A General Description of the Tonalist Painting Style and TechniqueTonalism is rooted in the French Barbizon movement, which emphasized atmosphere and shadow. The Tonalist style employs a distinctive technique by the use of color's middle values but sometimes using stronger contrast and high chroma resulting in a compelling overall effect. The tonalist subject matter is never entirely apparent to the viewer; their is no effort to communicate a particular message or narrate a story. Instead of relating a story, each sensitively chosen color, composition, and line is arranged to create an intriguing visual poem. Landscapes are typically luscious and luminous with evocative atmospheric effects featuring misty backgrounds illuminated by moonlight. Tonalist painters are drawn to both the natural and spiritual realms. They seek to awaken the viewers consciousness by shrouding the subject in a misty indistinct veil of emotionalism. Their palette is minimal, characterized by warm hues of brown, soft greens, gauzy yellows and muted greys. Preferred themes were and are evocative moonlight nights and poetic, vaporous landscapes. Tonalist painters seemed to favor unconscious states and psychological experiences over reality.