Still life Automatic translate
The word "still life" is of French origin and literally means "dead nature." In painting, this word denotes the image of various inanimate objects.
In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, a still life was only part of the composition on canvas. For example, garlands of flowers around the figures of Christ and the Mother of God, painting the reverse sides of altar images, or simply skulls in the hands of people depicted in portraits.
In the seventeenth century, still life became an independent genre of painting, which was greatly facilitated by the work of masters of the Flemish and Dutch schools. The objects depicted in paintings of that time often hide in themselves a kind of philosophical allegory - the inevitability of death and the transience of everything earthly, or broader meanings of religious subjects. But the flower still life is gaining great popularity - this is directly related to the traditions of Holland: its own gardens, country villas, just houseplants, a love of floriculture is inherent in this country. An example of a Dutch flower still life is luxurious compositions, authored by the painter Jan Davids de Hem.
When writing a still life, you need to choose a worthy object for the image. Fresh vegetables fit perfectly. Their bright colors will cheer you up when you admire the picture.
Still life is almost always a group of things connected by a common meaning. This group may include objects from wildlife, but isolated from their natural environment, turned into a thing: a fish on a table, a vase with flowers or fruits, and so on. Sometimes the composition of a still life includes an image of living elements: birds, animals, insects, people, but they only complement the main idea of the picture. A still life selects objects from the general context of everyday life, draws increased attention to the smallest details and structure of surfaces, makes you wonder at the beauty of ordinary things and natural forms, which most often a person does not bother to consider, glancing over them with a superficial gaze.
Decorative still life - the main laws of graphic solutions
Under the decorative still life is often understood a very arbitrary treatment of nature, leading to its unjustified distortion, because ignorance of the laws of work on this genre entails a lot of mistakes. Decorative painting, like academic painting, is based on strict laws and principles. And the ability to translate the depicted nature from the visible three-dimensional into two-dimensional space and at the same time successfully solve creative, compositional and pictorial problems is necessary for all high-level artists, because their work is designed to decorate many interiors.
We all know that the "decorative" from the word "decor" - to decorate, decoration. The word has two meanings:
- a method aimed at creating an expressive silhouette that has increased artistry compared to objects in the surrounding world;
- specificity of planar works of art.
If we look at the history of fine art, we notice that all types of visual activity that can be attributed to painting, from ancient times to the Renaissance, are decorative. From cave cave paintings, ancient Egyptian, ancient Greek, all the art of the peoples of the East and Asia to Giotto’s frescoes, the artist did not “destroy” the graphic surface, creating the illusion of space, but organically connected the surface of the image, regardless of whether it was flat or voluminous, with image.
In the last century, the famous researcher of folk and decorative arts, who lived and worked in Gzhel at one time, A. B. Saltykov said that flat, surface and silhouette painting, of course, is most able to emphasize and express form.
Starting from the Renaissance, painters began to set themselves some other tasks relating to the transfer of depth, space and air in the works they create.
A return to decorativeness in painting occurred in the Art Nouveau era, shortly before the final formation of style in the 19th century. To a large extent, this was due to the discovery of Japanese art, which retained, due to the isolation of its development, a decorative basis. Sensitive and careful observation of nature, accurate and reliable vision, lightness and understatement, at the same time, expressiveness and thoughtfulness of the silhouette solution in engravings by Japanese artists gave rise to unique and unforgettable images. Woodcutters Kutagawa Utamaro and Katsushiko Hokusai are widely known. More than one generation of artists has been brought up on impeccable plastic and proportionate composition of Japanese engraving.
Late 19th - early 20th centuries - A time of interesting creative searches and finds. When working on still life, you should focus on this particular period in the history of painting. The art of the best masters of that time combines amazing silhouette expressiveness, sophistication, compositional laconicism and completeness, combined with the rich experience of artists of the last centuries in creating harmonious, diverse and complex coloristic constructions. Therefore, when working on a decorative still life, it is recommended to pay attention to the work of famous Russian artists of that time - Alexander Golovin, Valentin Serov, Alexander Benois, Lev Bakst, Mikhail Vrubel, Alexander Lansere, Konstantin Somov, Alexander Kuprin, Ilya Mashkov, Pyotr Konchalovsky, Kuzma Petrov- Vodkin, Konstantin Yuon, Igor Grabar, as well as European painters - Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Paul Cezanne, Camille Pissarro, Gustav Klimt and others.
