Friday, December 12, 2014

Oil Painting of the Virgin Mary

Madonna in Moonlight
16" x 20", Oil on Linen

A commission for the virgin was my Christmas project. She's kept me busy for some time but was worth the fun and challenge. The composition is a traditional triangle which also represents the Holy Trinity and lends stability to the painting. Mary is painted in moonlight and has a soft halo around her head. The background is stark and rather simplified to bring attention to Mary and represents the world before Christ came into it. Unlike more traditional paintings of the Virgin, Mary is depicted alone, engaged with her unborn child. Her expression has a slightly sad but sweet smile prompting the viewer to wonder at her thoughts.

This piece was very difficult to do as the subject is in moonlight. Under normal conditions at night, the cones in the eye shut down leaving the rods, which depict light and only the colors of blue and green, to do the work. This generally renders the landscape in tones of blue and green. Reds show up as black. Obviously, one can't paint a figure in all blues, greens and black. She'd look like the daughter of Dracula. So I needed to take a lesson from the masters on this and used mostly cool variations of skin tones with cool reds to warm the features. Depending on your monitor, she will either appear a bit cool or a bit too warm. In person, she looks neither. On my monitor the painting appears a bit bright, but she is resting in a dim environment.

I have prints and cards available of this painting. Email me to inquire.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to one and all!

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