Joseph Byrne

South Carolina, USA,

International Artist - - Art Challenge -

My In­spi­ra­tion

My in­spi­ra­tion is my love of old barns and farms, but most of all it’s the time of day that I love to paint. Early morn­ing and late af­ter­noon are my fa­vorite; some peo­ple call it the magic hour when you have this sub­tle peach or salmon color close to the hori­zon. Years ago I didn’t know what I was look­ing at, I thought it was haze from traf­fic. What I found out, it was the shadow of the earth close to the hori­zon, it’s called “The Belt of Venus,” and it cre­ates some won­der­ful skies. I’m drawn to these old struc­tures with their weath­ered wood, rusty tin roofs and peel­ing paint, and to me, they look like they be­long to the land­scape.

My De­sign Strat­egy

This paint­ing I painted a dark fore­ground while show­ing the sub­tle trac­tor marks lead­ing you into the paint­ing. Of course I painted the front of the barn with high de­tail while em­pha­siz­ing the early morn­ing light. I had to punch up the break through light on the left side of the barn, which I thought helped in cre­at­ing in­ter­est and depth, all the while keep­ing the barn low key in most ar­eas be­cause I wanted to use this to em­pha­size the back land­scape.

I also wanted the viewer to go back into the field, whether by way of the side path or through the barn open­ings. For me, it was a good way of show­ing the con­trast of the blush col­ors of early spring. The sky I kept sim­ple with just a slight chill to the color.

My Work­ing Process

I came across this scene in the late af­ter­noon and I took no­tice of its ori­en­ta­tion with the sun; I knew I wanted to paint it in the morn­ing. I took dozens of pho­tos for de­tails and did some color sketches. I then camped in a corn­field down the road and waited for morn­ing and got the shot that I wanted.

In my stu­dio, I did com­po­si­tion sketches mak­ing al­ter­ations that helped the over­all com­po­si­tion. Next I care­fully sketched the scene while pay­ing more at­ten­tion than usual. I then blocked in all the ar­eas with dif­fer­ent thin oil color washes. At this stage it looked like a weak water­color sketch and I let it dry.

Next I do block-in work: the barn, fore­ground, side trees and then the back­ground. Then I paint the sky. Next stage I do build up work, then de­tail work over all.

Con­tact De­tails

Email: joseph­byrn­[email protected] Web­site: joseph­byrn­eartist.com

Early Spring Morn­ing, acrylic, 16 x 26" (41 x 66 cm)

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