Virtual Art Academy
Plein air painting in Morocco: Telouet Sunset 2

Episode 10: Atlas Mountains – Telhouet Sunset Part 1

One evening on my recent trip to Morocco, I headed out of the village in the Atlas mountains where I was staying in the direction of the Sahara Desert. I came across this incredible landscape. It was a kaleidoscope of reds, oranges and yellows set against a deep ultramarine blue sky. I just had to stop and paint it! Here is some unedited video I took at the scene, plus a tip on how I used the principle of contrast of temperature in my design.
Plein air painting in Morocco: Telouet Sunset 2
Cat. No. 1324 Telouet Sunset 2, Morocco – 20cm x 30cm – Oil on Linen

A few days later, I showed this to the owner of the bed and breakfast where I was staying, and he said this was the salt mine over the hill from the village. He knew exactly where I was standing! This surprised me a little because I had thought I had made the painting very abstract.

photograph of scene for plein air painting Cat. No. 1324

This was the scene when I started

photograph of scene for plein air painting Cat. No. 1324

. . . and when I finished

Contrast of Temperature

If you want to paint emphasize something, then use something to contrast with it. In this painting, to emphasize the heat of the desert colors, I used an intense ultramarine blue sky. This is an example of the use of the principle of contrast of temperature.

To learn more about this critically important concept in painting, see this video:

For more information

For more information on some of the techniques I used in this painting see:

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