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Extra info for Oil Painting with the Masters: Essential Techniques from Today's Top Artists
To our question? By no means. Simplicity and variety are sources of the beautiful, as well as of the picturesque. Why does the architect . break the front of his pile with ornaments? Is it not to add variety to smplicity? Even the very black-smith acknowledges this principle by forming ringlets, and bulbous circles on his tongs, and pokers. In nature it is the same j and your plain will just as much be be improved in reality by breaking it, as upon canvas. In a garden-scene the idea is different.
What is otherwise, is inharmonious, and roughness would be disorder. Shall we then change our ground; and seek an answer to our question in the nature of the art of painting? As it is an art JlriSlly imitative, those objects will of course appear most advantageously to the picturesque eye, which are the most easily imitated. The stronger the features are, the stronger will be the effect of imitation; and as rough objects have the strongest features, they will consequently, when represented, appear to most advantage.
In itself we admire it no more, than we do the smoothness of the canvas, which receives the colours of the picture. Even the plumage of the swan, C 4 which which to the inaccurate observer appears only of one simple hue, is in fact varied with a thousand soft shadows, and brilliant touches, at once discoverable to the picturesque eye. Thus too a piece of polished marble may be picturesque; but it is only, when the polish , brings out beautiful veins, which in appearance break the surface by a variety of lines, ami colours.