Monday, November 15, 2010

Research for Final Pieces

        Worked on the composition for a possible first piece, played with shapes and detail. I hope this describes space well enough. I wanted to give the Tepui a sort of mystical look, as a holy grail almost impossible to reach. 

The shape of the trees point towards the Tepui, hopefully guiding the eye towards it. I think I will surround it with a halo of light, present right on the top of it, which will bath the whole scene in a sharp light, which will create a sharp contrast with the strong shadows. 

I will play mainly on the colour and light, creating shapes through their inherent contrast with each other. I will stick to pure desaturated hues when it comes to the high light exposure, while saturating the tonal values when entering the shadows, with low values. An interesting fact found by Michel Chevreul, a chemist who worked on the relationship of colours between each other. He said that and object of any given colour will cast a shadow tinged with that of its complementary colour, in the same process tinting neighbouring colours with its hues.

Goethe's colour diagram. 

Regarding colour, an interesting text on Van Gogh’s  Café Terrace on the Place du Forum, Arles, 1888 and Night Café in Arles:

“Our sensation is the most intense where two extremes are juxtaposed. Van Gogh’s Night Cafe composes colours described as “warm,” which are generally associated with such sensations and emotions as energy, joy, love and festivity. In his letter to his brother Theo, van Gogh considers the work as “…one of the ugliest (pictures) I have done… I have tried to express the terrible passions of humanity by means of red and green.” By using colour in this manner, van Gogh exploits the psychological capacities of colours to arouse emotions, here intentionally creating a jarring unpleasant sensation for the viewer. Contrast this with the entry on Picasso and his “Blue Period,” where the paintings arouse emotions more usually associated with “cold” colours, such as sadness and a withdrawn quality.”

What does this imply? Should one avoid complementary colours when he wants’ to avoid too strong emotion and break the union of his painting? Colour allows the artist too control the emotions of his painting. In landscapes, having a warm hue reflected across the horizon plane creates a sense of serenity, of quietness, while a cold use of blue straight away changes the emotions involved, creating insecurity, and wariness. Does adding spots of warm colours increase the warmth of the painting or does it create even more insecurity as the viewer finds himself left out of the warmth and happiness of the spots. Here I tried conveying relaxation through a warm glow of orange, while avoiding sharp shapes of cool and opposite colours. Their are not many details, as my intention was emotions through colour rather than view and excessive detail.

Yet when Mallone finds himself sitting next to the lake, looking across at the fires reflected in the troglodyte caves, he feels happiness and deep sense of well being, though this is mainly due to the rash happiness of having found human life and being able to report it to his colleagues. So can colour represent the rashness of human emotions? Warmth creates a soothing emotion though it also represents anger and quick temper. So how can I represent a certain aspect of warmth without evoking too much of the opposite. The same comes with the cold representation of colour. I believe this resides in their association between each other. Red and Yellow would invoke anger, while Red and Blue or Purple will be more soothing.

Colours respond to one another and on the result of their association do the emotions conveyed depend. Delacroix worked under influence from Goeth’s theory of colour, saying: “Give me the mud of the streets and I will turn it into the lucious flesh of a woman”… if you allow me to surround it as I please.” This perfectly exemplifies how the use of colour, no matter the origin and their “nobility”, can be used to convey anything the artist wants as long as he is capable of associating the right colours.
Turner, who is my main influence on colour and the characteristics of light, was also an avid follower of Goethe’s theories, though he used them to as he saw fit, in accordance to his painting beliefs and objectives. “Turner responds to Goethe’s “plus” and “minus” colours that address both the eyes and the emotions. The “plus” colours of yellow and red-yellow excite lively feelings, while blues impart gloomy and melancholy emotions, or “the impression of cold.”” I will furrow deeper into Turner at anther time this week.

Now on the use of colour through my own paintings.

Though I can understand the basics of colour association, I want to understand more, to be bolder, and convey what is needed, while at the same time defining the looks and emotional feel of the Lost World.  See you next time.

1 comment:

tutorphil said...

looking forward to it :-)