Study in Quadrants


This is the painting project I have been working on recently.  It is a study of the American Impressionist Frank Benson.  The original painting is called Summer Day, and I saw it in person at the Crystal Bridges Art Museum!  (I highly recommend a visit to that museum if you are in the area.)  As a study, we explored four different approaches to color.  The first view in the video is a four quadrants together, and then I fade it into monochrome sepia to show the values.  The first quadrant I show is the direct color painting.  It is the "normal" approach to color of mixing it on the palate and then applying it to the surface.  The second quad. shown is a black and white study of values.  The third (my favorite, but the most complexing) is indirect color.  As described in a previous post, indirect painting involves layering transparent colors until the desired color is optically blended.  Because the layers of paint allow some light to pass through, it creates a very different effect than that of the direct color mixing.  It is almost iridescent.  The last quadrant is Fauve (wild beast) color.  Unnatural and highly saturated colors are used, but values are kept the same.  I faded this quadrant into black and white to show the value relationship between the colors.  However, as the second picture in the video shows, the values of this quadrant are darker than what they should be.  I mainly did this because I didn't want to reduce the saturation of too many of the colors by adding white to all of them.  I suppose I'll stop blabbing about this awkward looking painting and just say that I learned a lot from doing this exercise.  I saw "awkward" because the quadrants aren't really supposed to look good next to each other.


  1. You should post high quality pictures....... the movie was cool, but like you said from across the room, it is low quality. :) Good job, by the way!! I like how you were able to paint with the impressionistic style!

  2. :( is anyone else having problems viewing the video?