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The Language Of Energy In Art: Finding Your Vision

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The Language Of Energy In Art: Finding Your Vision Charlotte Wharton, CM, PSA


The Language Of Energy In Art: Finding Your Vision

Preview Art demands something of you: your experiences, your memories, your imagination, and your heart transformed together with what you see in nature. To do otherwise relegates you to a recorder of facts. Putting yourself into your art is not easy. It takes courage, a self- knowing, knowledge, and the study of nature herself. Charlotte Wharton believes this so strongly that she has written The Language of Energy In Art: Finding Your Vision for artists who also want something more for their art. Charlotte presents a few of the Renaissance artists who used or discovered the principles and theories that constitute the language today. For an ease of understanding, the language is systematically laid out for you and is accompanied with black and white illustrations by Charlotte.

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The book offers insights into the various components of color and many color charts. An introduction to the Munsell Color System highlights its unique complements, discords, and psychological effects, which heighten the impact of any painting. Charlotte takes you through various genres of painting: the landscape and atmospheric principles, the figure in the landscape, the interpretive portrait, and the figure in the interior. Galleries for each genre present Charlotte’s work along with descriptions explaining each painting’s application of the language. Let the information within these pages, the illustrations, the paintings, and the explanations guide you in finding or honing your unique vision, your voice, and your knowledge of composing for the fullest of expression.

Š 2013 by Charlotte Wharton Studio The book author, Charlotte Wharton, retains sole copyright to her contributions to this book. All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. For information: Charlotte Wharton Studio 594 Chandler Street Worcester, Massachusetts 508-425-6719


The Language Of Energy In Art: Finding Your Vision




4 PRELUDE 6 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND INTRODUCTION 7 FINDING YOUR VISION Put Yourself Into Your Work * Instinctively Creating Associations * Understanding The Need For Associations In Visual Art * Excerpts From History Demonstrating The Formulation Of Associations * Forming Your Associations * Origin Of My Approach To Association * My Approach 15 THE LANGUAGE OF ENERGY IN ART 16 Energy Of Line 22 Energy Of Shape 30 Energy Of Value 38 Energy Of Edges 42 Energy Of Light 48 Energy Of Color 65 THE MUNSELL COLOR SYSTEM The System * Things To Remember * Munsell Gallery 70 COMPOSE TO EXPRESS Initial Inspiration And Concept * Design Unity, Putting It Together * Visual Unity, Putting It Together * Compose To Express Gallery 82 LANDSCAPE, CREATING A SENSE OF PLACE Atmospheric Principles * Light In Nature * Things To Observe And Do * Landscape Gallery 91 FIGURE IN THE LANDSCAPE, THE INTIMATE LANDSCAPE Things To Observe And Do * Figure In The Landscape Gallery 95 THE INTERPRETIVE PORTRAIT, CAPTURING THE SPIRIT Things To Observe And Do * Portrait Gallery 104 THE FIGURE IN THE INTERIOR, CREATING A SENSE OF SPACE Things To Observe And Do * Figure In The Interior Gallery 111 CONCLUSION 112 ADDENDUM: MOTIVE, MEANS, AND MATERIALS 113 ABOUT THE ARTIST 114 BIBLIOGRAPHY 115 INDEX 3

The Language Of Energy In Art: Finding Your Vision

Titian (Italian, 1477-1576) contrived compositions so that light and color balanced forms and directed our eyes along certain lines. In his later years he dissolved form for the rapid movement of color, all for an emotional effect.

Preview Sample Page 9 Titian, Venus Of Urbino, 47” x 65”, oil, (1538) Many verticals balance the diagonal of the reclining Venus. Strong complementary colors emphasize the lyrical lines of her figure. An opposing diagonal is felt between the background figures and the angle of Venus’ head, shoulder, and folded arm. The value and color of the figures’ clothing repeats that of Venus’s bedding, thus reinforcing the opposing diagonal, all of which bring a bit of intrigue to the painting.

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Many Masters used S curves, figure eights, spirals, and radials to bring a sense of movement and energy to their figural compositions. Rubens (Flemish 1577-1640) used a mounting spiral for the placement of figures in his compositions giving them a sense of buoyant energy and used light and brilliant color to further emphasize the effect.

