Understanding the concept of the LIGHT EFFECT is essential to artists interested in Classical Painting .
This is also what's MISSING in most artists' work , whether it's realism , photo realism or academic realism.
The concepts of Space , LIGHT and Atmosphere must all come together in a work of art in order for it to resonate with the viewer and hopefully leave them inspired with the beauty and grandeur of Nature .
These concepts apply to the portrait, the classical still life , the floral painting and the figure. We will concentrate on the landscape here and discuss the other subjects in future blogs.
If you look at the landscapes of Claude Lorrain , J.M.W. Turner , George Inness , Thomas Moran , Albert Bierstadt , Thomas Cole , Edwin Church , Frank Mason ( my instructor ) and all of the Hudson River School of American painters ,you will be captivated by the LIGHT EFFECTS.
This means more than just a " focus " or a " spot" of light in the painting's composition .
As I mentioned above, it's in combination with the concepts of Space and Atmosphere. This is difficult to explain but more readily understood when the artist faces the landscape and paints en plein air as he/ she relates to the ever-changing light effects of Nature.( I demonstrate and discuss all of this in my workshops )
Leonardo , in his notebooks , even talks about aerial perspective and how to achieve atmospheric effects as objects recede and become cooler and lighter in value. Light moves in and through the landscape . The artist must always keep in mind where the source of light is in the sky. This will dictate where it strikes the ground and where the effects of Light will be greatest .
Too many contemporary realists merely copy the values that they see before them . The true artist paints not only what he or she sees , but what they KNOW. I go into depth with this subject ( as well as the classical still life , floral and portrait ) in my book, MASTERING OIL PAINTING . I demonstrate these concepts of Space, LIGHT and Atmosphere in my DVD of 'Landscape Painting on Location ' also .( both available in my shop ) . Sign up for one of my workshops and learn from observing and painting on location!
J M W Turner
J m w turner