Landscape with a Calm
In this painting, I notice that Poussin is very effective at creating a reflection of the horizon on the surface of the pond. the painting itself consists of a shepherd and his flock in the foreground, a pond with a reflection in the middle ground, and a town in front of dark, hazy mountains in the background. Poussin uses mainly earthy greens, yellows, and browns, and a very intense light blue for the pond and the sky. One of the strategies Poussin uses to create a sense of depth in his painting is using darker colors near the foreground that eventually get lighter in value and more hazy in the background, or horizon. The colors in the background are also more of a grayish-blue hue, which is very much how landscapes such as these appear in real life due to reflection of blue light from the sky. This creates what is called an atmospheric perspective.
Italianate Landscape with Travelers on a Path
This painting is similar in many ways to the one above, yet it incorporates other obvious strategies to create an appearance of depth. This painting contains a very dynamic landscape trees and with a mountain path following a waterfall in the foreground. Also, the foreground contains four travelers with two mules. In the middle ground, there is a dark green tree line that leads up from the right side of the painting and up the side of the mountain to the left. In the distance, there are hazy silhouettes of a mountain range that are made of more washed-out colors. However, different from the painting by Poussin, the colors in the background (yellow, red, orange) are of higher intensity, which gives the painting the appearance of being set during sunset with the sun off in the right side of the painting. Another alternative strategy that Both uses in this painting is the use of a receding "s-curve" path that begins in the foreground and curves before traveling up the hill to the left side of the image. Also, far up on the trail, you can see a man on a horse that is comparatively smaller than the people and horses in the foreground. This further reinforces the appearance of a receding trail, and the smaller relative size of the figure makes it look like it is in the distance as well.
An underpainting is the first layer of paint that goes below all others in a painting. It provides the base for all other colors, and allows the painter to begin to create contrast and tone from the beginning. It also helps artists develop a plan for the location and composition of the images and different colors that they will later incorporate. Different color undertones can also have an influence of the overall tone of the painting. For example, an underpainting of blue will give the painting a cool tone, while a yellow will give the painting a warmer tone, and some purples are good for creating shadows.