December 8, 2021

Kodan Spotlight: Ilari saw the light at the Rijksmuseum

Kodan Spotlight is a series of blog posts introducing our employees through their passions. This time in the spotlight is our app developer Ilari Tuominen.

Barend Cornelis Koekkoek - Bosgezicht 001

“I began to paint miniatures in the 90s, but I didn’t understand anything about the topic at all back then. I didn’t know anything about painting techniques, and I didn’t make any progress.

As an adult, my interest in painting miniatures returned. This time, I began to look into different techniques, the use of light, especially how metallic objects were represented in paintings. When I was researching painting techniques, I realised that this isn’t anything new, and that renaissance painters had mastered the same issues I struggled with.

That’s how I was inspired to learn more about classical painting. Classical art began to open up to me like never before, and I was able to appreciate the techniques used in a completely different way. I’m especially fascinated by how the eyes can be deceived to see different materials on the canvas just by adding layers of colour. I’m especially interested in figurative art; realism and its techniques. But I really need to thank my spouse for getting me to go to all of the exhibitions I’ve since been to. Otherwise I’d still be doing the research through a computer screen and not picking up the most intricate detail.

1024px-La ronda de noche, por Rembrandt van Rijn

Some of the most captivating stuff I’ve seen was in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. I was staring at the paintings as close as I could under the watchful eye of the security guard, and I admired how the master painters of the Dutch Golden Age period were able to paint ultra realistic suits of armour and create lightplay on the surfaces of the metal by combining different shades of grey and black. The paintings were like photographs.

For me, studying art is partly about satisfying curiosity. I often think about how a certain effect was achieved, and how I would approach it. I’m currently practicing how to use the direction of light correctly. It doesn’t come naturally to me, so I need to research, practice and repeat ad nauseam.

Finding painting has helped me to become more patient, and to accept myself and my work more readily. Painting is often quite similar to meditation. When I paint miniatures now, I’m no longer such a perfectionist, and it’s easier to think “this is actually quite good as it is.”. Sometimes of course I slip up and ruin the whole thing by working it too much. You just have to accept that you’ve messed up and start again.

If you want to learn more about art, I’d suggest visiting The Finnish National Gallery Ateneum. The permanent exhibition is fantastic, and at least Finns will find the themes familiar. In addition to the image or theme itself, you should of course explore how the piece was created, and how the direction of light and its behaviour is depicted in the painting. I think lots can be conveyed through light: what illuminates what, and how each material reacts to light. It’s fascinating.”

Image sources: Wikipedia Commons

p.s. We’re always looking for new software developers and designers.