For your inspiration today is a painting by Russian Post-Impressionist Konstantin Gorbatov, Mediterranean Pergola With View of a Mountain Village.
What luscious colors! You can almost feel the sunlight and fresh air.
It’s a busy painting, with plants, flowers, vases, dappled light, the mountain in the distance, and the patterns created by the sky. There’s no clear focal paint. Our eyes are left to bounce around from one area to the next. It’s as if the painting as a whole is a showcase of color and light. Even the cadmium red flowers at the bottom are not enough to focus our attention.
The tiled brushwork for the mountain creates an interesting patchwork or mosaic. It also plays into the mountain’s rigid and angular appearance. The leaves and flowers on the other hand are conveyed with rounder, dabbing strokes. This is a good example of matching your brushwork to the nature of the subject.
The painting has a theme of warm lights against cool shadows. The warm colors are dominant with the cool colors playing more of a supporting role. The temperature contrast is much stronger on the mountain in the background. This gives a sense of atmospheric perspective.
Finally, there’s an interesting play between distance and space as our eyes dance between the foreground and the mountains and sky in the background. We are left to wonder about what occupies the middle ground.
If you found this interesting, you should check out Composition Breakdown. You’ll get a detailed breakdown of twenty other master paintings.