In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and points out why they succeed as painted images. This week, Bob Kimball’s “A Lake in Autumn.”

Lead Image: “A Lake in Autumn,” by Bob Kimball, 2015, oil, 6 x 8 in.

This is a small gem. The many horizontals could make it very static, but there is a variety in the shapes that helps to lead you into the painting. The vertical trees are an asymmetrical accent that helps to break up the horizontals. The overcast sky with the low sun is not that light in value. But dark shapes act as a nice foil, giving the sky its glow. It is easy to make a sunset or sunrise too vibrant when you are looking right into the sun. This has every bit of a vibrant sky without the “DayGlo” effect. The artist has also achieved great distance, with the smaller cloud shapes getting closer together as they recede toward the horizon line.



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