Sunglasses during plein air painting

I saw some big celebrity artists like Cesar Santos and Daniel Sprick painting with sunglasses when outdoors. Is it just to make the scene making a bit more attractive (sunglasses do make the scene attractive) or there is something else?


  • KaustavM

    Richard McKinley says
    Wearing sunglasses is another option, provided they’re neutral in color and are worn consistently throughout the painting process. Select the most neutral gray pair of sunglasses possible and avoid overly dark lenses. Fishing supply stores are good resources. Currently, polarized lenses are very popular. If possible, find good lenses that aren’t polarized. You’ll see the scene more closely to the naked human eye. If not, realize that what you’re experiencing is akin to the photograph taken with a polarizing filter attached to the lens. Distant blue haze will be diminished and surface reflections nearly eradicated. In extremely bright situations, I’ve had to recently revert to wearing sunglasses to protect my eyes. With a little practice and discipline, it can be done. Minor adjustments to the painting can be made later in the comfort of the studio.
    The ‘something else’ for me is eye protection against ultra violet light.

    Looking intently at clouds, sky, water reflections,  snow etc is inviting poor visual acuity and cataracts.
    A pair of clear UV glasses is essential equipment.


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