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
where you will find a link to download the full article.