Gustave Caillebotte was a friend and artistic companion to several of the Impressionists but, although he was attracted to the same subject matter, he produced it in a very different manner. Most of his works seem to be in a very muted range of colours, with a very deliberate tonal harmony in his colour. This one, of the bridge over the railway in Paris, was painted several times by him and other artists of the time. This rather abstract arrangement of the girders of the bridge and the men looking on, is typical of the way he saw his subject matter. Everything is in an industrial grey, including the men's coats, which look like a part of the same urban landscape.

What would be the modern equivalent of this approach now? Perhaps an airport is the most likely area for a view of people in transit, or an underground station, with its escalators and travellators. It would be a good thing to try out.

Another good artist to look at for this topic is Paul Klee. When you look at a Klee picture it is not always certain whether you are looking at an abstract painting or something more naturalistic. Here is one of his images called Moonrise, Sunset which is one of several that he made with these large dominant celestial shapes surrounded by rather flimsy looking man-made artefacts. In a modern version of this image you would have to find something very powerful to dominate the picture in colour and then show other surrounding life as being much less imposing or necessary.

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Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Learn to sketch by working through these quick, simple lessons. This Learn to Sketch course will help you learn to draw what you see and develop your skills.

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