Color temperature. On the face of it, it”s a deceptively simple concept. Some colors appear warm and some colors appear cool in relation to each other. Red appears warm next to cool. But it’s remarkably hard to execute.
A great exercise to improve your understanding of color temperature is to paint white sand that is partly in shadow and partly in light. You’ll get to see the power of color temperature. Cool blue and purple shadows. Warm, shimmering lights. The object (white sand) stays the same, but the colors change dramatically.
It’s not a case of using a dark yellow for the shadows and a light yellow for the lights. You need to push the contrast in both value and temperature to capture a believable illusion of sunlight hitting the sand. Value being how light or dark a color is.
Below is a recent example, Gold Coast, Sea and Sand. I might have actually pushed the temperature contrast too far, but at least it’s in the direction of my idea.