Thursday, February 24, 2011

A developing appreciation of art

As I increase my skills as a painter and artist, it's a curious notion that I begin to study more of the traditional oil painting master's works and see how they approached problems.

In reality, I start to appreciate more of the classical style artwork as I get older. I don't know if this is due to age or due to my painting studies. Lately, I've become interested in the works of some fantastic artists (George Innes, Frank Mason, Frank Frazetta, and Anders Zorn).

Why do I like them? Let me count the ways. ;-)

First up: George Innes. The main reason that I love this painting is the treatment of the colors and the sunrise/sun set. In his paintings, you definitely get a sense of volume for the trees. The detail shows beautifully for the closer trees and the lost edges of the farther trees gives the painting a sense of distance.

In addition, there is enough detail in the landscape and trees to give you a sense of the area without giving away the entire picture. He does a great job letting your eyes/mind fill in a lot of what is actually there.

The second artist, Frank Mason, was the instructor of my instructor (Karen and Jack Winslow). In this seascape painting from Frank Mason, there is definitely "motion" that is present. Massing the water, rocks and clouds with additional highlights lets you concentrate on the way that the water moves, rather than any particular feature in the painting.

Even the clouds are rounded similar to the rocks. This provides a nice even flow to the painting.

The third artist is one that I've been following for years, Frank Frazetta. Ever since I saw his paintings on the cover of the Conan books and Molly Hatchet (yes, I DO like their music) album covers, I've been a fan of his.

For me, this is one of my favorite paintings. Besides the imagery, I love the way that he handles the lost edges of the warrior. Even though this scene doesn't exist, he does a fantastic job in making it believable. The contrasting colors of the background give a sense of distance without actually implying that there is a landscape there (possibly clouds, etc).

The final artist, Anders Zorn, was found while performing a random search of landscape painters. I love this painting. He does a fantastic job of creating a realistic scene that looks photographic, but is not. The subtleties of the distance peninsula, water and clouds creates fantastic distance. In addition, the contrast between the white of the woman's dress against the water immediately draws your eyes to the foreground.

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