Amorsolo used natural light in his paintings and developed the backlighting technique
Chiaroscuro, which became his artistic trademark and his greatest contribution to
Philippine painting. In a typical Amorsolo painting, figures are outlined against a
characteristic glow, and intense light on one part of the canvas highlights nearby
details. Philippine sunlight was a constant feature of Amorsolo’s work; he is
believed to have painted only one rainy-day scene.
Every portrait is a study in want. Damsel hues: rose, amaretto,
The sky peeking through foliage above Ms. Grasey’s face.
Eyes I haven’t the blue for: too deep for asul, too glad for bughaw.
She will sit for this portrait for the better part of the afternoon.
The provenance of that smile shall be ascribed
To a French song about roses, or a same-eyed G.I.
No one can guess how she has just brushed
Ants from her forearm; how she chooses to press
Her tongue against her teeth, rather than cry.
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