Pay attention to Ekaterina Koroleva’s composition choices, i.e. where and how she places her subject in the frame (running off the edge, pushed to one side, parts cut off or eliminated). That, combined with her loose, layered sketches, subtle colours, and simple shapes, create an interesting aesthetic. More on Ekaterina Koroleva’s website.
So much to look at in Amy Sherald’s portraits – the flat, bright, backgrounds with subtle texture, the monochromatic grey skin tones, the saturated colours and patterns in the clothing that contrast with the background, and the small details of light and shadow in the folds of clothing and the way it drapes over the figure to give these otherwise flat portraits a hint of depth. See more on Amy Sherald’s website.
Subtlety is a key word when it comes to describing Ali Cavanaugh’s watercolour portraits. She uses thoughtful colour schemes that evoke feeling, pays deep attention to light and shadow, captures all the necessary details of photorealism, with the looseness and unpredictability of watercolour. Images of her work, info about her artistic process, and more on Ali Cavanaugh’s website.
Of all the arts, abstract painting is the most difficult. It demands that you know how to draw well, that you have a heightened sensitivity for composition and for color, and that you be a true poet. This last is essential.
– Wassily Kandinsky
Check out the videos below to deepen your understanding of where abstract art came from and what is involved in making it.
Cree artist George Littlechild explores identity, family and politics, in his colourful, mixed media portraits. More on his website.
Roy Henry Vickers is a BC First Nations artist who creates recognizable BC landscapes with bold shapes, silhouettes and strong colours. In many of his pieces, he incorporates traditional Northwest Coast First Nations formline designs in beautifully subtle ways – look in the sky. More on his website.
Sunshine Coast artist Carol Lafave is masterful with her collage cityscapes – they are so vibrant and have so much energy and movement. More on her website.
Philip Barlow’s out-of-focus oil paintings capture the light and colour of places. His unique approach is particularly interesting in his cityscapes at night – “blurring the focus of street lamps and headlights the way our eyes or a photographer’s lens might when adjusting to a city’s bright, multi-colored lights” (Colossal). More on his website.
Grant Haffner paints neon sunsets and technicolour landscapes from the viewpoint of roadways punctuated with power lines. More on Colossal.
Scott Naismith captures the beauty of light in the sky by using thick brushes and palette knives to create brightly coloured abstract landscapes. More on Colossal.