Centre for Fine Print Research University of the West of England Centre for Fine Print Research

The drama of illumination: artist’s approaches to the creation of HDR in paintings and prints

Author/Co Author:
Carinna Parraman
Name of conference: IS&T/SPIE Electronic Imaging
Place: San Jose (California – USA)
Date: 18.1.10
Paper Presented by: Carinna Parraman, Invited speaker – special session,
URL Links: http://spie.org/app/profiles

For many centuries artists have considered and depicted illumination in art, from the effect of sunlight on objects at different times of the day, of shadows and highlights as cast by the moon, through indirect light as that through an open window or the artificial light of the candle or firelight. The presentation will consider artists who were fascinated by the phenomena of natural and artificial illumination and how they were able to render the natural world as a form of dynamic range through pigment. Artists have been long aware of the psychological aspects of the juxtaposition of colour in exploiting the optical qualities and arranging visual effects in painting and prints.

Artists in the 16th century were attempting to develop an extended dynamic range through multi-colour, wood-block printing. Artists working at the height of naturalist realism in the 17th through the 19th century were fascinated by the illusory nature of light on objects. The presentation will also consider the interpretation of dynamic range through the medium of mezzotint, possibly the most subtle of printing methods, which was used by printers to copy paintings, and to create highly original works of art containing a dynamic range of tones.

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