The Course of Empire: Destruction

Thomas Cole

Let's take a look at The Course of Empire: Destruction by Thomas Cole. I'll cover:

Rafael Troya, The Cotopaxi, 1845–1920

Key Details

Name: The Course of Empire: Destruction

Artist: Thomas Cole

Year Created: 1836

Dimensions: 39 1⁄2 × 63 1⁄2 Inches

Medium: Oil

Main Colors

Below are the main colors used in the painting. Copy the hex code for use in Photoshop or other editing software.

#59543b

#402a10
#8c7c5e
#bfa27e

(You can check the color palette of paintings using this tool by Adobe.)

Grayscale

Here's the painting in grayscale so you can clearly see the different values (lights and shadows):

Thomas Cole, The Course of Empire: Destruction, 1836 (Greyscale)

(Use this free image tool to apply a grid and grayscale to photos of your paintings.)

Notan

Below is a notan of the painting created using Photoshop. This is the most basic design of lights and darks. It often reveals subtle value patterns that are easy to miss in the full-color image.

Thomas Cole, The Course of Empire: Destruction, 1836 (Notan)

Rule of Thirds

Below is the painting with a grid over the top so we can analyze it in terms of the rule of thirds. The grid lines and intersections are considered aesthetically pleasing areas.

Thomas Cole, The Course of Empire: Destruction, 1836 (Law of Thirds)

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Dan Scott

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