Life of The Wild                          ( John Claffey )

The purpose of this gallery is to showcase a of collection of art based around a few common themes. Each piece collected here depicts various forms of wildlife as they would be in nature. All the pieces of art shown here are great examples of texture, contrast and of movement, both implied and in the way the viewer reads each piece.

Here, Hubert von Herkomer shows us quiet forest scene, possibly home to the three rabbits depicted in the small clearing, look closely for the third (Hint: Ears to the right of the forward most tree). Notice how the sun seems to be shining in from the right, casting calm shadows behind most notably the rabbits and trees. This gives the piece a nice subtle sense of contrast highlighting details such as the rabbits white fur and the flowers at the base of the tree. The strokes Herkomer used when creating this piece produced a somewhat lifelike texture. Even when enlarged the bark looks as though it would feel rough to the touch, the rabbit’s fur appears soft and even the leaves of the trees and strands of grass appear to have a real life texture. Together, this texture along with the lighting contrast, give the painting a sense of movement. The light source catches the viewers eye, and then guides one’s gaze across the illuminated details in an almost spiral like manner starting right of center and spiraling outwards counter clockwise.
Here, Ohara Koson gives us a fairly simple scene consisting of two wild ducks flying against the backdrop of a full moon. The dark shading of the plant life in the lower region matching the primary shade of the ducks provides the contrast of this piece. This lets the subject matter sharply stand out against the pale seemingly smokey sky. Kosen used the contrast of the smoke to give us the depiction of the full moon. The texture of this piece is almost entirely soft and smooth across the piece as a whole. Notice the difference between the wings of the ducks. the lower duck’s wings give us the illusion of gliding while the other the higher duck to the left is still ascending. The shaping of both ducks appears to mirror the shaping and movement of whats depicted below them. Left duck mirroring the roundness of the moon and the right duck mirroring the land.
In this painting Bruno Liljefors shows us a family of foxes sharing a meal of duck in what appears to be a meadow. To the left the artist shows us a couple of pups playing. Notice just how life like the texture and feel of this painting is. This is notable throughout the whole piece. From the fox fur, duck’s feathers to the grass and flowers. The texture also helps to create the illusion of proportional distance by heightening the detail in the foreground and smearing it in the back. The source of contrast in this painting comes from the difference in color between the wildlife and the landscape. The contrast of this piece is also created from the light source to the left and the subtle shadowing in the center and to the right. This along with the overall shaping of the fox family as a whole guides the viewers eyes from left to right across the fox family and their meal. this gives the painting a sense of movement in addition to the movement of the foxes themselves.
Here, Lee In-sung gives us a black and white portrayal and three “deer like animals” which appear to be either sheep with very thin coats or more likely, three goats. I for one think that the texture of this piece works very well within the context of the subject matter. The grass, small tree and the goats are depicted with a seemingly real life texture. While the boulders / rocks in the upper right almost appear to be more soft and fuzzy than hard and rough. In-sung gave this piece a smooth sense of movement with the shaping and positioning of the goats. The brighter side of Green Food’s contrast catches the viewers eye drawing them into the face of the goat standing middle. From there, the lining of the goats’ backs guides the viewer’s eyes moving both up and down the piece in a curve like manner.
In this painting, John James Audubon portrays a landscape scene focusing primarily on the two wolves depicted. There is a lot to appreciate here in Audubon’s work. He gives us a subtle sense of contrast between the light shadowing and the highlighted details. The texture of this piece, as a whole, is overall consistent and well balanced throughout. This can be seen In the consistency of each tree, each blade of grass, the water shown in the distance as well as the puddle in the foreground. The smear of detail textured in the distant mountain / river line gives us a beautifully proportioned sense of depth. But what I find most impressive is the consistency of texture between the two wolves. Both share the same curious kind eyes, soft rounded ears, fluffy tails, and most importantly beautiful lifelike lining, coloring and texture in the markings of their fur. This highlight detailing, along with the contrast between the wolves’ coloring and landscape seem to draw the viewers eye directly to the wolves. Audubon’s choice of facing the wolves as he did is what gives this piece it’s sense of movement. You can almost see the two wolves trying to move closer to one another and this sense guides the eyes, in a circular manner, around the whole piece.
In this piece, Roelant Savery Albertina shows us a realistic, though not lifelike portrayal of an Elephant scratching an itch against a tree. In my opinion, the style of the piece is somewhat familiar, though it pre dates, older images of Winnie the Pooh. The reddish shading throughout does a nice job bringing the piece together by adding to the subtle contrast between the black and canvas, and by highlighting the textured detail of the subject matter. Both the tree and the elephant share a similar visual texture, which in turn makes the elephant’s skin appear relative to that of the bark of the tree. We are also given a nice sense of depth thanks to the lack of detailed texture in the skyline including the bird shown flying and the visual sense of a breeze. The balance of the piece and the shaping of the elephant together with the tree draw the viewer’s eyes cross the piece in a “V” like shape from upper left to lower center, and across the elephant into the upper right of the piece.
Here, Gu Bon-ung gives us a scene portraying a tiger making it’s way down a path. Judging off of the skyline, it’ appears this scene takes place late in the evening. The manner in which Bon-ung chose to depict the tiger’s eyes reflecting light catches the viewer’s attention and draws their eyes straight to the tiger’s. From there, the contrast of lighting and change in texture moves the viewer’s eyes from the tiger’s face, down it’s back and up into the skyline making us notice the moon before even noticing the tree branches in the upper right. It’s the dark textured detail found in the upper regions of piece and the lack of detail / smeared texture at the bottom which keeps the viewers’ eyes primarily at and above the tigers face.
This piece, by Eugène Delacroix, is a strongly realistic depiction of a horse. The style of this piece is very much consistent with that of a sketch. The primary subject, the horse, is full of detail while the scenery fills out the overall mood of the piece. What I found impressive about Delacroix’s work is the high level of life like detail of the horse. This is because of the texture the artist visually delivered. This is prominent in the horses face, tail, main, skin, and even in the one hoof shown. Delacroix used the shading of the skyline, appears to be night, and the shading of the ground the horse is stepping up to in order to deliver a sense of contrast. This contrast along with the implied movement, wind blowing the horse’s main, pulls the viewer’s eye around the piece in a clockwise motion.
Here, we are given the portrayal of two deer in the forest by the artist Gustave Courbet. This piece is stylized in a very realistic lifelike manner. Similar to that of the Family of Fox. The shadowing Courbet used gives his work a very strong sense on contrast between the light shining through the trees and the shadows. this helps to naturally draw the viewer’s eyes to the lower back of the deer shown left, up the deer’s back, neck and face causing the viewer to move their eyes upward from low center, then back down across the second deer to the path. The given textures Courbet used give almost the entire scene a photo realistic feel visually. this is most notable in the texture of the path, fur of the deer, and in the tree leaves across the top.
This final piece is by the artist Ohara Koson, It depicts a hawk perched on the branch of a tree. The contrast here is shown in a gradation like manner between the upper left and lower right. The texture through the piece is very soft and subtle across the details not only bringing the piece together as a whole, but also giving the work a sense of depth by leaving the section of branch shown upper left soft and silhouette like. Notice how the hawk’s beak catches attention and draws in the eyes of the viewer. From there, the combination of texture in the details of the hawk’s feathers, and the smeared motion of the background / sky moves the viewer’s eyes from the beak of the hawk down to it’s tail feathers. Over all, the simplicity along with the fine focused detail make this one of my personal favorite pieces in this collection.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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