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Painting and its mediums

By loisv May 31, 2014 4617 Words
Artist and its medium
Artists these days have now several painting media to choose from but such is not the case in ancient times. Ancient time painters usually use media that are usually available to them such as wood, pottery and walls. This is the reason why most of the artefacts that are found today are from wall paintings such as frescoes and paintings in potteries that are used in burials and wines. Wood paintings such as panel painting are susceptible to weather conditions which is why there are only quite few of these artefacts are found. Some of these panel paintings are just bits and pieces of the original masterpiece.

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519, Old Style) An Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer. His genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal. Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance Man, a man of "unquenchable curiosity" and "feverishly inventive imagination". He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived.

The Mona Lisa  is a half-length portrait of a woman by the Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci, which has been acclaimed as "the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world." The painting, thought to be a portrait of Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo, is in oil on a white Lombardy poplar panel, and is believed to have been painted between 1503 and 1506, although Leonardo may have continued working on it as late as 1517.

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564) Michelangelo was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, poet, and engineer of the High Renaissance who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art.

The Creation of Adam is a fresco painting by Michelangelo, forming part of the Sistine Chapel ceiling, painted circa 1511–1512. It illustrates the Biblical creation narrative from the Book of Genesis in which God breathes life into Adam, the first man.

Juan Luna y Novicio (October 23, 1857 – December 7, 1899) Juan Luna was a Filipino painter, sculptor and a political activist of the Philippine Revolution during the late 19th century. He became one of the first recognized Philippine artists. The Parisian Life, also known as Interior d'un Cafi (also spelled Interior d’Un Café, literally meaning "Inside a Café"), is an 1892 oil on canvas impressionist painting by Filipino painter and revolutionary activist Juan Luna. The painting presently owned by the Government Service Insurance System is currently exhibited at the National Museum of the Philippines after the state pension fund transferred management of its collection to the National Museum in March 2012. Jose Joya

 Jose Joya was a pioneer modern and abstract artist who was active as a painter, printmaker, mixed-media artist and ceramicist. It has been said that it was Joya who "spearheaded the birth, growth and flowering of absract expressionism" in the Philippines. His mature abstract works have been said to be "characterized by calligraphic gestures and linear forces, and a sense of color vibrancy emanating from an Oriental sensibility." Joya's sense of color has been said to have come from the hues of the Philippine landscape, and his use of rice paper in collages demonstrated an interest in transparency.

Jose Joya, "Makiling Interlude," 1984, Acrylic and Collage on Paper, approx. 22 x 15 inches

Over many centuries, great artists have provided humanity with incredible things. One of those incredible things is the art of sculpting.

Bronze David
Made in the 1440′s, by Donatello (1386-1466), Bronze David is one of the most famous sculptures today. It is notable as the first unsupported standing work in bronze cast during the Renaissance period, and the first freestanding nude male sculpture made since antiquity. It depicts the young David with an enigmatic smile, posed with his foot on Goliath’s severed head just after killing the giant. The youth is standing naked, apart from a laurel-topped hat and boots, bearing the sword of Goliath. There is also much speculation as to when it was built. Suggested dates vary from the 1420s to the 1460s, although the exact date is not known.

Created by Michelangelo (1475-1564), the Pieta depicts the Virgin Mary holding her only son, Jesus Christ, in her arms. Prior to sculpting the Pieta, Michelangelo was not a very known artist. He was only in his early twenties when he was told, in 1498, to do a life sized sculpture of the Virgin Mary holding her son in her arms. In about two years, from a single slab of marble, Michelangelo created one of the most beautiful sculptures ever.

The Thinker
Also from Auguste Rodin, is the famous sculpture “The Thinker.” Originally named The Poet, the piece was part of a commission by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris to create a monumental portal to act as the door of the museum. Rodin based his theme on The Divine Comedy of Dante and entitled the portal The Gates of Hell. Each of the statues in the piece represented one of the main characters in the epic poem. The Thinker was originally meant to depict Dante in front of the Gates of Hell, pondering his great poem. (In the final sculpture, a miniature of the statue sits atop the gates, pondering the hellish fate of those beneath him.) The bronze sculpture is nude, as Rodin wanted a heroic figure in the tradition of Michelangelo, to represent intellect as well as poetry. David

