Art Works – David Hockney

Dh david hockney pop art paintings

This is Bigger Trees Near Warter Winter Version by David Hockney.

Besides drawing, painting, printing and ceramics my course includes an art history module where I will learn to write essays about works of art, artists and the art period in which they worked. In order to write about the paintings I will need to learn the language of art and so far although I seem to have the words I don’t have the ability to put the words together. So… I was thinking that I could get some practice here on the blog and…. with your help I might learn faster. So for the first painting I picked Bigger Trees near Warter by David Hockney.

David Hockney at Tate Bri 001

(The artist with another of his pictures – that’s how big they are)

First, let me tell you about the words I have learned. The words are called Art Elements and you use them to describe any painting…. Point, as in dot or dots; Line, as in the shortest distance between two points but in art elements lines don’t have to be straight, they can be wavy; Shape, as in square, triangular, etc; Form, a 3D shape; Tone, I think this is lighting and shading; Colour, shouldn’t be a problem here; Texture, as in you get a sense of what it might feel like to touch; Pattern, as in there’s a pattern; Symmetry, as in there’s balance between one side and the other; Content, as in what’s it a painting of?

David Hockney

(The trees were cut down before Hockney had finished his painting….)

To describe this painting I want to say – I really, really love this! But that’s not using any art elements. So instead… In this picture the artist definitely includes lines, in the trees, some straight and some wavy. There are also lines for the lanes and the house. He uses colour to show the grass on the side of the lanes and of the trees. The grass definitely looks like it is nicer to touch than the prickly trees so he must be using texture? He is using pattern in the trees repeating on into the distance. I suppose you could say there’s symmetry with the little house on the left and the little hedges on the right. Finally the content, this is a picture of huge trees in winter (without leaves) in the countryside, located between two small country roads with a line of hedges in the right foreground and a house in the left background.

Any help gratefully received, Mairead.

2 thoughts on “Art Works – David Hockney

  1. Er, um, total novice here, but maybe you could say something about how the rain laden sky is reflected in the wet surface of the road; and how the light colour of the cut end of the logs indicates that the trees were felled only recently; and how including the road sign invites the viewer to imagine where the road leads to ie. it points to something that is not in the picture at all. Oh and, I’m probably missing the point, but it was fun trying 🙂

  2. The autumn skies are blue and clear. The trees are dormant having lost their leaves, yet the grass is a rich green (Maybe it is that way all year round in Ireland, unlike Canada where it becomes brown and grotty come winter). I do however believe that you are mistaken about the cottage on the left side of the road. If you look closely it is a Tim Horton’s 😉


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