1. Dominant Color-I’m not sure there is one. This is a case of the artist pushing the rules. There is an area of a light pinkish color in the top half, and what I see as mainly neutral white in the bottom. You see how the white has a rather low value because it is thinly painted over low Chroma colors? Well, I’m going with white as the dominant color. It’s used on the houses and it’s used in the scarubs which spreads it out a little. Even if it’s not at least 65% it’s enough to control the painting, and if you have a dominant neutral (black, white or gray), the rules change a little since neutrals aren’t considered colors.
2. Subordinate Colors- I see red, orange, blue, green and pink. I also see a little neutral gray in that right scarub and a little black here and there. When I try the ‘squint test’ nothing jumps out. He solved the red problem by putting some white on top of it to calm down the Chroma.
1. Emphasis (also known as the focal point or hook)- The first thing I see when I look at this odd painting is the red shape of a ‘scarub’ in the upper central part of the painting where the focal point should be located. Although the scarub to the left is larger, the one in the middle catches my eye because of the color. There is no red anywhere else in the painting so he did that deliberately. Some focal points are more subtle, but not this one.
2. Movement- This painting is divided in half horizontally with the Horizon Line (where the land meets the sky). That line, along with the lines of scarubs and houses, form three horizontal lines used to pull my eyes back and forth across the painting. More subtle movement is implied with the two chimneys on right and left pushing my eyes vertically up and down. There are other vertical lines in the houses, scarubs and crowns on top of the scarubs, moving my eyes up and down. There is also something called ‘push-pull’, caused by the warm red and orange colors coming forward, and the cool green and blue colors going back. This, along with the placement of horizontal and vertical lines throughout the painting, is calculated by Clemente to provide optimal visual interest with his design.
3. Balance- The large shape of the orange scarub on the left is balanced out by the large cluster of houses on the right. He also painted a good bit of orange on the far right house and especially in the bottom right corner to balance out the orange scarub. He then placed blue all around to unify the organic and geometric shapes, and encourage eye movement. Finally, the very subtle use of black in the windows, chimney, scarubs and horizon line serve to balance and anchor the entire composition.
Using this outline teaches you how to teach your students to dissect a painting and see it through the artist’s eyes. When you boil it down, a painting is just lines, shapes, and colors arranged in a certain order on a flat surface, but great painters make it sing.