November 03, 2008

Analysis of Peder Kroeyer's "Hip, Hip, Hurra! Artists’ Party"

This painting by Peder Kroeyer is an excellent example of a two-value notan structure. The painting has two major values, dark and light. The shapes of the lights have been simplified by linking the various light shapes in the painting into two basic light shapes: the face of the woman on the left, and the table cloth which is linked to the other figures.

There is also a careful use of transitions from light, to middle value, to dark. If you look at the lighter area in the top right corner (the light foliage and the light shapes of the drinking glasses), you can see it is not as light as the table cloth and the woman's face on the left. This creates a value transition from the bright white of the foreground items to the dark background.

There is also something else going on in this painting: note carefully the use of primary and secondary focal areas, as well as the manipulation of eye movement. For example the reason why the white shape of the face of the women at the left is not linked was probably to create a secondary focal point in the painting, using the principle of isolation (isolated objects or shapes attract attention).

Kroeyer uses many devices to direct the viewer's eye around the painting, the principle method being the orientation of the arms of the figures in the painting. All of the arms, including the large figure of the women on the left, lead to the area of the painting where the toast is being offered by the party guests.

Note also the techniques he uses for attracting attention to the focal areas:
  • for the primary focal area (the area of the drinking glasses to the top right), he has chosen to use directing lines and space division
  • for the secondary focal area (the woman's face on the left) he uses isolation and contrast of light and dark.
For reference: the following list contains some of the principle methods for creating focal areas (for full details see: Composition Building Block Course Unit 3)
  • contrast of shape and direction
  • contrast of saturation
  • contrast of light and dark
  • directing lines
  • isolation
  • space division
  • one-thirds
  • contrast of temperature
For a more comprehensive discussion of eye movement, see Composition Building Block Course Unit 4.
Peder Kroeyer is one of the the Skagen Painters and this painting: Hip, Hip, Hurra! Artists’ Party (1888) usually hangs in the Göteborg Museum of Art.

1 comment:

  1. There s always a light on the end of the tunel and its called Knowledge.
    Thx for sharing Barry !!!!