Trial by camera… and brush

Fleeting charm

I make money photographing people. But my main interest lies with landscape photography. I adore the beauty of nature, its subtle colors and amazing silhouettes, the play of light in the foliage and the movement of the grass swayed by the wind, the mesmerizing flow of sea waves and the endless run of clouds in the sky. Capturing a nice portrait isn’t easy; it requires multiple shots, a lot of patience and skillful post-processing. However, capturing a nice landscape is even harder, although you don’t have to tell a tree where to turn and how to smile. The same scenery can look different at different times of the day and that’s the magic of landscape painting and photography. You don’t stop getting just one perfect photo; you come to the same place over and over again to see how it looks at dawn and in the twilight, in spring and in winter, in sunny weather and on an overcast day.

This approach was widely used by French Impressionists who created series of paintings dedicated to the same landscape in various seasons and light conditions. You must have seen it in 19th century waterscapes, famous paintings of the sunset, pictures of gardens, parks, forests and so on. I try to do the same with my photos. To my opinion, light treatment is crucial in landscapes, and I’m totally fascinated with artists and photographers who posses this skill. One of them, the person I’d like to tell you about, is Leonid Afremov, a modern Jewish painter whose works are really worth seeing!

Same landscapes, new impressions

It’s hard to pinpoint Leonid Afremov’s style. The internet refers to him as a post-Impressionist and it’s quite justified if you look at what he paints. This artist isn’t searching for outstanding sceneries or major concepts. He doesn’t try to strike you with unexpected imagery or blow your brain by mixing unmixable colors. His art is of a ‘small,’ ‘quiet’ type, but painted in a ‘loud’ manner 🙂 Leonid is widely known over the web for his colorful cityscapes depicting rainy parks, night streets and autumn forests. However, most of all I like his famous sunset paintings you can see here. Just check out his technique:

  1. The palette is very versatile and impressive, ranging from bright, incandescent colors to deep, saturated hues clashing in spectacular contrasts.
  2. Instead of a brush, Afremov uses a palette knife which explains the loose, splashy character of strokes densely covering the canvas.
  3. The artist isn’t afraid to run short of paint 🙂 He lavishly applies it to the canvas forming a visible, almost three-dimensional texture that adds even more depth to his works.
  4. Finally, check out the play of light. Its abundance and warmth makes the painting literally glow!

I believe there is nothing more to say about Leonid Afremov’s canvases and painting manner. You should see it for yourself! Perhaps, you’ll even end up hanging one of his pictures on your wall like I did 🙂

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