The process of working on still life begins with the choice of a point of view on nature. And if in a realistic image complex angles and lateral light will be the most successful choice, as the most transmitting depth of space and volumetric form, then in a decorative, on the contrary, direct light and the point of view “in front” will be the best options, making it easier to solve the task.
There are several well-known techniques that enhance the impression of decorativeness:
- the introduction of a color or achromatic contour, combining differently removed objects on the same plane;
- saturation with an ornament;
- overlapping of one subject by another overlepping;
- the rear view is visible through the front.
The lines can be either straight or curved, they can create their own simple pattern or reinforce the diagonal or introduce rhythmic horizontal or vertical repetitions, perhaps this will be something completely unusual and new, but the main thing is that any introduction to the work of the grid, module, crushing The image enhances the decorative effect, because it combines plans and turns the entire work into a rhythmically organized pattern, and rhythmic repetitions, in turn, enhance the decorativeness of the painting.
Quality, which is the main condition of the picturesque image, is the expressiveness of the composition, which directly depends on the correctly found contrast, giving it decorative power. But there are structural contrasts that lie deeper and determine the nature of the artistic image. In this regard, we must try to level out the unnecessary associations that arise, which interfere with the whole perception of the plane.
Consider the basic laws by which the work on a decorative still life is built. There is an opinion that decorative painting is very different from academic painting, that these are two things of a different order. We will carefully look at what the difference is and what is common between academic and decorative painting. Both laws are based on the same laws - color harmony, consonant color, compositional expressiveness, rhythmic organization of the elements of a work, imaginative solution. It is also necessary to note the difference - in decorative painting, two-dimensional space, in contrast to the three-dimensional academic, therefore, it is necessary to exclude the linear and air perspective as much as possible, there is also no illusory transmission of volumetric form, but the rhythmic organization plays the most important role, since rhythm helps strengthen decorative the basis of the painting. There is a more arbitrary attitude to natural material and its greater creative interpretation in order to enhance the expressiveness of the composition and presentation of the image.
The graphic side of the work is very important, without a refined, verified, expressive symbolic composition with a simple and clear foundation and complex and diverse development, there cannot be a worthy work.
But the most important characteristic of painting is color. That is why the creation of a delightful color mosaic with its contrasts and nuances of color and tone, with loud color chords and subtle hues is the student’s first task. Without this, the painting is dry and boring. To convey the mood, state, create a memorable image by all means of painting - color, composition, drawing - this is the main task facing students. Nature represents the richest and most diverse material for creativity, you only need the ability to see artistically and shift to a pictorial language that is suitable for each individual case. The upbringing of an indifferent, not superficial, but an attentive, sensitive and subtle look at nature, the development of skills for translating a natural image into a decor language is the goal of this task.
Much can be said about the emotional impact of color, about enhancing its decorativeness, about the varying degrees of conditionality of a decorative still life - from those closest to nature in terms of developing color and allowing a small volume, like a low relief in a sculptural image, to a poster and a sign as an extreme degree of decorativeness. But we must summarize and say that in general, work on a decorative still life is not a change of nature according to an arbitrary principle, it is based, like the work on an academic work of painting, on certain laws, the knowledge of which, of course, is necessary when performing it.
Fulfillment of still lifes with the image of bouquets of flowers and herbs, the application of modern art technologies and techniques in their implementation and their inclusion in the interior as a color accent and dominant, harmoniously combined with the imaginative solution and the image of the artistic interior solution is an important task in the search for new creative solutions in the interior design of contemporary artists.
The history of the appearance and distribution of images of bouquets of flowers and herbs in the art of painting and the artistic solution of the interior is interesting and multifaceted. A picturesque bouquet has always served as an active color spot in the interior. When you include it in the interior, it is very important to maintain the stylistic unity of the entire interior, to withstand its characteristic features, and not to violate the figurative structure and artistic decision of the entire interior. Therefore, it is no coincidence that many artists of different times constantly returned to the image of flowers in their works.
Bouquets of flowers, in various designs, in various types of art, along with other common motifs, are one of the main motives in interior design. The symbolic meaning of flowers in art has rich traditions. Field herbs symbolize hopelessness, a flower garland resembles a symbol of eternity. Many flowers and plants are symbols of the seasons: lemons are winter, flowers are spring, fruits are summer, grapes are autumn.
