I love to paint old sheds and this shed at Cheshunt is a wonderful subject. But how does one go about deciding what to paint? The best way to approach this subject is to walk around it and if possible, take a look inside. Take as many photos of not only the subject in its entirety, but smaller sections. These photos can be cropped later if desired.

Sunny days are great because they result in strong light and shadows. I have included a selection of the photos I took on a beautiful late Spring day.

The first thing you will notice is that the shed is rather fragile. How it’s still standing amazes me, but stand it does! I love the bow in the roof line and the ‘skeletal’ state of the end wall.

Inside is a treasure trove of objects, but deciding what to paint can be rather difficult. It’s all to do with what you want your painting to ‘say’. You could:

  1. Paint a view of the entire shed from an interesting angle and show its fragility and its character.
  2. Paint what you see looking through one of the windows or a doorway.
  3. Stand very close to the building and look through one window and through another on the opposite side.
  4. Stand very close and try to paint all of the building that you can see. This is a great subject for a painting that has a strong perspective feel.
  5. Stand inside and paint what you see on a section of the floor.
  6. Standing inside, look outside through a doorway or through a window.
  7. Feature some of the intense shadows inside the shed. I love the two-dimensional look that comes with shadows.

Everyone sees things differently and every artist (should) seek to be different. I have included a small selection of how I ‘see’ this building and I have commenced a painting of a scene looking through two windows at the distant landscape.

It’s fun being a detective now and then!



About artkleko

artist, art curator, art teacher, art judge, art critic
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