it's in a studio or plein air.

Constable commented on the fact that the natural world has an appeal - and a challenge - at all times of the day
"The world is wide, no two days are alike, nor even two hours; neither were there ever two leaves of a tree alike since the creation of all the world; and the genuine productions of art, like those of nature, are all distinct from each other."
Monet of course went to some trouble to demonstrate that the same subject can look very different at different times of day and in different seasons of the year - see my website Monet's Series Paintings - Stacks of Wheat

There will be a new poll next week for March so do watch out for it!

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