Acrylic: CRITIQUE: "Blue Violets of Provence"

Careful consideration of color value and saturation are important in a unified composition.


by Shawn Gould

Blue Violets of Provence
2006, acrylic, 20 x 20.

The artist has done an excellent job bringing the viewer into the painting with the use of rich color and lively shapes. However, the composition appears flat because there is some conflict between the foreground and the middle ground. The artist may want to consider lightening the values and lowering the color saturation in the middle ground to enhance the atmospheric perspective of the painting.

About the Critic
Shawn Gould, a native of Iowa now residing in Northern California, studied biological illustration at Iowa State University, in Ames, and at the University of California, Santa Cruz. “It was a compromise,” he explains. “I felt I had to come out of school able to make a living, and this was the closest I felt I could get to becoming a fine artist.” During his illustration career he did biological and natural-history illustrations for the National Geographic Society and the National Audubon Society, among other organizations. Gould is a member of The Society of Animal Artists and is represented by Legends Fine Art Gallery, in Great Bend, Kansas, and Humboldt Artworks, in Arcata, California. For more information on Gould, visit his website at

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