The hours in the late afternoon when everything is rich with color is called the golden hours. It is like the curtain call before the end of a play. I first heard this reference was from my son who studied film in college. These are the hours when the light is doing all the work. No need to fill or bounce. It is cheaper too. Less to rent.
So as an artist I find light to be my best friend and at times my worst enemy. In plein air it is hard to capture. I need to take that mental picture and paint fast without losing my vision or concept which always involves the light. In my studio it is a little easier to control, but again it effect what and how I see. The best hours for me to paint in studio is morning. Outside it is morning and afternoon, because mid day light can flatten contrasts. Shadows are important in my painting and come into play early in the game. I find I look for light always with her best friend shadow for a little drama.