Art In History Art Blog
If you're a photographer, you already know. A bright sunny day is NOT the best time to be looking at scenery.
Bright sunlight washes out subtle color. It replaces the subtlety with strong contrasts of light and dark, and only the bold colors really survive. That is why bold colors are favored in North Africa, Mexico, South America. That is also why the majority of postcards you see have been color-heightened: everybody wants to see a sunny day, but a photograph of a sunny day is often without real color. A meadow in sunlight might have 3 or four shades of green; on an overcast day it will have a hundred.
Of course, strong contrasts of light and dark can make a great picture in their own right. Whether you miss the subtlety of color and texture depends on your own aesthetic preconceptions and taste. But there is more.
Sunlight limits where you can set up your easel comfortably. You do not want to paint with direct sunlight on your panel or canvas if you can help it, certainly not with dappled sunlight on it. When painting in sunlight, I always try to set up so the panel is in shade, but not so heavily shaded that I can't see it. That often means that the reflection of sunlight off my clothes distorts the colors I see on the panel.
Lastly, for my taste, a blue sky does not hold a candle to a sky with dramatic clouds. Clouds in their infinite moods and power dominate the emotional impact of a landscape. I will see paintings on an overcast day in places I never say anything to paint before. Fog will likewise transform a landscape into something soft and infinitely subtle.
So have your nice day; I'll wait for the clouds to move in.