“David” is a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture created between 1501 and 1504, by the Italian artist Michelangelo. It is a 5.17 meter (17 feet) marble statue of a standing male nude. The statue represents the Biblical hero David, a favored subject in the art of Florence. Originally commissioned as one of a series to be positioned high up on the facade of Florence Cathedral, the statue was instead placed in a public square, outside the Palazzo Della Signoria, the seat of civic government in Florence, where it was unveiled on 8 September, 1504. Because of the nature of the hero that it represented, it soon came to symbolize the defense of civil liberties embodied in the Florentine Republic, an independent city-state threatened on all sides by more powerful rival states and by the hegemony of the Medici family. The eyes of David, with a warning glare, were turned towards Rome. The statue was moved to the Academia Gallery in Florence in 1873, and later replaced at the original location by a replica. The Oblation

The Oblation (Filipino: Pahinungod, Oblasyon) is a concrete statue by Filipino artist Guillermo E. Tolentino which serves as the iconic symbol of the University of the Philippines. It depicts a man facing upward with arms outstretched, symbolizing selfless offering of oneself to his country. The concrete sculpture painted to look like bronze, measures 3.5 meters in height, symbolizing the 333 years of Spanish rule in the Philippines. The identity of the person who served as the model of the sculpture has been long been the subject of speculation. Urban legend has it that director-actor Fernando Poe, Sr. was the model, as he was a student at the University at the time the Oblation was being made. Other names that have said to pose for the sculpture include a friend of Tolentino, Ferdinand Glenn Gagarin and fireman June Villanueva. Architecture

César Pelli (born October 12, 1926)
César Pelli is an Argentine American architect known for designing some of the world's tallest buildings and other major urban landmarks. In 1991, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) listed Pelli among the ten most influential living American architects.  Perhaps his most famous work are the Petronas Twin Towers. The Petronas Towers, also known as the Petronas Twin Towers (Malay: Menara Petronas, or Menara Berkembar Petronas) are twin skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH)'s official definition and ranking, they were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 until surpassed by Taipei 101, but they remain the tallest twin buildings in the world. The buildings are the landmark of Kuala Lumpur with nearby Kuala Lumpur Tower. The 88-floor towers are constructed largely of reinforced concrete, with a steel and glass facade designed to resemble motifs found in Islamic art, a reflection of Malaysia's Muslim religion.

César Pelli Petronas Towers
Tom Wright
He is a British architect born in 1957. Wright is worldwide known for designing the wonderful Burj Al Arab in Dubai, UAE. He has been assigned to create a symbol for Dubai. “The Tower of Arabia is basically a symbol for moving forward into the, and this is symbolized with the help of the shape of the tower itself, which is a yacht sail with an extremely stylish and modern outlook.” Burj Al Arab (Arabic: برج العرب‎,Tower of the Arabs) is a luxury hotel located in Dubai,United Arab Emirates. At 321 m (1,053 ft), it is the fourth tallest hotel in the world; however, 39% of its total height is made up of non-occupiable space. Burj Al Arab stands on an artificial island 280 m (920 ft) from Jumeirah beach and is connected to the mainland by a private curving bridge. The shape of the structure is designed to mimic the sail of a ship. Sometimes referred to as "the world's only 7-Star hotel", its star rating is disputed. Engineers created a surface layer of large rocks, which is circled with a concrete honeycomb pattern, which serves to protect the foundation from erosion. It took three years to reclaim the land from the sea, but less than three years to construct the building itself. The building contains over 70,000 cubic meters of concrete and 9,000 tons of steel.

Tom Wright Burj Al Arab 

Painting is the art of creating meaningful effects on a flat surface by the use of pigments. Different mediums are used in painting. Each medium exerts a pronounced effect on the finished product, is capable of varied treatment, and determines its own stroke. The medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other implements, such as knives, sponges, and airbrushes, can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is also used outside of art as a common trade among craftsmen and builders. Paintings may have for their support such surfaces as walls, paper, canvas, wood, glass, lacquer, clay, leaf, copper or concrete, and may incorporate multiple other materials including sand, clay, paper, gold leaf as well as objects. Painting is a mode of creative expression, and the forms are numerous. Drawing, composition or abstraction and other aesthetics may serve to manifest the expressive and conceptual intention of the practitioner. Paintings can be naturalistic and representational (as in a still life or landscape painting), photographic, abstract, be loaded with narrative content, symbolism, emotion or be political in nature. A portion of the history of painting in both Eastern and Western art is dominated by spiritual motifs and ideas; examples of this kind of painting range from artwork depicting mythological figures on pottery to Biblical scenes rendered on the interior walls and ceiling of The Sistine Chapel, to scenes from the life of Buddha or other images of eastern religious origin. Mediums of Painting

