Secrets of horizons in artwork

Horizons play a very important part in paintings. They can be three quarters up the painting or three quarters down. Halfway up or staggered. A horizon can be formed by colour variations, straight lines, or a physical boundary, realistic or abstract. Horizons can be brought forward or pushed backwords, depending on the colour or colour combinations you use. Darks and lights have the same ability, they can either push things away from you or pull them forward. The same holds true for your horizon, it can, with the right shade of light or dark, excite, exhilarate, or dominate a picture.

See for example the art work of Kadin Goldberg. In this winter landscape the attention is focussed on the forground the horizon is at the top at the picture and pushed back by a dark colour.

Kadin Goldberg – ‘The spaces between’

Here you can see in the painting ‘Evening Echoes’ by Kadin Goldberg the horizon is half way through the picture. Still he has managed to bring the attention to the forground by using contrast. The tree and the mountain are above the horizon and give added interest to the background.

Kadin Goldberg – ‘Evening Echoes’

The picture painted by Kathie Odom ‘Story teller’, has a lower and slanted horizon which is muted by using different colours.

Kathie Odom – ‘Story teller’

Here you see the horizon at the bottom of the painting. This horizon is of less importance and helps you concentrate on the building.

Kathie Odom – ‘Nostarlgic Impressionism’

Rembrandt and Caravaggio were masters of light and dark. Admittedly they did not use colour in landscapes, but they could manipulate colour by using light and dark to its utmost.

Always remember, you do not have to include everything in a painting, often less is more! Cropping also plays an important role in creating a picture. Even if you don’t produce a masterpiece…. just slap the paint on…it’s fun!

Jean Elliot

Art work published by Kadin Goldberg and Kathie Odom.