Rubens, Henry IV Receiving The Portrait Of Marie de Medici, 12’11” x 9’8”, oil, (1622) Ruben’s Spiral The flow of the figures’ drapery, their body gestures, and the repetitive placement of bright colors all placed within Rubin’s spiral bring great buoyancy and energy to his painting.


The Language Of Energy In Art: Finding Your Vision

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Energy Of Line

FLOW OF LINE, jagged The palm tree has rounded palms, not jagged ones. However the flow throughout the sketch can be sensed as one of excitement because the palms as well as other items in the landscape are arranged in an explosion of jagged lines. The sketch of the boat thrashing about at sea needs little explanation. The thick, dark, jagged, descending diagonal line at left is ominous and sets the stage. Repetitive jagged lines seen in the waves and the flag secure the sense of a struggle.


The Language Of Energy In Art: Finding Your Vision

Energy Of Shape

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Compare the two collages of the three fur trees and the moon. The larger trees look heavier than the smaller trees. Shapes placed on the right visually look heavier and larger. Does the group of trees placed on the right in one of the collages appear heavier and larger than the group placed on the left in the other? Does the moon look larger placed on the right? Note that shapes placed on the left visually have stronger dynamics. Do you sense a stronger dynamic from the moon placed on the left? If so, does that also make the moon appear larger as well even though it should appear larger placed on the right? When viewed separately shapes display an inherent energy, but when organized, their energy becomes relative to the visual needs of the composition. What works is what feels right according to the intentions of the artist. The moon in both collages has been placed high in space and in empty space. Isolating a shape in high or empty space will make it look heavy.


The Language Of Energy In Art: Finding Your Vision

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Energy Of Value

The Typical Value Scale

HIGH VALUE KEYS Here we can see the force of contrast at work. The value key for this sketch is high as it is dominantly white with light to middle grays with a few darks. The strong contrasting values create the sense of a bright sunny, energizing day. Without a few dark values or accents, the feeling of a bright sunlit day cannot be achieved.


The Language Of Energy In Art: Finding Your Vision

Energy Of Value

Preview Sample Page 36 Light values can also advance, again with other pictorial elements coming into play. In this particular ocean scene with a woman at the water’s edge, we see white definitely advancing. The principle at work here is that the white is surrounded by darker values. The white is isolated. Isolated values advance and display dynamic energy in accordance to the values by which they are surrounded.

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Counterchange is another pictorial element used in achieving the sense of depth in a painting. Counterchange simply means placing darks against lights and lights against darks within a composition. In the sketch with the three jugs, note where you see counterchange occurring. The space is shallow, but depth is clearly evident through the effects of counterchange.


The Language Of Energy In Art: Finding Your Vision

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Energy Of Light LOCATION OF THE LIGHT TOP LIGHT Top light minimizes cast shadows. In strong sunlight, top light bouncing off of horizontal planes is seen as reflected light and color in objects. Only the top or extended parts of objects receive direct sunlight when the sun is right overhead. At noon on an overcast day when the sun is obscured overhead, objects can appear brilliant in saturated color. Both black and white sketches appear sun filled. The tops of shapes and horizontal planes are receiving direct sunlight. Note the lighter areas of upright structures indicating reflected light bouncing into the shadows from the ground. Cast shadows are at a minimum.

Artificial top light is bouncing off of the table producing reflected light and color on the head of Marcus.


The Language Of Energy In Art: Finding Your Vision

Energy Of Color - Simultaneous Contrast TEMPERATURE CONTRAST

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Yellow flower on blue, green, and dull green

The chart of three yellow flowers demonstrates temperature changes due to the casting of complementary colors. The yellow of the flower is a true yellow, however surrounded by bright blue it becomes a warmer yellow. The blue is casting its complement of orange. When surrounded by bright green, the same effect happens from the casting of red the green’s complement. If the true yellow is desired, neutralizing the surrounding color will work. When surrounded by a duller green the yellow appears less warm. Cover the other two examples. Can you see a truer yellow? Cool green on an orange backdrop and on a blue backdrop Note the strips of cool green. They are the same color but appear different in temperature due to color casting. The orange backdrop is casting its complement of blue onto the green making it appear a bluer green. The green strip appears warmer on the blue backdrop. Orange, the blue’s complement is being cast onto the green.

