This is an internet project that I need to analyze the color and composition of Claude Monet’s pictures from Paris Web Museum's gallery of Monet's Houses of Parliament series. (http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/monet/parliament/)
Claude Monet, a French painter who is often regarded as the most prolific of the Impressionists spent most of his career experimenting with the use of color to simulate light, so his paintings are significant to color study.
The site contains four images of the Houses of Parliament as seen from his window, captured at various times of day and during various weather conditions.
1. The Thames at Westminster (Westminster Bridge)
1.1) Monet used only a few colors or limited color palette on this painting. The color scheme he used was a split complementary palette. He painted the tree and the river with dark green and light green (two adjacent hues) and painted the sky with red-orange (opposing hue). However, he reduced the saturation of these background colors by adding some black. This scheme made visual connections within a composition and created harmony through a balance of opposing forces. Moreover, he used black to make the shades for the bridge and the Parliament. The foreground, timber pier, was the darkest and clearest part, so it stood out above the others.
1.2) This painting contains mostly dark value, so it creates a dense or heavy emotion to the picture.
2. Houses of Parliament, London, Sun Breaking Through the Fog
2.1) Monet used many colors or broad color palette on this painting. The color scheme he used was a Tetradic palette or Double complimentary palette that referred to the relationship of two complementary color sets; the distance between selected complementary pairs will effect the overall contrast of the final composition. He used red orange – blue green and yellow orange – blue purple to create contrast to his painting. It’s difficult to balance or harmonize because four colors were used in equal amounts. Besides that, there was no image in particular that stood out above the others because he used every hue in similar saturation.
2.2) This painting contains cool and warm colors in opposition on the color wheel, so it seems to create visual tension. Moreover, high saturation and value of each hue make this painting be warm in temperature and create conflict in emotion.
3. Le Parlement, Effet de Brouillard
3.1) Monet used only a few colors or limited color palette on this painting. The color scheme he used was a Monochromatic palette that referred to having a single hue and its variations in terms of tints, shades and saturation. He used this scheme to make harmonious in appearance by painting only one hue (blue) in brightness and darkness. There was no image in particular that stood out above the others because every hue on the picture was similar in saturation.
3.2) The main color of this painting is blue, so it creates cool temperature and conveys calm emotion.
4. Houses of Parliament, London
4.1) Monet used only a few colors or limited color palette on this painting. The color scheme he used was a split complementary palette. He used two adjacent hues (blue and purple) together with opposing hue (yellow). This color scheme created harmony through a balance of opposing forces. The building in this picture stood out above the others because Monet chose to paint it with darker color than the background.
4.2) This painting contains cool and warm colors in opposition on the color wheel, so it seems to create visual tension. The dark color also conveys a dense or heavy emotion.