In the 20th century the move away from figurative art led to many experiments with colour. Some abstract artists evolved a symbolic, semi-naturalistic style of painting in which colour and shape fitted around a flat plane. On the other hand the use of artificial light in the cities gave a new boost to the realistic painters of urban life.

Another semi-abstract painter was the Spanish artist, Joan Miro. He evolved a sort of language, rather like Paul Klee did, that allowed him to show all sorts of activities and objects without being forced to give a realistic treatment of things. This picture, Hope, was painted in 1946, and his figures are like wild cartoons which look very animated.

Exactly how you would work out this sort of idea now is not easy to say, but obviously the ability to produce some animated characters would be a great asset.

Finally, I show an example of the American painter Edward Hopper, whose work I find very interesting. Called in the original Night Windows (1928), here we see a scene that must be very normal for city living, where the lights in the windows across the road from you or out of the back of your house, are showing you the life of the people who live there. It may appear to be a bit voyeuristic, but it certainly makes for some interesting, abstract scenes. The frame of the window acts rather like the camera and cuts off bits of the scene, which seems to give it a greater detached quality. So, it is not such a difficult picture to emulate, although you might think that an image from a mobile phone camera might be closer to the latest equivalent.

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Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

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