Deeper Space: Through Design, Value Shift and Color Shift

posted in: Painting | 1

Since Antiquity a goal of landscape painting has been to create a window on deep space.  Historically, fewer colors were available to artists so they pursued  this goal by controlling values and organizing space in way that led the viewer to infinity or, at least to an area in the painting that suggested infinite space. Even the 19th century master J.M.W. Turner would have recognized the same goal; make the painting a window on deep space. The design could be a simple triangle shape as you see in my example ( my smaller painting).  The triangle is segmented into shapes of dimininishing size. The value relationships between light and dark also diminish as the painting moves back in space. Likewise, the hue saturation, or color strength lessens as we look to the painting’s back space.  See how the blue is deep in front and transitions to light as it recedes. In my other example ( the larger “Labyrinth” painting), the values similarly diminish in their contrast and intensity as they move back in space. The color also becomes more de-saturated.  However, the design is different in the larger painting. It is a zig-zag or serpentine-meander type of design.  The viewer follows this design laterally weaving their way across the painting and back toward infinity.

  1. Stephanie Medley

    Fantastic to see you again @ the Art of the Carolinas!! I sincerely appreciate how much energy you put into your workshops & the knowledge you share w/ your students. The combination of art history, composition, perspective, demos, etc. is a magical & hypnotic way to learn! I hope to see you in March.
    Thanks again, Stephanie Medley

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *