Friday, June 26, 2009

Frederic Remington

Here is a piece from illustrator Frederic Remington. I chose this image as it is a great example of my current study of how light and color temperature affect an image, it's mood and its feel. Here we have two native Americans on horseback. It appears to be winter at night. Remington however made the decision to use a warm lighting and warm shadow composition which nearly entirely negates the expected feel of winter at night. This landscape is warm and inviting, expansive and displays no hints of foreboding, danger or conflict. The purples of the shadows and the sky in conjunction with the reds of the horses and background mountains envelops the viewer in an inviting scene that regardless of the weather and isolated locale, you want to enter in and explore. For my own piece of mind, I tested this asertion and put the image in photoshop and applied color curves that cooled the shadows and sky with a bluish hue rather than red violet. The effect was obvious in that the snow became cold. The atmosphere became uninviting and the feel was bleeker. This all by doing nothing but cooling the image down. I am beginning to see a pattern: Cool light and cool shadows yields a dreary and bleak feel. Warm lights and warm shadows yields a hopeful, inviting and comfortable feel. I am expecting then that a mixture of either cool lights and warm shadows or warm lights and cool shadows will yield specific feels in a work. The next few images I post will explore that.


  1. Hi Mark --

    I don't think this effects the points you are making, but this image was painted by someone other than Frederic Remington. I'd guess someone in the late 20th century. To see some wonderful examples of Remington's nocturnes, follow this link to the National Gallery of Art's excellent web feature:

  2. Thank you Laura and my apologies folks. The site this image came from stated that it was Frederic Remington. Since it was in the same vein as his western genre paintings, I presumed the information was accurate. I will try to do a better job at verify any images that may be questionable. I will deifinitely check your link.