Thursday, May 19, 2011
A gradation is a passage that changes from a little of a characteristic to more of it. For example, a passage may go from thin to thick paint. Or, from light to dark, from cool to warm, from low chroma to high and so forth. Scenes, figures, portraits, and still lives are full of them. This is something one begins to "see" when you are able to get your overriding mind out of the way.
New York Cityscape
Can you see some gradations here? There are plenty of them, and plenty of opportunities to install them into a painting. For example, in the sky the value goes darker from left to right, and from bottom to top. It also goes from warm to cool as it moves from left to right. The road, the buildings, and the yellow cabs also have gradations. Where do you deploy these gradations? Your concept, your artists sensibility, and the paintings need will give insight.
You can see them in this Picasso, right? He was heavily influenced by the Post Impressionists. Cezanne in particular. A specific concept and the gradation tool installed as required.
What about this one? A Famous Matisse.
Matisse, direct competitor to Picasso, had the same influences. They both owned Cezannes in an effort to figure out what he was doing. Another specific concept.