Part 4

Project: Expressive Landscape

Research Point 1:

Creating mood and atmosphere with style of landscape

Max Ernst: Lots of foliage, trees, rocks and cliffs used to give height and depth in the weird world he creates. Uses collage and frottage.

Salvador Dali: Very plain, featureless landscapes. Generally no hills but flat ground with objects such as rocks only included for a specific reason. Feels like a different World. A scene from a dream/nightmare.

Giorgio de Chirico: Again a plain, featureless landscape. Lots of straight lines. No unnecessary inclusion of objects or detail which give them a dreamy/other worldliness feel (it isn’t true to the life we know).

Paul Nash: War artist. Scenes of destruction caused by war. Ruins, broken buildings, burnt trees etc. Limited colour palettes of browns and dull, bland colours.

Graham Sutherland: War artist. Very dark tones with hard to make out features and give it a very gloomy, depressing feel (appropriate for war scenes). ‘Black Landscape‘ is a reaction to the artists anxiety at the threat of war.

Emil Nolde: German expressionist. Vibrant, realistic colours giving life and celebrating this beautiful world.

Gustav Klimt: lots of small marks which give them life and movement. Use of colour choice to add vibrancy. Church in Cassone: analogous colours (colours adjacent to each other): of blue, green, yellow. For Orchard with Roses: complementary colours (opposites) of red and green. Feeling of summer and heat, life and energy.


Bonhams : MAX ERNST (1891-1976) Ohne titel (Sedona Landschaft) 18 1/2 x 23 3/8 in (47.1 x 59.5 cm) (Painted circa 1957) (s.d.) At: (Accessed 15/02/2020).

Emil Nolde (1867-1956) , Herbsthimmel am Meer (s.d.) At: (Accessed 15/02/2020).

Emil Nolde * – Modern Art 2017/11/21 – Realized price: EUR 81,250 – Dorotheum (s.d.) At: (Accessed 15/02/2020).

Gustav Klimt Landscape Paintings (s.d.) At: (Accessed 15/02/2020).

Italian piazza by Giorgio de Chirico: History, Analysis & Facts (s.d.) At: (Accessed 15/02/2020).

Kane, T. (2014) De Chirico and his Fantastic Landscapes. At: (Accessed 15/02/2020).

Max Ernst: 50 Famous Paintings Analysis and Biography (s.d.) At: (Accessed 15/02/2020).

MoMA | Salvador Dalí. The Persistence of Memory. 1931 (s.d.) At: (Accessed 15/02/2020).

Salvador Dalí: Moments of Transition on Sotheby’s Blog (s.d.) At: (Accessed 15/02/2020).

Solitary and Conjugal Trees (s.d.) At: (Accessed 15/02/2020).

Tate (s.d.) ‘Black Landscape’, Graham Sutherland OM, 1939-40 | Tate. At: (Accessed 15/02/2020).

Wikipedia contributors (2020) The Menin Road (painting). At: (Accessed 15/02/2020).

Exercise: Creating mood and atmosphere:

For this exercise I have decided to rework my first painting of this section – “View from a window or doorway”. I was happy with the composition of this piece but very disappointed at how tight and illustrative it turned out to be.

This was very much a summer version of the view from my kitchen window. I used yellow, blue and their secondary colour, green to give vibrancy and life. However I hate all the line work and preciseness – it’s so hard to keep it loose and abstract!

So I’m going to have another go and this time attempt to not only keep it loose, but also to change the mood so that it appears to be winter (ie more realistic as it’s now February). I need to keep the colours muted and dull, none of the brightness that I’m always drawn to.

Canson mixed media paper, A3

Water colours: Olive green, burnt sienna, sap green, med yellow, payne’s gray, raw umber

I started with the window frame, determined not to draw in lines this time. I wetted the whole area and painted with payne’s gray. Then I used a piece of credit card to drag the paint around allowing it to puddle in the more shaded edges of the window frame (as for initial life paintings in Part 3). The residue of paint left inside each frame works well giving a look of the wobbly old glass. I continued used the credit card and a stick to paint the outside view – no flowers this time. I left the decorative pattern off of the curtains and instead attempted to show the areas of light/shadow by dragging the paint again. The chair was very tricky – it is bright yellow but I needed to tone it down. Really struggled getting the form correct and it looks flat despite trying to darken the shades areas. I did remember to leave out the left arm rest this time as I got the perspective wrong here on my first attempt.

Glad I tried a totally different method of applying the paint this time. The result is certainly different from before and looks more wintery and dull. It’s also looser and less illustrative. Don’t like it still and I’m thinking that it’s because I have no skill at watercolour techniques. I should find a class to attend but it just doesn’t suit my style so I’ve no enthusiasm – need to focus more on acrylics when time allows.


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