Today is the darkest day of the year, made extra dark this year by the pandemic. The good news is that from this day on, the days get brighter. I’ll hold my breath on the other. Today’s post has a collection of low light and nocturne paintings by Sangram Majumdar, one of my favorite painters. Look for the compression As light decreases, so does color perception. In low light, the range of values compress into the lower range. The colors compress as well. The colors in a low light situation aren’t just dark, they’re dim. Notice how sometimes Majumdar darkens the values and dims the color, then uses pops of color to represent moments of illumination. Whenever there’s a pop of color, look to see what’s around it to see why that color is so brilliant. Cover that color pop with your finger, and see how much value and color contrast is in the rest of the painting. What percentage of the painting is bright, and what percentage is dark or dim? Majumdar’s suggestion to painters: try replacing white with color.