Boat Harbour Chioggia, Italy by Joseph Zubukvic

April 01, 2009

In my opinion, this is a classic example of what a watercolor should be. All the principles of what constitutes a good painting have been employed. It has mood (atmosphere, ambience), the illusion of distance, and above all, executed with passion and confidence.

Let's examine the composition. The focal point or center of interest is the bridge. The human mind will direct the eye to the area of highest contrast. If you squint your eye, you will discover that the value of the bridge against the soft, high key value of the background buildings is quite distinct. Now look at

the placement of the bridge in relationship to the picture plane. It lies approximately one third of the width of the painting. This makes for a better

composition than positioning the center of interest in the middle. The foreground boat leads the viewer to the focal point.

Another interesting observation is the color scheme.Many painters have a tendency to use too many colors and as a result the over all impression is no color. Here you will see a sophisticated handling of color. You have basically a complimentary color scheme consisting of the two complementary colors of

red and blue. Granted the blues are of a wide range of values and intensities which adds to the excitement of this painting. The reds, with the exception of the accent color on the boats are low in saturation and low in contrast. This is consistent with the laws of perspective and achieving the illusion of distance.

The genius of this work is the illusion of detail when in fact, there is very little detail. There is a careful attention to shapes merging into other shapes and careful accents of darks and lights.