Sunshine and Shadow

Extract from Crossing Borders: oil on canvas
Extract from Crossing Borders: oil on canvas

Sunshine and shadow describes this painting of an old weathered fence post with brambles and wild briar nestling in the shadow of an old oak tree. The location was an area just outside Derry City, Ireland, an area of farmland situated close to a range of low lying hills. The painting was captured in the late on a summers evening as the sun was setting. The long shadow cast by the oak provided the visual interest making it worthy of a painting.?

What to paint? That’s the difficult question in painting. I always have a strategy before I set out. Look for something of interest in : the foreground; the mid ground and the background. Then look for lines that lead the eye up through those three areas. Always have a plan before you set out to look for potential scenes to paint. Taking a camera with you will help. The camera viewfinder will act as a frame for the scene in front of you making it easier to capture fleeting opportunities such as the passing conditions in the scene above.

The post in the foreground is positioned about two-thirds across the front of the picture. In terms of Composition this is known as the rule of thirds. The post would look “wrong” if positioned in the centre of the scene. The Post and the surrounding brambles, fence wires etc also provide focal interest at the front of the painting. In addition, the deep shadow cast by the tree makes for a very strong colour and tonal area which is in contrast to the bright mid ground and background. Devices like these can lend a sense of depth or distance to a painting.

The post in the foreground also leads the eye up towards the lone tree and farmhouse in the mid ground and up into the horizon. The eye should then move across the painting, and across the line of hills. Finally, the background sky has being given a certain drama with heavy looking blue grey clouds hinting at the threat of rain. Overall I was very satisfied with the final result. I hope you enjoy the painting…please give the post a like if you do…

Sunshine and Shadow

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