Wednesday, December 16, 2020

The Supporting Players

What's striking right away about the composition here is the clustering of lambs and ewes at the center of interest.  

August Friedrich Schenck (1828-1901) Sheep in a Meadow, 1865

But take a look at how he handles the other areas of the picture. The watchful rams on the right are rendered in tones that are grouped very closely in dark values. Same with the plants in the lower right. There are textures, but they're played way down. And the sky has clouds and a little glimpse of blue, but it's all held in light values.

How you handle the supporting areas is crucial to the whole picture working effectively. It reminds me of supporting players in the theater. The famous test of a great actor is to watch what they do with their face, their hands, and their body when another actor is talking.


Dave Lebow said...

I love this post today and your attention to these compositional techniques. I really appreciate getting my daily dose of interesting and relevant art and aesthetic info from you. Thanks again

nuum said...

Schenck’s painting "Anguish" is regularly voted by visitors as one of the most popular artworks in the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.

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