Well, as the end of the worlds been postponed I guess it's incumbent on me to keep up this blog. Today I want to write about edges in painting. I'm posting a couple of recent paintings just for illustration. I could have posted just about any landscape painting that I've done as I very consistently pursue a certain edge quality in my work.
|Clearing Storm 8x10 M Francis McCarthy|
That quality is all about getting the edges right. I cannot say that I always achieve the effect I want but that is one reason painting still fascinates me after doing it for a while now. Many great artists have mastered edges and deserve close study. Some that come to mind are George Inness and the French painter Corot. How a painter handles edges is one of the greatest determiners of what their style is.
|Fleeting Light 8x10 M Francis McCarthy|
Below is a detail of "Fleeting Light" that shows a bit of my particular way of handling edges. Every painting is full of different edges and all must be approached in the appropriate manner for what is being rendered and the of the painting itself.
|Fleeting Light (Detail) M Francis McCarthy|
I'm focusing on the sky/tree edge challenge here because frankly it's the greatest challenge for me in any painting. This is because the sky is the brightest part of most landscape paintings and the vertical trees against it are generally the darkest part. Because of this inherent contrast difference the transition from light to dark has to done with care or the painter runs the risk of creating a cutout appearance in his scenes.
|Camille Corot Three Trees with a View of the Lake|
Above is a painting by Camille Corot. In my opinion Corot is one of the greatest edge painters ever!I saw many of his original works on my trip to the Louvre in Paris. Corot took a sort of flecky approach to his edges. They appear to be built up in many layers and there is always a feeling of air and silvery light in his work. He is a great guy to study. Any painter who's doing edges in a way you admire is good to study I reckon. I may revisit this topic in a later blog as it's absolutely crucial to creating a good landscape painting.