Elements of Painting

landscapes-2016-outdoor painting-Philippa Robert-Pines and vines, McLaren Vale

Three elements of painting

These three landscapes seem to group together for a number of reasons. Together they show some of my favourite elements of painting.

Painting Elements: 1 Structure

Architecture can add structure to a painting, but not automatically. It needs to be integrated into the composition.  In this Walkerville landscape the white partitions of the building make a strong skeletal underlay for the foliage. If you look really closely that skeleton is loosely echoed in the stretch of fluorescent plastic “danger” fencing.

more landscapes-from Linear Park, Walkerville-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia
From Linear Park, Walkerville

Painting Elements: 2 Rhythm

more landscapes-outdoor painting-PhilippaRobert-Adelaide South Australia-Berry farm Piccadilly Valley
Berry farm, Piccadilly Valley

Piccadilly Valley is one of my favourite painting destinations at any time of year, but it has a special attraction in autumn. I guessed that this was a berry farm because of the different shades of colour on the vines or bushes. The rhythm of farmlands and market gardens are always interesting to me. Patterns appear and disappear and help define the landscape.

Painting Elements: 3 Simplicity

more landscapes-2016-outdoor painting-Philippa Robert-Pines and vines, McLaren Vale
Vines and Pines, MacLaren Vale

This painting is a simple one, and that is its strength.

In painting, simplicity can come about through choice of subject. Usually however it takes more than that. The essence of simplicity in painting is leaving things out so that the focus can be more easily perceived. So it is about omission, exclusion and ignoring what doesn’t help the composition. As a painter who can be distracted by all sorts of visual delights I have to work at this!

So, structure, simplicity and rhythm.

Structure is easily captured with a crisp architectural subject but is highlighted here by contrast with colour and softness in “From Linear Park, Walkerville.” The rhythms of the rows of vines down the hillside in “Berry farm, Piccadilly Valley” and the pines marching over the hill in “Vines and Pines” are pleasing to the eye.

Viewing a painting can be a bit intimidating. But when I find rhythms they offer a form of visual comfort somehow. Repetition and patterns also make pictures easier for me to enjoy. So perhaps it’s no wonder that I try to include them!

What do you think about rhythms and repetition in painting?