Thursday, April 20, 2017

Warm-cold contrast

I finished my studies at the Minerva Art Academy (the Netherlands) in 1973 and in 1974 I got a teaching job for three days a week. Though I liked teaching I actually wanted to do something completely different, so after a few years I decided to quit and do what I really wanted to do: make music. No more room for painting. I had a great time as a musician. Made just enough money to survive, but after a few years, when the band split up in the early eighties, I went back to teaching.

It was only till the mid-nineties that I suddenly felt a deep urge to start painting again and that's what I did. Of course my subject was the landscape of the Dutch coast, it's light and it's space. I remember how I struggled, mainly with scenes that had dark clouds and sharp contrasts. I almost always felt the clouds were way to dark and heavy, but when I lightened them up, I lost contrast.



In the course of the years I slowly found out that the contrast between warm and cold colors is sometimes a very effective replacement of the light-dark contrast. I could keep my clouds lighter by contrasting them with a warmer area instead of a lighter one. In this detail (of a painting I'm still working on) I used a glaze of burnt Sienna.




On top of that the warm-cold contrast makes your painting come alive, much more than a mere light-dark contrast will. In the above picture I digitally removed the color of the warm burnt Sienna glaze, without changing the rest of the colors. Bit dull, eh? Without the glaze I would've been forced to either make the clouds darker or the background lighter. Like the great Johan Cruijff once said: "You don't see it till you see it".





No comments:

Post a Comment