View Full Version : Master Critiques

11-20-2011, 08:43 AM
Here is the first in a series of master critiques I've been writing for Plein Air Magazine (it is a very good magazine by the way and I highly recommend it - I particularly like the sections on the old master plein air painters such as the California Impressionists).

In the review I focus on the elements of both poetry and music in Sorolla's work. I think there are some great lessons to be learned from Sorolla's paintings that I hope you find interesting.


Here's an extract from the article:

"Master paintings share two key characteristics. First, they accurately represent a subject and are focused on communicating an idea or emotion. I refer to this aspect of a great painting as the “poetry” of a painting, or the content the artist is trying to convey to viewers. When you look at a master painting, you are moved in some way, and the memory of it stays with you. Master paintings of course demonstrate great drawing and color skills, but those expertly handled skills are focused on presenting an idea.

The second key characteristic of a master painting is a strong abstract design that is independent of the subject matter. I refer to this as the “music” of the painting, or the sensuous, non-intellectual part. It is created with rhythms and harmonies in shapes, lines, edges, and colors and is analogous to the rhythms in music and the harmonies between individual notes."

For more information see my blog (http://barryjohnraybould.blogspot.com/2011/05/plein-air-magazine-article-review-of.html) where you will find a link to download the full article.
Happy painting!

07-05-2018, 11:19 AM
By studying the best work of the old masters, and of more recent artists, you will develop your sense of composition and begin to recognize those elements that make great paintings. Developing your eye for paintings is a critical step to becoming a better painter. Here is a specific master to study to start your journey into the wonderful world of painting. John Singer Sargent was an American painter, and a leading portrait painter of his time. Sargent's work is notable for his beautiful compositions with very strong notan structures, perfect values and modeling (his use of edges is one of his particular strengths, and is well worthwhile studying closely). He used a fairly limited palette compared to other great painters such as Sorolla, and so his color harmonies are relatively simple, usually based on relatively simple warm/cool harmonies.
You can learn more about Sargent's techniques and how to apply them to your work at VirtualArtAcademy.com.