When outside in the late afternoon, the sun starting to go down, the color of light is very warm. Everything the late afternoon light falls on will have warmth (orange) in the color while the shadows will have cool or blue tones.
Cool light comes from LEDs or the sky on a cloudy day. The result is everything illuminated by it will have cool tones in it, the shadows will be warm.
Paintings that use these principles will have a heightened sense of brightness while still having vivid color. Getting control of this concept, one can exaggerate it for special effect. An artist who used this in all of his work was Joaquin Sorolla.
In the painting above by Sorolla I’ve noted just a few of the many temperature changes. These areas are patches of the same color, but one in light and one in shadow.
Here are three paintings I’ve done using this principle.
This portrait sketch has a cool light, warm shadow relationship.
This painting, a warm light with cool shadows. Even though there are some warmer areas in the shadow, cool dominates with grays, blues and greens.
Here a cool light falls on the figure with warmth in the shadows.
I’m going to start paying special attention to see how this works outside and inside.