Friday, April 4, 2014

Augustus O. Lamplough [feedly]

  

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Augustus O. Lamplough
// Gurney Journey

Augustus Osborne Lamplough (1877-1930) was a British painter known for his evocative watercolors of north Africa.

His paintings of Egypt, Morocco, and Algeria are frequently set at dusk or moonlight. He's a good artist to reference for color and light ideas if you're painting desert scenes. 

In this painting of the Sphinx, note how the sky gradates lighter on the left side of the picture, closer to the moon. The overall key is fairly light, and the colors aren't too saturated.  

In this remarkable portrayal of dusk lighting, note the soft edges around the horizon. He's probably using gouache for those clouds. This kind of painting takes a lot of brush mileage and a light touch.


This is called the "Temple of Kom Ombo," and is 13 x 20 inches. The shadow colors here are influenced primarily by the warm light bouncing up from the ground, but he has dropped a few cool touches into the wet shadow color on the columns to suggest the cool light coming from the sky. He keeps the sky and sand areas very flat, and he doesn't let the shadows get too dark.


In this quick study, a lot is just suggested. As with the previous example, the foreground is just a flat color, with the real color interest in the reflected lights bouncing into the shadows.

He achieves mood by means of restraint and understatement, and he achieves scale by setting up contrasts between large flat areas and small judicious accents. 

The sunset light infuses the forms by warming the silhouette colors as they near the sun. The colors get cooler as they get farther from the sun.

Many of the effects that I've described rarely appear in photo references. Photos tend to have black shadows, saturated colors, and an overabundance of detail. Lamplough's effects arise from direct observation, and that's why on-location sketching is so important.
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Lamplough on Atheneum
If you like Lamplough, you might also like Walter Tyndale, Edward Lear (thanks, Greg) and David Roberts.
Thanks to blog reader David Webb for the recommendation.
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