Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Seago's Restraint with Chroma

Edward Seago's oils and watercolors use greyed-down warm and cool colors to convey light and atmosphere.

This watercolor uses warm and cool hues on either side of neutral gray. The colors are very low in chroma.

This painting has a golden glow with more chroma, but note that he leaves out a lot of high-chroma blues or reds. The values of the ships in the distance are kept in the mid range.

You'd probably have to see the original to get the full impression of a painting like this. Seago achieves a lot by suggestion, with dots and dragging strokes.

Everything is grayed down except for that sky effect, and even that is not full chroma. In this oil, the sky would probably be dry before he dry -rushed the branches of the tree. 


scottT said...

I love Seago's work. I never noticed how dry his brush is. The low chroma and great use of values is so inspiring. I'm still painting outside with big brushes and small canvas to force myself to see the big shapes and value patterns. Then I see this and it's like I'm using a club and he's using a scalpel. It's taking faith to believe my approach will get me there. Look at all the color he gets into the foreground of the twilight pastoral and the simple gestural brushwork of those silhouetted trees. wow.

David Webb said...

Another artist, who painted around the time of Seago, was Edward Wesson. His watercolours were also quite tonal, and equally loose (he was a pioneer in the use of the squirrel mop brush). I think I read that he used only 6 colours for his landscape work, which captured the light and colour of the British countryside.

Kit Miracle said...

Reminds me a good bit of Rowland Hilder, English watercolor painter. Same subdued tones.

Charley parker said...

If you go to Bonhams auction site and do a search for Edward Seago, you will come up with a number of beautiful zoomable high-resolution images of Seago paintings:
This search link may work

James Gurney said...

Thanks, Charley. That's a treasure trove of Seagos.

steztoyz said...

Hello Mr. Gurney,
Do you know what colors of watercolor paints Edward Seago actually used?
I just bought a vintage used Winsor & Newton Binning Munro palette which came with paints in it; in a range of colors that I think are an Edward Seago palette. A lot of earth and dark colors. But I'd love to know for sure.
Steve Zobel

James Gurney said...

Sorry, Steve, I don't know the answer to your question. -JG