In oil paintings, the pigments are mixed in oil. The surface used us usually canvas although other surfaces like wood, paper and metal may be used. The most familiar painting is done with oils and canvass. This method has been used since the 15th century. The surface to be suitable must receive oil paint freely and yet not absorb it, can withstand temperature changes and not crack the pigment on it. Pigments mixed with oil provide a medium that gives richness in the opacity of light and depth of shadow. Pigments can come from many sources: minerals, vegetable matter, coal tars, and other chemical combinations. These are ground by hand or machine then mixed with oil. Painters usually depend upon those pigments which do not change through the years. There are two methods of painting in oil: the direct and indirect method. In the direct method, the paints are opaque and are applied to the surface just as they are to look in the finished product. In the indirect method, the paint is applied in many thin layers of transparent color. The direct method is the more flexible method of the two. This method is popular to painters because there is no limit to the ways of handling oil pigments. It is possible to get a wide range of separate effects. The pigment may be applied in a thick and heavy opaque manner or in washes of almost watercolor transparency. Oil color is the best method for a convincing representation where exact reproduction of a color tone necessary. Its ease of handling, the easy blending of tones and the possibility of painting over or covering any mistakes are some of the reasons why oil painting is a very popular technique. Oil painting has more disadvantages. The oil paint dries slowly and has a tendency to rise to the surface and form a film over the picture making it appear dull. It also has a tendency to become yellow and crack so that preservation usually becomes a problem.

Pigments “Maria Makiling,” 1980 b Carlos “Botong” Francisco Tempera
Before oils were in general use, a type of painting called tempera was popular. This is a mixture of ground pigments and an albuminous or colloidal vehicle, either egg, gum, or glue, used by Egyptian, Medieval and Renaissance painters. It is still used today. The special characteristic of tempera is its being an emulsion. An emulsion is a watery milk-like mixture of oily and watery consistency. Tempera, notwithstanding its oil content, dries readily with evaporation of water. This rapid drying is one of its advantages. Tempera painting is usually done on a wooden panel that has been made smooth with a coating of plaster. The colors are mixed with egg yolk. Since the paint dries rapidly, there is little blending or fusing of colors in tempera painting. Colors are laid on side by side or superimposed. It is hard to obtain and rich, deep tones and shadows. This medium needs careful details. Its advantage is its great luminosity of tone. The colors are clear and beautiful. The use of tempera falls into three principal dimensions: unvarnished or gouache-like tempera, varnished tempera and tempera as an under painting for oil. Unvarnished tempera is the simplest to use. One paints with water or thinned emulsion on a dampened or dried ground. When the tempera is varnished, many problems may arise. The airy quality of the color may be lost. Some colors may appear glaring and others may stand out in a very unpleasant way. The decorative quality in varnished tempera is an advantage. Since tempera is essentially a watercolor, it must remain so if its qualities have to be preserved. An important requirement is a faultless, clean ground. If the ground changes when varnished, the painting will change with it. the colors should remain simple.

Tempera “Resurrection with Two Angels” by Bernardino Fungai Watercolor
Good watercolor paintings are not easy to make. They require a high degree of technical dexterity. In watercolor, the pigments are mixed with water and applied to fine, white paper. The colors are applied in very thin layers. In pure watercolor painting, all the light comes from the ground. Paper is the most commonly used ground. Other materials like parchment, ivory, silk and cambric are also used as ground. The ground must be very clean and white and at the same time unchangeable. Opaque watercolor is called “gouache”. It is made by grinding opaque colors with water and mixing the product with a preparation of gum by adding Chinese white transparent colors. If differs from the brilliant quality of translucent watercolor painting whose major effects are caused by the white paper. Watercolor is a process familiar to every school child.

Pastel is the more recent medium. Pastel color possesses only surfaces of light gives no glazed effect and most closely resembles dry pigment. The pigment is bound so as to form a crayon which is applied directly to the surface, usually a paper. As support for pastel painting paper, pasteboard or canvas is used. As far as the technique is concerned, the painter is free to handle the material to suit himself. It is a very flexible medium. Varied effects may be produced in pastel painting. It is not a very popular medium because no one has yet discovered the way to preserve its original freshness. The chalk tends to rub off and the picture loses some of its brilliance.

