Thursday, January 14, 2010

What is Tonalism?

I know this is not very original of me but it's a place to start. This is Wikipedia's definition of Tonalism.

Tonalism (1880 to 1915) is an artistic style that emerged in the 1880s when American artists began to paintlandscape forms with an overall tone of colored atmosphere or mist. Dark, neutral hues, such as gray, brown or blue, would usually dominate such compositions. During the late 1890s American art critics began to use the term "tonal" to describe these works. Two of the leading painters associated with this style are George Inness and James McNeill Whistler.

Tonalism is also sometimes used to describe American landscapes derived from the French Barbizonstyle,[1] which employs an emphasis on mood and shadow.[2] Tonalism, in both its forms, was eclipsed by the popularity of Impressionism and European modernism.

Paintings by John Francis Murphy

Landscapes by Charles Warren Eaton

Supply List

This is the basic supply list for our class.

A canvas or panel primed and "toned" 11x14- 16x20ish (we will be going over toning your canvasses tmw)
A reference to work from- this could be a photo, sketch or picture of a landscape that you would like to paint

A palette- I recommend Richeson Grey Matters Paper Palette (they have this at Blick's and maybe Jerry's)

Palette knives- a couple of sizes will be helpful as we will be painting with these

Brushes- You can never have to many brushes, I use all kinds, get a bunch of different sizes and make sure you have one that's at least an inch wide


Titanium White
Flake White (or similar substitute)
Naples Yellow
Yellow Ochre
Raw Sienna
Burnt Sienna
Burnt Umber
Raw Umber
Alizarin Crimson
Cadmium Orange
Tere Verte
Sap Green
Ultramarine Blue

If you have the above colors you'll be in great shape. More colors are always welcomed but we can get a lot of mileage out of the colors listed here.

Medium- Liquin (Some people hate this stuff but I absolutely love it, if you want to stick to a more traditional medium such as linseed oil that is fine I'm just a Liquin addict.)

Your also going to need some rags, you can't paint without rags.