Illustration of a glowing candle in the dark
Today I painted two types of candles. A small watercolor paintings of 6 by 9 inches.
One candle is a pretty candle that burns well. The intense yellow color of the candle also brightens the surroundings. Candles glow the darker the surroundings.
Candles symbolize holiness (Cooper, 1978). But without a spark in the candle, there is no holiness. Because candles create holiness and vitality through the light of fire. Light represents the creation of the universe, the revelation of God.
So, if you look at the cathedral, you see a lot of candles as a symbol to brighten up a dark place. In the past, I have created a digital image of the sacred and mysterious feeling of a single candle like this.
The candles that are quietly burning alone and the candles swaying in the wind all illuminate the surroundings. Each time a candle burns, the wick burns and shrinks and the wax drips. Because of the candle's ability to melt itself and light its surroundings, it has often become a symbol of sacrifice, revolution, and perseverance.
Godfried Schalcken (1643 – 16 November 1706), was a painter with excellent description and sensibility of candles, to the extent that he was called the king of candles. Perhaps that's why his paintings have many paintings related to candles.
If you look at his work below, you can even feel the temperature of a brightly burning yellow candle. In particular, when a candle illuminates the surroundings, the yellow energy and shadows reflected on the surrounding people and objects are properly matched, making it beautiful as if you were looking at a scene from a fairy tale.
Among the painters who express candles well, Georges de la Tour(1593-1652) was influenced by Caravaggio, who is called the father of baroque art in the 17th century, and some painters realized the contrasting effect of intense light on the canvas. He always used candles for sharp contrasts.
What the above two painters' candlelight paintings have in common is that they handled the warmth of the yellow and orange colors of the candles and the contrast caused by the light well. Painters want to handle light well. This is because the shape, atmosphere, and beauty of objects change depending on the angle and intensity of light. Just as filmmakers strive to get the best shot by shining a reflector on the actor or actress, the painters also carefully observe everything that shines in the light to capture the most beautiful points.
Above all, natural light, naturally illuminating in broad daylight, has long been a good source of inspiration for Impressionist painters. However, it is challenagle to express the beauty and meaning of a scene created only by artificial candles in a dark room.
As you can see from the picture above, the colors that can be realized under a candle in the dark are minimal. The primary color is black, and here the brightest yellow, orange, light brown, brown, red, dark blue, etc., the beauty of the paint itself does not cover the flaws
Nevertheless, you will be amazed at the genius of the two painters who adequately conveyed the beauty and emotion of people and things with limited colors in the quiet darkness.
It's a fun exploration to get to know and investigate paintings and painters and learn from their life, art, and much more. And in this pleasant journey, artists develop themselves and create their own world of work. I also enjoy seeing and learning about the work of other painters, especially the masters, and their lives. Through this process, you will be able to get closer to the true beauty of things little by little.
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Myungja Anna Koh