Nuetral gray on a golden orange and on a blue backdrop The two squares of neutral gray are the same gray. They too appear different in temperature due to color casting. The blue is casting its complement of orange onto the gray, hence warming it. Likewise the golden orange color is casting its complement of blue onto the gray, hence cooling it.


The Language Of Energy In Art: Finding Your Vision

Compose To Express Gallery

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Morning Ritual, 14” x 11”, oil The statuesque pose and turn of the model’s head and shoulder inspired the energy for this painting. Stillness. An interval of three verticals expresses stillness: the window, the corner trim, and the model. The harder edges of the verticals serve to slow the sense of time. Rounded shapes of shrubbery imitate the pose giving a subtle contrast to the verticals. The darkest of the rounded shrubbery connects with the model’s head and ends with a clean edge on her upper arm. Strong value contrasts at the breast bring attention to that area of the painting, the focal point. Horizontals of the tulip bed and ground balance the painting. This is a red Munsell color painting. Every color contains some red, except for a small area of blue-green on the model’s shoulder.


The Language Of Energy In Art: Finding Your Vision

Portrait Gallery - Comps Carolus-Duran (French 1838-1917), in January, 1886 wrote, “There are two methods of understanding a subject. It may be treated heroically or intimately. In the latter case the artist enters into the life of the personages he desires to represent, observing them as human beings. The heroic manner, on the contrary, expresses but an instant of their life. When raised to an exceptional pitch, the intimate alone can move us.”

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Miss M, color comp, oil (Left) Color comps propose to the client potential compositions and color for their portrait. Even at this stage, the Visual Unity of a color comp can express the personality or the mood of the subject as seen in these examples of two different young ladies. Both comps are of similar dimensions. Miss M’s comp is suggestive of a reserved, contemplative mood through body language, a limited palette, and a lyrical flow that is repeated in the chair, the shoulders, and the dress. Darcy, color comp, oil (Right) Darcy’s color comp is explosive in linear flow and in color. Exaggerating the complement of yellow-red and the red-violet discord of the blue Munsell color palette suits the energy needed, as her body language is open and exciting.


The Language Of Energy In Art: Finding Your Vision

About The Artist Charlotte Wharton’s love of research parallels her passion for art. She has been known to outline art history books from cover to cover and holds fast to her quest of reading every book in her formidable collection of Master artist’s biographies. So it comes as no surprise that her approach to writing, The Language of Energy in Art: Finding Your Vision, would be one of encompassing research and the imparting of much information. In addition, Charlotte readily enjoys teaching. It was her students who championed her forward with the book, as many entered her workshops requesting information as to how to put themselves into their work.

Charlotte was born and raised in rural Kansas. Early on she displayed a gift for art. Her Mother forbade her use of coloring books telling Charlotte to draw her own black lines. By the fourth grade she was, upon request, drawing paper dolls and designing their clothes for every girl in her parochial school. Charlotte’s family, church, and community utilized her increasing artistic skills in the design of posters complete with paintings for special events and encouraged her to enter competitions. At nineteen during her second year of college, Charlotte’s first solo exhibit was held on campus. She later married, moved to Massachusetts, and continued her studies, graduating from Clark University with honors. During the years of raising her young children, Charlotte focused on building a career in portraiture garnering many commissions from corporations, clergy, and universities, including Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Yale University. Not until her youngest child graduated from high school did Charlotte venture out of Massachusetts with her art. Upon doing so, she was quickly juried into many art organizations and participated in invitational and group exhibits, including exhibits in Russia and Italy. She has won many awards and the two, which hold the most meaning for her, are the Copley Society of Boston’s Gold Medal for Excellence in Portraiture and the Oil Painters of America Award for Excellence in Painting. Twice she has been awarded a month long residency abroad from Les Amis de la Grande Vigne in France and from The International School of Italy in Umbria where she has since taught workshops. Charlotte’s work has been included in many articles, magazines, and books and she has appeared on local TV many times over the years. Her work is in collections throughout America and Europe. Charlotte continues to do portraits and paint plein air, to teach, and to jury art exhibits. But above all, she is grateful for the support and encouragement she has been afforded throughout her life and is desirous of helping artists experience the joy and rewards of painting from their own personal vision; their unique voice. 13

The Language Of Energy In Art: Finding Your Vision

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The Language of Energy in Art: Finding Your Vision  

Art demands something of you: your experiences, your memories, your imagination, and your heart transformed together with what you see in na...

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