6 Summer Paintings That Capture the Season Perfectly
Imagine your perfect summer day. What do you see?
Maybe you see a beach, with pure white sand and water so clear that you can look down and see fish swimming circles around your ankles. Or maybe instead you see a crowded outdoor market where brightly dressed people carry vibrant fruits and swirling fabrics from stall to stall.
We all have our own idea of what summer looks like, and for thousands of years, we’ve used paintings to express those ideas. With nothing more than a canvas and a handful of art supplies, summer paintings have been able to make us feel the sun on our shoulders and the warm wind in our hair.
So whether you’re looking to put yourself in a summer mood or you’re longing for a bit of warmth in the middle of winter, let these six stunning summer paintings take you there - or use your art supplies to create a seasonal piece of your very own!
1.Woman with a Parasol, Claude Monet, 1875
In Monet’s classic Woman with a Parasol,a mother and son are on a peaceful walk through a field of wildflowers. The mother’s white dress is tugged by the breeze, while white clouds curl lazily behind the pair on what is, undeniably, a summer day.
Impressionism is about capturing a feeling, a snapshot of a moment. Using loose brushstrokes and vivid colours, Monet encapsulates the feeling of a casual, blustery summer. Looking at this painting on a hot day, you can almost feel the wind and shade of the parasol cooling you off.
2.Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat, 1884
Sunday Afternoon, a famous piece by Georges Seurat, features park goers enjoying a warm day on the bank of a lake. Like most summer paintings, Seurat’s work makes use of cool greens and blues and dramatic shadows - but it’s the crowd that really captures the season.
Summer has always been synonymous with seasides and seas of people - the sun coaxes us out of our homes and into the world. Sunday Afternoonmakes us a member of the crowd in the painting, observing the scene from our shady oasis in the foreground and wondering what they’re all looking at. Perhaps there are more sailboats like those we can see in the corner of the frame, drifting gently through the water, or maybe they’re all simply content with observing the grass in the wind.
3.Landscape at Chaponvalby Camille Pissarro, 1880
You don’t need to paint water to create a summer painting. Impressionist Camille Pissarro’s Landscape at Chaponvaldepicts a hillside town that captures the season just as effectively as any beach scene.
We know that it’s summer because of the bright yellow and green grasses and because the woman and her cow are resting in the shade. We feelsummer in the textured paint that breathes movement into the hills and the splashes of blue that dot the canvas. The hill rolls over the town like a tidal wave, engulfing them in a lush green blanket.
4.Bank of the Oise at Auversby Vincent Van Gogh, 1890
You’ve probably seen his starry nights and his sunflowers, but Bank of the Oise at Auvers is one of Vincent Van Gogh’s summer paintings that simply does not get enough credit. One of many paintings inspired by the sleepy French town of Auvers-sur-Oise, this oil painting depicts three people on a river bank lined with colourful boats.
In true Van Gogh style, the brush strokes are broad and fast. Nature’s most lively season, summer is all about movement. Van Gogh brings the river to life with short horizontal lines and makes the foliage dance using frantic zig-zags. The bright blues and greens are crisp and refreshing, like a cool mist on a hot day.
5. A Bigger Splashby David Hockney, 1967
Laid back, sunny, and playful are just a few words you could use to describe Hockney’s A Bigger Splash.One in a series of swimming pool paintings, this modern acrylic piece captures the joy of the season using bold, flat colours, and sharply defined shapes.
It’s easy to put yourself in the fold-up chair in the background and imagine feeling the spray from the splash, which we can only assume is the result of a diver’s carefree cannonball - it’s not as easy to stop yourself from envying the occupants of the pink California home.
6.Summertime by Edward Hopper, 1943
We’ve looked at a lot of summer paintings that take place in nature, but Edward Hopper’s Summertime takes us to the concrete jungle.
Heavily inspired by the films of the day, Hopper uses shadows to create dramatic contrast, giving us the impression that the sun is shining brightly on the woman and the building behind her. A lone curtain fluttering in the breeze of an open window is a subtle detail that makes the scene feel even warmer.
The young woman standing on the steps is wearing a sheer white dress and a floppy yellow sunhat, the perfect attire for a summer day. But unlike Monet’s Woman with a Parasol, she’s not strolling carefree in a field - no, despite her dreamy gown, she is static and reserved. Summertimereminds us that the season is not always boisterous and bright.
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