Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Using Cast Shadows in Landscape Painting

Irish Bridge, 2002, 8 x 10, oil on panel

The setting sun illuminates a bridge with parallel bands of light and cast shadows that you have to pass through to enter the village in the distance.

Jacob van Ruisdael

When the shadows are cast by clouds, the transitions from light to shadow are more gradual.

It's an old device in landscape painting: foreground shadow; middle ground light; beyond that shadow; finally a far patch of light. 

Thomas Moran

You can place the patches of light to dramatize travelers in the middle ground or a featured landscape form in the distance. 
More about this in my book "Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter" (Signed copies at the link.)

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