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Dramatic cafe paintings this time. This might be the last batch for a while.
My selection today is driven by DRAMA!
So, what creates (painted) drama?
There are lots of ways with composition and techniques. We can work with strong lines or shapes (and their combination), clear colour and vibrating colour contrasts or large differences in tonal value.
In my recent work on small landscapes and café paintings, I have been conscious of using tonal contrasts for dramatic effect.
10x10cm; acrylic on linen panel. $90, framed
This fellow looks a bit different from the original “sitter”. He sat and read a newspaper for almost an hour. As it happens, I was working on another group when he arrived so I was glad he stayed. It was around Valentine’s Day and there were heart-shaped decorations suspended from the ceiling. From the mezzanine, our reader had a large “heart” above him. It made a strange image, but somehow unfair to my reader. About a month later, he re-appeared to sit and read the newspaper. A regular! He liked the painting but perhaps his wife thought I had lopped off too many years, or inches because she said the boys would not see it as a good likeness.
“In the spotlight”
10x10cm; acrylic on canvas panel. $90, framed.
Their body language suggested that these three were involved in a job interview. The person in black seemed to be the interviewee, looking fairly relaxed under pressure. The figures are lightly brushed in and there is just a hint of the tiled floor on the left.
Both of these paintings are dramatic because of their contrasts between the background and the figures.
The first one on a deep blue ground shows highlights of a related paler blue which contrasts with the rusty brown.
The second draws its drama from the black background and the lighter figures of the two women. Again there are colour contrasts which add life to the composition.
Here’s one with a different sort of drama. Pale background and darker figures against the light.
10x10cm, acrylic on linen panel. $90 framed.
There are many ways to achieve drama in painting. I believe it is important not to overdo any one technique. The by-word is variety!
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