Thursday, August 2, 2012

Lighten up Already!

Some Light Reading is a 14x18 oil done in plein air by Shirley Fachilla.

Impressionists were noted for making happy paintings filled with color. They have been praised for the joy and beauty of their landscapes, for their luscious harmonious colors and the freshness that just pops off the canvas. 
But as painters are fond of saying, [Impressionist] color may get the credit but value does the work.
Impressionism conveys such joy and light because the Impressionists painted in a high key. Their colors seem so clear and beautiful; their work so fresh and sunny in part because they used a light and limited value range. There are very few darks in most Monets. He is a painter of light in quite another way than that other more recent guy!
For the above painting, I used the Peggi Kroll Roberts technique to value shift to a lighter and thus more cheery value range. Another plus: it’s not only a way to make things happier, but it also works to suggest the look and feel of a sunlit outdoor world... which is quite probably why the Impressionists chose to lighten things up!
[Please see “high key” and “value” in Artful Definitions for a better appreciation of this post.] 


  1. I always appreciate how your blog is filled with good thought, wonderful links and, okay, great painting. Thanks for taking the time.

  2. This is lovely, Shirley. I love the warmth of it!!

  3. Gorgeous! Looks like a perfect summer day.

  4. Hi Shirley, Really nice painting AND blog post. I always love your blog! So much to think about and consider.

    Thanks for the comment on my little lamb painting. Sometimes little animal paintings are a good way to loosen up, and get back into painting after too much of a break. Thanks for visiting!


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Pieces by (clockwise from left to right) : Susan Harlan, Janet Garner, Shirley Fachilla, Mike Martino and Topper Williams. So many ...