The most popular type of painting is fresco. The colors are mixed with water and applied to fresh plaster which absorbs the color. Since the pigment has been incorporated with the plaster, it lasts until the wall is destroyed. Fresco painting flourished during the 15th and 16th centuries when Masaccio, Michelangelo, Raphael, Tintoretto and others covered the wall of the Italian churches with their masterpieces. In Italian, “fresco” means fresh and is used to designate the process of painting in fresh wet plaster. Generally, the process begins with preliminary sketches, later enlarged to full-size cartoons which are transferred to rough plaster. The coloring must be ready as soon as the plaster is put on the wall. It is prepared by mixing a pigment with water or with water and lime. When this is applied to the wet plaster, the lime binds the pigment to the plaster and makes the painting a part of the wall. Since fresco must be done quickly, it is a very exacting medium. There is no changing once the design is begun. Only the earth pigments are used because of the chemical action of the plaster on the paint. These colors have uniformity of tone and no glaring contrasts. Fresco has two disadvantages: first, it is almost impossible to move a fresco, and second, the painting is subject to the disasters that may happen to the wall of which it has become a part. The Sistine Chapel in Rome is magnificently decorated with paintings by Michelangelo. The series of frescoes remain as one of the world’s greatest achievements in art. During the 17th , 18th and 19th centuries, the interest in fresco painting declined, but the 20th century has seen a renewed interest in mural paintings done in this medium.

The newest medium and one that is used widely by painters today is acrylic. These are synthetic paints using acrylic emulsion as binder. They combine the transparency and quick-drying qualities of watercolor and are as flexible as oil. They are completely insoluble when dry and can be used almost on any surface. They also do not tend to crack, and turn yellow with age.

Some Famous Filipino Painters
Fernando Amorsolo
He was a portraitist and a painter of rural Philippine landscapes. In all his paintings, his nationalistic fervor was evident. His paintings often portrayed traditional Filipino culture, customs, fiestas, and occupation. He used natural light in his paintings. He painted outdoors to be able to catch the effect of light on objects through the use of color. He developed the backlighting technique that brilliantly depicted the luminous golden glow of the sun’s rays on his subject. This technique became his artistic trademark and his greatest contribution to Philippine painting. Fabian dela Rosa

He was noted for being an outstanding painter of women’s portrait. He was also best remembered f or painting landscapes and everyday scenes with women depicted as simple yet regal in doing daily activities such as weaving, chatting, going to church, planting rice in the fields and washing clothes. His skill in portraiture has rarely been equaled except perhaps by Fernando Amorsolo. Carlos “Botong” Francisco

He single-handedly brought back the art of mural painting in the Philippines. he was in the forefront of the modernist art in the country. He was best known for his historical epics. One of his favorite subjects is fisher folks. The images of his women subjects came from mythology, history, legends, customs, and contemporary life. Jose Joya

He was a Filipino abstract painter. He pioneered abstract expressionism in the Philippines. His canvases were characterized by “dynamic spontaneity” and “quick gestures” of action painting. Known as an abstract expressionist, he adapted the values of kinetic energy and spontaneity in painting, mastering the art of gestured painting where paint is applied using broad brush strokes. His works were influenced by the tropical landscapes of the Philippine Islands. Ang Kiukok

He first attained prominence in the Philippine Arts scene in the 1960s. He fused influences from cubism, surrealism and expressionism. Some classified his style as “figurative expressionism”. He favored subjects as fighting cocks, rabid dogs and people enraptured by rage or bound in chairs. The intensity of his works stood in contrast to his personality, described as placid and affable. Juan Luna

In 1884, his masterpiece, “Spoliarium”, won first prize at the National Exposition of Fine Arts in Madrid. His other masterpieces are the “Death of Cleopatra” and the “Blood Compact”. Vicente Manansala

A Philippine cubist painter and illustrator. His canvases were described as masterpieces that brought the cultures of the barrio and city together. His “Madonna of the Slums” is a portrayal of a mother and child from the countryside who became urban shanty residents once in the city. His “Jeepney”, combined the elements of provincial folks culture with the congestion of the city. His works include the murals of the “Stations of the Cross” in the church of the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice in the University of the Philippines. Hernando R. Ocampo

