Original oil painting on mdf panel 9x6"
It was a bright morning so I went back down to the river Thames again, but as I walked up and down the bank I couldn't find a composition that inspired me. So far in my plein air paintings I've been working while facing towards the sun, so I decided to give myself a different challenge and work with the sun behind me, shining onto the subject. I walked into Orleans woods opposite the river bank and spotted this group of birch trees. I worked really quickly and loosely, but was still taken aback at how quickly the shadow shapes changed. I tried to complete the foreground from memory as I hadn't sketched in those shadows, but I needed to complete that section of the painting back in the studio from photo reference.
I found working with the sun behind me so much harder. There are so many more details and colours visible. Its easier to achieve colour harmony painting into the sun, as objects are more or less silhouetted and reduced to grayed out shades. If I attempt another like this I will use a toned panel to help with the colour harmony, and make sure I get in all the shadow shapes at the start.
I am a realist painter, working in oils, painting landscape and still life.