Russian landscape painter Fyodor Vasilyev (1850-1873) lived to be only 23 years old. But in his short life he became one of the all-time masters of stormy light, especially by means of the effects of cloud shadows.
He knew the power of cloud shadows to create mood. In this painting, "After the Rain, Country Road," the foreground is in shadow, with a patch of light in the middle distance. Note that the puddles in the foreground, even though they're in shadow, reflect the bright light of the sky.
In this one, he lit the foreground with a fringe of light, and placed the cloud shadow immediately behind it.
In the new Feb/March issue International Artist magazine I explore the subject of cloud shadows. I include the "Three Rules of Cloud Shadows" and three different painting techniques for achieving them.
The issue also has a special on wildlife, with Aleksandar Alexov's brooding miniatures, and there's also a profile of fantasy painter Brom.---------
Where to learn more
International Artist magazine
Wikipedia on Vasilyev
Biography and more samples at Olga's Gallery
The topic is also covered in Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter(Amazon) Get a signed copy of Color and Light
Previously: Illuminated Foreground