Light Manipulation and a Good Book

Here is another landscape where I used the technique discussed previously, which is the technique of placing the immediate foreground into shadow to pull the viewers eyes into a picture more effectively.

It’s done to a lesser degree here than in the painting from last post. If I were to do this one over again, I would really darken that foreground grass more and darken the water more too. It’s all about contrast, and the illusion that something from outside the picture plane is affecting the light within it. That’s what automatically gives a sense of depth to the viewer.

I was mistaken in my last post - I have used that little trick in still life subjects. Here's one now:

There really is no foreground or background here, but the idea is the same - something outside the picture plane is casting a shadow across the center of interest. In this case the object is on the left, outside the picture, and its shadow creeps up the left side and over the subject. I really darkened down all the other edges on this one as well, to really pump up the drama of the subject.

Bit of art news of note today - The huge oil painting “Gallery of the Louvre” painted by Samuel F. B. Morse (yes, the inventor of the Morse Code) is now being exhibited in the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. near the East Garden Court of the West Building. Here is the painting:

I love the timing of this at the National Gallery because in his new book called “The Greater Journey, Americans in Paris” author and Pittsburgh native David McCullough tells the entire story of how this painting was executed. Morse was a man who many folks didn’t realize was a painter prior to being an inventor and his story is very interesting. All goes well, I’ll be in D.C. this summer to see it.

I went to the book release for this book, heard Mr. McCullough speak, and got a signed copy which I’m in the middle of now. The book is currently number one on the New York Times best seller list. Get your own self a copy by clicking here and it’ll be delivered to you by Bastille Day!


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