Paintings have been evolving and getting more colourful. Experts suggest that paintings are more complex in terms of brightness and contrast as compared to the paintings from the Medieval period. As a part of a study conducted on paintings, the digital analysis of nearly 9,000 paintings spanning 10 historical periods (over 800 years), changes in artists’ pallets and signatures can be observed. Their development corresponds directly to the evolution of new painting techniques.
Hawoong Jeong, with the help of other colleagues, took up the use of individual colours, the variety of colours, and the variation in brightness of 8,798 western paintings dating from the 11th century to the mid-19th century, as a part of their research work. Using digital imaging techniques, they have classified the paintings into 10 historical periods based on the prevalent cultures at the time: Medieval, Early Renaissance, Northern Renaissance, High Renaissance, Mannerism, Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassicism, Romanticism, and Realism. For example, during the Renaissance period, the sfumato was one of the popular painting techniques. As seen in the work of Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), the expression of gradual fade-out between object and background was the key feature.
Today, paintings can be augmented by video with the help of Augmented Reality (AR) technology. This means that with the help of an app, we can now bridge the gap between the real and the digital versions of the painting and enhance the experience. Bahareh and Farzaneh Safarani, siblings, and students at the Masters of Fine Arts course at Northeastern University have used this painting technique as a part of their work. Named ‘Presence’, their work features at the Northeastern University’s Gallery 360. The work is a composition of six video-painting installations that depicts a female subject in various rooms of a house. As per them, the objective was to offer various clues about who the woman is to make the viewers have their takes.