Find the Static and Dynamic Areas

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series Drawing the Figure in Space

Painting by Cezanne Mount Saint-Victoire 1902-1904

Painting by Cezanne
Mount Saint-Victoire

Class notes from Drawing the Figure in Space with Elizabeth Rupprecht, SAIC, 1991

Look at Cezanne’s Mt. St. Victoire – picture is divided into 3 horizontal bands: dark and warm on bottom, medium, warm & hot in center, light & blue at top.

How Cezannes Painted His Mountains

Sky/mountain area over mid-plane overlapping front plane.

17th C. – paintings divided into 3 horizontal areas – light blue sky on top, mid-tone in center, dark foreground.

Find areas that are static and dynamic to the picture plane.

Hard lines will come closer to you.

(read more about Cezanne’s mountain paintings here.)

View a gallery of drawings made in this way from this class. 

Series Navigation<< Draw from Center OutLook at Botticelli and Raphael >>

One Reply to “Find the Static and Dynamic Areas”

  1. Only took a painting from the figure class with Mrs. Rupprecht. Having going back to what I did while at school I wish I took a drawing class with her. It looks as I was struggling to learn my own way of using color. Large examples were failures. Small works were very good, and stood as my "stable ground" from which to develop my work.

    In Cezanne's "Mount Victoire", terms like "static" and "dynamic" are relative, and can be traced only through placing/juxtaposing each element in relation to the whole of what's in the painting.

    Having read your words, dynamic are the close to being horizontal slightly diagonal lines, the darker ones intensifying the visual sensation, the lighter in value and the horizontal ones being less intense. The clearly diagonal lines/axis are even stronger, being amplified when combined with tonal contrast, but being cooled-down when it comes to the ones defining the forms of the mountain. Tonal variation is limited on the top plane. Further more, color blue keeps the top plane in the background.

    What makes the picture more interesting is the zig zag way of moving from the foreground, to middleground, and then to the background. For example "reading" the horizontal axis that devides the top from the middle plane, on the left the color of the mid.ground is lighter the blue on top of the same axis belonging to the background. On the right side of the painting the same axis reverses light and dark contrast, this time the mid. gr. being light-blue becoming dark. So reading the axis that devides the two planes is not the same along both sides of the painting. So we could say that the painting is not only devide into horizontal planes, but also each plane divided in it's own left and right side, creating a zig zag path that works our way moving around the space of the painting. One last dynamic factor that also works rlatively in the painting, except from tonal values, warm/cool colors, horizontal/diagonal axis, is brush-mark size; this makes our looking at the painting a more complex engagement, thriving to achieve a sense of order, in Cezanne's sruggling course.

    I would be interested in more of Rupprecht's notes that you took while you were a SAIC student.

    I too started in 1992 and graduated in 1998.

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