Welcome to The Very Rich Hours, where you can find postings of each day’s sunset. (Currently there are problems with the Squarespace server, so the best place to see every sunset painting is via the Facebook page.) I’ve been painting every sunset since January 1, 2006.


This journal is named for the 15th-century illuminated manuscript The Very Rich Hours of the Duke of Berry (Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry).


Most of these sunsets are seen from the same vantage point, facing the Blue Ridge, north of Charlottesville, Virginia. Even when I’m traveling and the sunset has to be done later from sketches, all of these works are painted “alla prima” — wet in wet, without later revision or overpainting, in about the same time it takes to watch the sun go down.


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William Van Doren

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TABULA ROSA (THE RED SERIES)

VAN DOREN ON THE SUNSET SERIES

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Entries in Blue Ridge (1332)

Tuesday
Apr222014

Descender – Sunset, Monday, 21 April 2014

William Van Doren, DESCENDER. Sunset from Stony Point, Albemarle County, Va. Oil on Arches, 17 x 23.

Thursday
Apr172014

Make-Up Test – Sunset/Twilight, Tuesday, 15 April 2014

William Van Doren, MAKE-UP TEST. Sunset from Stony Point, Albemarle County, Va. Oil on Arches, 17 x 23.

So, I was out in the field sketching the sunset on Tuesday for around 20 minutes, and the sky could be described as this gray, that gray, another gray, plus ... gray. The difficult decision many evenings is when to stop looking; I decided it wasn’t going to change. A while later I get a text from Laura, my wife, as she's headed home from town: “Gorgeous sunset!” WHAT???! Apparently, I missed a spectacular change that sometimes happens with multi-layered cloudy skies at twilight. OOPS. But, based on my notes and things Laura told me, I've made up for missing the sunset ... by making it up.

Saturday
Apr122014

Picture at an Exhibition – Sunset, Friday, 11 April 2014

William Van Doren, PICTURE AT AN EXHIBITION. Sunset from Woodberry Forest, Madison County, Va. Oil on Arches, 17 x 23.

Sneaked away from the lingering visitors at my show's reception to sketch sunset and rain over the Blue Ridge. Some music by Mussorgsky (see title) might work with this. THANKS to the wonderful people who came out last night and made my opening not only successful but fun — two qualities that don't always go together! Show is up til May 3rd.

Monday
Apr072014

All Gray – Sunset, Sunday, 6 April 2014

William Van Doren, ALL GRAY. Sunset from Stony Point, Albemarle County, Va. Oil on Arches, 17 x 23.

Sunday
Apr062014

Up in Light – Sunset, Saturday, 5 April 2014

William Van Doren, UP IN LIGHT. Sunset from Stony Point, Albemarle County, Va. Oil on Arches, 17 x 23.

Saturday
Mar082014

Dragging the Line – Sunset/Twilight, Friday, 7 March 2014

William Van Doren, DRAGGING THE LINE. Sunset from Stony Point, Albemarle County, Va. Oil on canvas, 24 x 36.