Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Imaginative color in 19th century fantasy art - Part 1

Here are a few of the images previously posted in my “Victorian Fantasy Art” album on Facebook, but with new comments:
This is a painting by Benes Knupfer who has pushed the colors in a lyrical direction.
Before color photography began limiting the imagination of artist by “dumbing down” the color range that they were used to seeing (remember that the photographic process compresses the millions of color shades of nature into a mechanically limited few thousand) fantasy artists felt free to stretch the colors in their paintings in lyrical and dramatic directions, though always taking care to maintain a naturalistic proportional relationship among the colors.

A mysterious beauty of a painting by Maximilian Pirner who has made some unexpected color choices
This made sure that even as the colors were exaggerated the image still gave the impression of being a believably real representation. When these proportional relationships between colors and values are lost the image begins to look cartoony and the main goal of good fantasy art: “To make the unreal seem real” is lost as well.

"Pharaoh's Army Engulfed By The Red Sea" by Frederick Arthur Bridgman.
Gaston Bussiere's painting of "The Rhine Maidens"

Another Bussiere painting of sirens.  He always paints with highly saturated colors.

1 comment:

  1. All beautiful examples Richard. I know I really need to work on my own use of color!