Friday, September 7, 2012
September 2012 Challenge Color Palette
I'm fascinated by this month's challenge artwork, Flora by Giuseppe Arcimboldo. Looking at it, I wouldn't think it was painted just after the Renaissance; it looks more like a Surrealist painting from the 1920s or 30s. It's not Surrealist at all, though Arcimboldo's work would influence the Surrealists three hundred years later; but there's not much else like it during the late 1500s, either, which makes it even more striking.
While Arcimboldo did paint more traditional subjects, he's best known for his portraits. Flora is a prime example of Arcimboldo's trademark style - objects, flowers, and vegetables arranged to resemble people. Going even a step further, the objects he would choose to make up any given portrait was specific to that person or subject matter. The attention to and amount of detail that went into choosing and arranging each painting boggles my mind.
Since the Mannerism period is a transitional period between the High Renaissance and the Baroque movements, it's a fitting choice for us this month as we transition out of summer and into fall. It's also fitting that the colors in Flora are perfectly autumnal, don't you think?
There are a lot of different ways you can play with this month's challenge in your own work. The colors that stand out to me are the rusty red-oranges, brick reds, deep muted purples, golden yellows, dark browns, and medium to light grays. With colors on the darker side of the spectrum, I'd also add a pop of bright orange, soft fleshy peach, rosy pink, or pale yellow to keep it from feeling too heavy.
What about you - colors do you see? Which do you plan to use?