The striking, soft light that is characteristic of the hour after sunrise or before sunset is so coveted by cinematographers that they refer to it as "magic hour." When the sun is present at that time of day, as it is in this painting, the sky appears rose colored; shadows are less harsh and highlights are less glaring and bright.
The soft light of magic hour creates a tranquil feeling that Luminist painters, like Warren Sheppard, strove to capture with delicate brushstrokes that draw attention to the subject, not themselves. A striking feature of this painting is the reflection of the sun on the shore and the way the light shimmers at varying intensities, depending on how the canvas is lit. It's a truly impressive painting that is impossible to duplicate in a photograph.
The warm glow of the sun on the shore is masterfully depicted in coral, gold, and a bit of blue. The seas are calm and the sky is soft and hazy. The painting creates a portal to the ocean and the relaxation that comes from a leisurely stroll at dawn or dusk amidst breathtaking views. It's easy to understand why seascapes are the most coveted of Warren Sheppard's works. This painting has to be seen in person to be fully appreciated.
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