Another way the artist affects mood is through choice of subject and how she designs the painting with it. Let us consider the chicken. She is a popular subject and rarely taken seriously. I mean, chicken paintings are fun, right? The creature herself can be moody and difficult, but a painting of a chicken... amusing! Same with cows. Hey, farm animals in general are pretty funny. I digress.
Frequent subject choices for representational artists are landscapes, objects, animals, people, and places. Deciding how to express them on the 2-dimensional canvas will make all the difference in how the painting will affect a viewers emotional response. Take for example these two paintings of a giraffe (not my work...done by other artists)
In one painting this unusual animal seems elegant and evokes restfulness; the other painting whimsically celebrates her sweet goofiness and makes us smile. Lots of animal paintings are lighthearted and mood lifting, but some can be assertive and powerful. The same is true for paintings of landscapes. Many are of restful, pleasing vistas, but paintings of powerful rivers, glaciers, waterfalls evoke feelings of danger, strength, inspiration.
It is entirely up to the artist to determine what to communicate through the subject matter. I mostly like to capture a feeling of wonder and appreciation for the gift of a unique and serendipitous moment. When some lovely little thing happens to me and I'm lucky enough to get a photo reference of it, I tuck it away for a later studio painting. That's where the inspiration for this "children series" I did last fall:
One of my objectives when I write about painting techniques and composition is to enhance your experience of art, so that gallery viewing brings you more enjoyment and may even lead you to growing your own art collection. Ponder anew the subject matter you see in paintings and what emotions they bring out in you.
Thank you, faithful readers!!!
Hello! My name is Wendy and I am passionate about oil painting! Whether in the studio or out in Mother Nature, I get lost in the experience of capturing on canvas the moment and the feel of what I am painting. I pour my love and energy into every single piece of artwork and I hope it shows! This blog is a place where I can use words to talk about art, painting, life, faith, things that make me laugh, and things that inspire. I love every response, so don't be shy about leaving a comment...