I couldn't let it go and had to reattempt to paint this scene because of my interest in learning how to paint into the shadows.
Now, lots of schools of thought in painting teach not to paint too much into the shadows, to let them fade in order to create "atmosphere". That's great, but what if the atmosphere is what's in the shadow? And who wants to be a one-trick painting pony anyhow? I want to learn to paint into the shadows.
I was inspired by this winner of a painting I saw last week to go back and try and learn something first hand from looking into shadows- clearly the last painting wasn't as successful as I had hoped.
One key I learned (remembered) today is to keep squinting so that the light doesn't make the shadows look darker than they actually are. This spot where I was painting in particular has light filtering in from up above so there are hardly any deep darks.
Oil on Panel
© Kelly Medford, 2012
I think that this result is much stronger than the first- if nothing else even for changing the composition from horizontal to vertical- getting that whole vertical tree on the left in there really helps.
Something I see now is to contrast even more with the warm light (yellows and reds) with the cool of the shadows (blue). Doing this while at the same time maintaining a unity between the light and dark is the key. This is what that great painting I mentioned earlier masters seemlessly, flawlessly. With years of patience, understanding and practice.
I need more practice. Good thing I've got 105 more days to look into shadows.
Thank you for your interest in my work and for following the 120 Day Project!