Thursday, October 22, 2009

Let's Take a look at this ....

It's time for us to take a look at another work of art. To refresh your memory I want us to take a careful look at what we can learn from these amazing creations about colour and its placement from time to time.
Here is Van Gogh's Starry Night over the Rhone.
The first thing I notice is the way the sky changes colour to indicate atmosphere. As interesting as that is to compel the eye into the distance, those yellow reflections in the water are amazing! Let take a look how he transitioned from the reflections of light to the dark water. Going from yellow to orange, no problem, it is a smal leap, but how to go from yellow to blue ?
If you look closely you can see the yellow green which acts as the bridge.
We can see the same trick in the sky with the stars and their green halos, although yellow green has been used, a most strident colour, in this setting it acts as a neutral transition.
Let's look back to the shoreline, see how the distant lights are yellow but the ones closer are warmed with orange.
The dock or landmass at the foreground is just a lighter version of all the colours used in the work. Lighter makes it actually seem to float out to meet us, make us a welcome part of the scene.
The figures are barely noticable making the water the real star.
You can notice a shock of hot pink in the dress of the woman, but honestly if you were at a dock at night with strong lights what could you see of figures. This treatment rings true.
Light and dark, oh yeah it is all going on.
Contrast with temperature and saturation ?
Yes it has it all.
A leading lady ?
An interesting composition ? You bet !
What do you see ?

1 comment:

  1. I love your analysis of paintings in terms of's what we all need to bring our rugs out of the boring place most of them sit. I shall have to take the time to find a larger size pic as I don't quite understand what is going on near the bottom with the people/boats. I can see how he effectively used all the colors at a lower saturation there. I also can see how he used more orange on the sides of the paintings which advance those bits of shoreline contributing to the sense of depth. The use of yellow green for a bridging color really brings home the ideas we studied in July of travelling. Thanks, thanks, thanks again for opening my eyes! Jean Schroderus