For your inspiration today is a painting by a Russian artist named Stanislav Zhukovsky. It’s titled Summer Meadow, Pobojka.
It’s a simple and pleasant landscape. (Not every painting needs to make a grand statement. It could just be pretty.)
There’s a pleasing temperature contrast between the pink flowers and the surrounding greens and blues. The pinks are restrained and are there to complement the richer greens and blues.
The clouds are done particularly well. Notice how the highlights really “pop” and convey the idea of bright, warm sunlight. Also notice how the clouds have a strong sense of shape and form, with distinct lights and shadows.
There are a few dark accents that add clarity to the painting and help anchor the lighter colors. They get a touch lighter and bluer as they recede into the distance, conveying depth and atmospheric perspective.
There’s a feeling of harmony and organization to the landscape, but there’s also an element of randomness and irregularity woven in.
Finally, the light yellow flowers in the foreground give the illusion of detail and activity. The artist didn’t paint every strand of grass and every flower; he merely suggests what’s there and lets our minds fill in the blanks. Sir Arthur Streeton and many of the Australian Impressionists also did this effectively in their landscapes.
As you can see, there’s a lot going on despite it being a relatively simple subject. Sometimes, simple subjects are harder to paint in that you cannot hide behind the inherent complexity of the subject and you must work harder to make the painting interesting. It’s the same with great cooking-the best meals are often simple but executed to perfection.
Anyway, hope you found this helpful. Also, don’t forget to get a copy of our new ebook, Lessons From a Self-Taught Artist: Volume 2.
Draw Paint Academy