The main role in the implementation of still lifes is played by the study of the sequence and technology for the implementation of still lifes in colors, the study of masterpieces of world art in this area, familiarity with new art technologies and materials that can be applied in the work on a still life with a bouquet.
Fulfillment of still lifes with bouquets of flowers and herbs usually causes great difficulties, since working on the image of the shape of an individual flower and a bouquet as a whole, as well as identifying the relationship between a bouquet and a still life, is a difficult task and requires a special approach to the methodology and technology for performing still life.
When creating a still life, it is important to observe the methodological sequence. At the first stage, it is necessary to determine the general color and tone content of the production, the main color relationships, it is necessary to correctly find the composition of the work, the correct proportional ratio of objects, determine the place for all objects and determine the size of the bouquet. The center of the composition can be distinguished using a contrast solution of flowers and shapes.
In almost all still lifes with flowers, the bouquet is the center of the composition, serves as a color and compositional accent, and performing it in color is the most difficult task in working on such a still life. After the sketch is completed, it is necessary to correctly and most accurately transfer it to a large format and how to accurately determine the place of the bouquet in the still life composition. Then you can proceed to the second stage of work - the implementation of a still life with a bouquet in color. You can’t start work with a detailed study of the bouquet, you don’t need to write out each flower and leaf separately, you need to understand what place the bouquet occupies in a still life, how it combines with the background and the objects surrounding it, it is necessary to identify the nature of the bouquet and the main features of its flowers and leaves.
When performing a still life with bouquets of flowers and herbs, you can enrich and complicate the image, achieving additional effects through the use of new paints (volumetric, fluorescent, textured), various effects from other types of art (for example, from hand-painted fabric - salt), it is possible, the use of some professional techniques of the artist-designer in the image and transfer of various textures, the application of the techniques and capabilities of the collage, etc.
Creating a still life with a plaster head
Of great importance in the development of skills in academic painting is the constant work on productions with plaster casts, ranging from simple, consisting of only a small number of still life objects, to complex thematic productions, including a figure and an interior, as well as multi-level complex compositional still lifes. The importance of performing productions with a gypsum head is due to the fact that the drawing and image in the color of gypsum casts facilitate the further study of the laws of still life. The gypsum form is colorless, unlike the living model, therefore it makes it possible to more clearly understand the form and convey the color of white through the influence of the environment and the nature of the lighting on it. Work on a still life with a plaster head helps to focus on the form, makes it possible to more fully study this form, the nature and proportions of the plaster model, since there is no movement in it and only the most characteristic details are revealed.
In different historical eras and in all national schools of painting, there was an interest in depicting antique plaster casts and fragments of sculpture from Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. The main subject of the image in such still lifes was a plaster head, a plaster cast, which subjugated all the objects surrounding it and draperies.
Still life with gypsum is a very special topic in the art of still life, in which the natural sciences, religious and moral views of man are encrypted. In the history of fine art, there are many examples of still-life with a plaster head, which are an example of high skill. Outstanding Russian artists Levitsky, K. Bryullov, A. Ivanov, who were not inferior in terms of drawing and painting techniques to the greatest masters of the West, paid great attention to work on a still life with gypsum. The most famous work of Western masters is "Still Life with the Attributes of Art" by J.-B. Chardin, written in the 1760s.
The main condition for the successful implementation of a still life with a plaster head is a consistent and systematic course of work. When staging a still life, it is necessary to determine the coloristic and thematic content of the work. Performing a still life with a plaster head in various colors helps to solve the problem of forming the skills of the most accurate reproduction of color relationships.
An essential role in the performance of a still life will be played by the compositional concept. It is necessary to think over the layout of all the objects that make up the still life, find their silhouette, determine the amount of light and dark, color accents, especially the transfer of white gypsum color.
Before doing work, you need to make several color sketches or studies. The purpose of this work is to study the laws of painting, search for color and compositional solutions to the work. The study is carried out by students in order to identify and convey the most characteristic linear-plastic features of nature, the basic color and tone relationships of the still life.
When working on plaster in color, artists should pay great attention to subtle tonal transitions. The meaning of tone in painting is of great importance. The wrong tone of a color in a work on a painting negatively affects the quality of the work. When working on a still life with a plaster head, as well as when working on any painting, you must remember that nearby objects have a different tone, and correctly determine this tone difference.
Text: Smirnov Vyacheslav Fedorovich