Tuesday, June 21, 2011

George Bellows' Limited Palette

Stag Night at Sharkey's - George Bellows, 1909

George Bellows (1882-1925) was an American painter associated most closely with "The Eight" and "The Ashcan School". Both groups of painters advocated depicting contemporary American society. He is perhaps best known for his paintings of boxing scenes including "Stag Night at Sharkey's".

In black and white the structure of the painting is maintained powerfully.

I have always been impressed with his effectively designed value patterns as well as his understated but beautiful limited color palettes. The diagram below of some of Bellows' work shows his limited color selections for each piece as well as the value range for each tone.

Click to Enlarge

Bellows demonstrates here that there is no need for outrageous color or even a wide color variety when effective value and color patterns are employed-color becomes secondary to value structure. I think the simple solutions are often the best when it comes to value pattern and color palette choices.

This concept previously on LNA

Thanks to Bill Perkins for sharing this diagram with me (and now you).
Upcoming Bill Perkins workshops

1 comment:

Shirley said...

Greg - my goodness, thank you! First of all thanks so much for your kind visit to my blog..and secondly, for all of your very, very informative posts. I'm learning so much! Your recent "launch" post is gorgeous - both versions are so beautifully illustrated. I do love how the cover turned out, too. Thank you again..and I will be back soon!