jake thompson

Monday, 10 October 2011

This piece by JMW Turner is one of my favourites. 'Sun Setting Over a Lake' appeals to me more than some of Turners' other works because it's much more abstract. However, even in his more formal landscape paintings, Turner used colour boldly and confidently. Here your eye is immediately drawn to the warm oranges and yellows in the right hand corner, while the cool blues and greys sink away. This contrast gives the painting a moody atmosphere and really helps the viewer imagine the scene at sunset.

This is another example of Turner's use of colour. 'Norham Castle' is composed with two banks of warm oranges and browns at either side, and a cool blue and yellow ground which receeds to draw the viewers eye to the castle and the cool sun in the background. The only real formal detail are the cattle, painted in reds to stand away from the castle. Turner's cool, atmospheric sky and the subtle addition of lighter, cooler browns in the background give this painting depth and again draw your eye to the castle, the main focus of the piece.

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