He was credited for a new mode of abstraction that exemplifies Philippine flora and fauna and portrays sunshine, stars and rains. Using movement and bold colors, H.R. Ocampo utilized fantasy and science fiction as the basis for his works. His art is described to be “abstract composition of biological forms that seemed to oscillate, quiver, inflame and multiply like mutations”. Damian Domingo

He was active in the early part of the 19th century as painter of miniature portraits and religious images. He was known for his miniature portraits on ivory and oil portraits on canvas. He was likely the first in Asia to use the western principles of foreground, middleground and background perspectives among other artistic techniques. He became one of the most sought-after artists of his time. Mauro Malang Santos

He is a self-taught painter who began his career as a comic strip illustrator. He paints freely and unencumbered in gouache and oil pastel, on large or small canvases and on paper. His paintings have been said to celebrate the Philippine landscape, its people and traditions in happy fiesta colors. He was a well awarded artist. Among the awards he received are: TOYM (Ten Outstanding Young Men) 1963, Gawad CCP, Artist of the Year (Society of Philippine Illustrators and Cartoonists) and Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan from the City of Manila. Women are his favorite subjects and also Philippine landsacpes where nipa huts and shanties take on a quality among squalor. His colors are generally bright and vivid. Benedicto ‘Bencab’ Cabrera

He is a pioneer among Filipino painters. His skillful and soulful depiction of social issues, most especially those most relevant to Filipinos, is believed by many to be the foundation of his success. Because of his involvement with social commentary and the topics of repression and freedom and creating art as a social issue, Bencab has painted a wide variety of subjects. Seven Elements of Painting

There are three distances to look for in a painting. The part of the painting closest to the viewer is called the foreground. The middle ground is the part between the foreground and the part which is farthest away is called the background. It's important to train yourself to look at each of these distances one after the other consecutively. In this way, the viewer will be able to take notice of and see things that he/she might have missed in the initial viewing of the painting. Color

Artists use colors to convey feelings and moods within their painting. They can create a cheerful mood by placing bright colors next to each other. They can create a calm or gentle mood by placing soft colors alongside each other. Basically colors can be divided into warm (reds, oranges, yellow) and cool (blues, greens and violets) colors. It is interesting to notice which colors the artist uses, which ones stand out and how colors make you feel as you view the painting. When complementary colors (blue and orange, red and green, yellow and purple) are used alongside each other, they intensify each other and look extra bright. The artist also uses black to tone down colors (shades) and white to lighten them up (tints). Light

Painters spend a lot of time studying the way light falls. They often experiment with light in their paintings simulating natural light or using hidden spotlights to focus your attention on what they want you to notice in the painting. Light affects the color of the subject and objects in the painting look real and solid if the artist shows the way light falls on them. Use of light and darkness also conveys particular moods in a painting. It is important to look for the light sources in the painting and describe their effect on the appearance of the subjects and on the overall mood it communicates. Line

Artists use various types of lines (diagonal, curved, vertical, and horizontal)to express ideas and feelings in their paintings. Be sure to look for various lines in a painting and note where they are and what they seem to convey. Shapes

An artist uses shapes to express ideas. They may be circles, triangles, rectangles, ovals, or squares. When arranged close together they help add energy to a painting. When placed far apart they look more serene. It is interesting to find both small and large shapes in a painting, counting how many you find of each and noting the similarities they may possess. Composition

Artists seriously plan how they will arrange elements like color, line and shapes in their paintings. This is called composition. Some artists make a master plan before they actually begin the painting. Others plan as they go, deciding how to arrange things as they paint. The composition helps to draw the viewer's eyes into the picture and guides him/her as he/she walks through the painting. A composition is often likened to an invisible skeleton that holds the painting together. Perspective 

Through perspective artists convey 3-dimension space. Perspective makes a flat picture look 3-dimensional and have depth. How an artist layers the three distances of foreground, middle ground and background is one way he/she creates perspective. To create deeper space an artist may make parallel lines come together. To give the effect of distance the artist may make the objects in the background smaller in size, lighter in color or less detailed. Symbols

Artists often include symbolic objects in their paintings. A symbol can be defined as something which has a special meaning or a special message. Artists use them to express such ideas as life, death, hope and faith in God. A painting may have hidden meanings within it as expressed in the symbols the artist uses. For example, the sunflower in Van Gogh's paintings represents ideas of the sun, the south, and hope. In paintings by Van Dyck, the sunflower symbolized the king, Charles I.

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