Vadim Dolgov is an accomplished contemporary artist from Toronto. He has many notable works of art, perhaps the most famous of which is the “Waiter” painting. The painting is a representational form of art showing a waiter serving customers, a man and a woman, in a hotel. It’s 3D oil on canvas painting. The painting won awards including the Gold Medal Award in the United States in 2013. The second painting is by Candido Portinari, a Latin American artist and is titled “By the Fireplace.” It is likewise an award-winning painting, having won the American Art Collector Magazine Award of Excellence in 2013. It is a 3-D representational painting showing two young women sitting by a fire. Both of them stare deep into the fire with one seemingly deep in thought, her chin in her hand.
The artists use the media of painting. Both paintings are oil on canvas. Some of the characteristics of the two pictures include the use of colors (Wollheim 2013). In the painting ‘By the Fireplace, we cannot see the actual fire that the two women are seated by. However, the artist uses bright orange color to show the flames emanating from the fire itself. The light from the fire also brightens the women’s clothing. The background of the painting is much darker showing the shadows cast by the fire. The duller colors in the background also give the painting a somber appearance. The painting of the “Waiter” uses bright and vibrant colors, the most prominent of which is white. The waiter is wearing a white shirt and apron. The woman has a white skirt, and her male companion has on a white shirt. Similarly, the table cloth on their table is white. The background of the painting is also brightly colored.
The second characteristic of the two paintings is their focal points. The focal point in “By the Fireplace” is the red-haired lady by the fire. Her companion’s face is blurry and a little in the background. When looking at the painting, your attention is immediately drawn to the red-haired one who holds her chin in her hand. Her face is clearer and reflects the light cast by the fire. The somber expression on her face is quite obvious and leads the viewer to wonder what she might be thinking. There is also a notable lack of connection between the two characters in the paintings, they do not look at each other, and they do not talk. Each appears to be lost in thought. The focal point in the “Waiter” is the act of the waiter pouring wine into a glass. The waiter has the bottle held up and is ready to pour the wine. The lady in the painting appears to be watching him, but the main seems distracted.
The visual elements in the two paintings include color, texture, and tone (Rauschenbach 1985). “By the fireplace” uses tone to create a contrast between the dark and the light. The forefront of the painting is much brighter while the background is dark. It also brings a sense of distance beyond the fireplace where the two women are seated. In the same painting, the colors have been used to set the mood. Except for the light from the fire, the rest of the painting is in dull shades showing that the mood in the painting is solemn. In the “Waiter” painting, the use of the color white shows a vibrant scene. Optical texture is evident in both paintings. In the fireplace painting, the woman’s dress is ruffled to give it the appearance of being real. This is achieved by the use of different shades of the same color (2013). The illusion of three-dimensional objects in the paintings is an example of form. The pictures have depth, created by the use of colors.
The content of “By the Fireplace” is the sadness of the prominent character in the painting. The lady appears to be downcast judging from her closed eyes and lowered head. The two ladies also do not engage each other indicating they are each engrossed in their thoughts. The “Waiter” focuses on the act of wine-pouring. The lady and the man in the painting watch as the waiter serves them; they may be engaged in some conversation.
The two works of art are entirely different. The setting in both is quite different. The waiter is set in a bright restaurant while the second painting is set in a dull surrounding, possibly outdoors on a dark evening or night. The characters in the paintings are also quite different. The ones in the “Waiter” painting appear more upbeat judging from the colors used while the ladies by the fireplace seem to be unhappy. My opinion of both works of art is that they are outstanding and capture the attention of the audience. Both artists employ the use of color, texture and tone to bring out the main idea and the mood in both of the paintings. Both paintings represent real-life events.
In conclusion, Dolgov is a contemporary artist who focuses on representational forms of art, mainly paintings. Portinari was a Brazilian artist. The “Waiter” and “By the Fireplace” are examples of renowned works for which the artists has won several awards. They use the visual elements of tone, color, and texture to portray an intended message to the audience. Both works of art are captivating and are excellent choices for the study and analysis of paintings.
Rauschenbach, B. V. (1985). Perspective pictures and visual perception. Leonardo, 45-49.
Wollheim, R. (2003, July). What makes representational painting truly visual?. In Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume (Vol. 77, No. 1, pp. 131-147). Oxford, UK and Boston, USA: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.