Analagous Color Scheme

Analagous Color Scheme

Lesson 13

The next most important part of color theory is harmony.  Color harmony is essentially the art of putting colors together that look good. That’s pretty much it la notice de viagra. I’ll keep using the musical metaphors because in music we also have harmony. So think about color harmony in the same way, except visually. When you here a song you can tell if the musicians are all singing in harmony or not, if there’s one person who is out of key then it also throws the others off as well. Think of color harmony in the same way.  When placing colors on a canvas you are creating visual vibrations which can either work, or fight each other.  Your goal may be to create intensity and a feeling of unease, and if that is the case then by all means use the opposite of what would be a comforting and harmonious color scheme.

Analogous Color Schemes

Analogous color schemes make use of colors that are directly next to each other on the color wheel.These colors are reminiscent of nature and can be calming to the eye. When using an analagous color scheme it pays to have a very high contrast between your colors. Take a look at the examples below and take note of how they make you feel as you look at them. With painting it is important to remember that you are creating an overall feel to a painting. You’re not just illustrating an event. Things likes analogous color schemes are simply tools which can be utilized to create a certain mood.

analagous-color-harmonies

Example 1: In this image of various analogous color schemes we can feel a kind of  groovy style. Very reminiscent of the 1960s because these types of natural analagous schemes were used very frequently in interior design.  What I want you as a painting student to start to see is how this particular color scheme evokes a certain feeling within you.

analagous-color-nature

Example 2:  Here’s a great example of analogous color schemes in space.  Notice that all these colors are also virtually the same value. The blue end of analogous color schemes can also seem serene and mystical.

analagous_color_scheme_2

Example 3: Here we can see how these color schemes are present in small sections of nature all around us.  When looking for this particular color scheme it is sometimes better to look very closely at a small section of nature. In the example above we see yellows, oranges, and some light greens mingling together nicely.

Extra Credit!: If you have access to a digital camera. Go out and take 20 photos of various analogous color schemes which you can find in nature.

Composition in Painting

Composition in Painting

Lesson 11:
Up to this point we’ve been focusing on some very basic skills.  And many of the techniques and elements will be learned through practice. However, there is another part of becoming a painter that also requires practice. And that is teaching yourself how to look at, and create compositions within a picture plane.  Your picture plane is simply the area in which you are drawing. It is the shape of your paper, or canvas.  But that rectangle has certain rules regarding how to arrange the elements of your drawing/painting. Composition is the placement or arrangement of visual elements or ingredients in a work of art. It can also be thought of as the organization of the elements of art according to the principles of art.

Ok, so let’s think about painting as we would a musical composition. Musical notes by themselves are not necessarily music until someone comes along and arranges those notes into a composition. The same is true for painting. The elements of music are notes, tones, keys, and beats per minute. These are like the skeletons of what music is made from.
So what are our Elements of Art? Well, here you go. ( I’ve coupled every element with an artist that makes it easier to understand.)

The Elements of Art

Line – the visual path that enables the eye to move within the piece (Ralph Steadman illustration)

alice-in-wonderland-drawing

Shape – areas defined by edges within the piece, whether geometric or organic (Leger)

leger

Color – hues with their various values and intensities (Josef Albers)

Homage to the Square, Gained 1959 Josef Albers

Texture – surface qualities which translate into tactile illusions (Albrecht Durer)

durer_rabbit

Form – 3-D length, width, or depth (Jenny Saville)

Jenny-Saville-fat-Female

Value – Shading used to emphasize form (Carvaggio)

david_and_goliath_by_caravaggio

Space – the space taken up by (positive) or in between (negative) objects (Richard Diebenkorn)

diebenkorn-scissors

Now you should have an idea as to what the Elements of Art are. Line, Shape, Color, Form, Space, Texture, Value. These are the skeleton, the basic elements. So let’s get back to what makes a composition. As we previously stated a Composition is the organization of the elements of art according to the principles of art. The principles of art are the set of rules or guidelines of art that are to be considered when creating a piece of art. They are combined with the elements of art in the production of art. So these principles are somewhat more abstract than Line, or Color. But they aren’t too difficult to understand. The principles are movement, unity,harmony, variety, balance, emphasis, contrast, proportion, and pattern.

Movement
Movement shows actions, or alternatively, the path the viewer’s eye follows throughout an artwork. Movement is caused by using elements under the rules of the principles in picture to give the feeling of action and to guide the viewer’s eyes throughout the artwork.  (Degas)
degas-horses

Unity

Unity is the quality of wholeness that is achieved through the effective use of the elements and principles of art. The arrangement of elements and principles to create a feeling of completeness. (Japanese Print. Artist Unkown)

unity-art

Harmony

Harmony is achieved in a body of work by using similar elements throughout the work, harmony gives an uncomplicated look to your work. The way the picture makes everything come together. (Van Gogh)

van-gogh-iris

Variety

Variety (also known as alternation) is the quality or state of having different forms or types. The differences which give a design visual and conceptual interest: notably use of contrast, emphasis, difference in size and color. (Diego Rivera) Also check out how he used pattern, and repetition to create Unity! 😉

diego-rivera-creation-popol-vuh

Balance

Balance is arranging elements so that no one part of a work overpowers, or seems heavier than any other part. The three different kinds of balance are symmetrical, asymmetrical, and radial. Symmetrical (or formal) balance is when both sides of an artwork, if split down the middle, appear to be the same. The human body is an example of symmetrical balance. The asymmetrical balance is the balance that does not weigh equally on both sides. Radial balance is equal in length from the middle. An example is the sun. (Wayne Thiebaud)

Composition in Painting

Contrast

Contrast is created by using elements that conflict with one another. Often, contrast is created using complementary colors or extremely light and dark values. Contrast creates interest in a piece and often draws the eye to certain areas.(Raymond Pettibon)

pettibon-ink-drawing

Proportion

Proportion is a measurement of the size and quantity of elements within a composition. In ancient arts, proportions of forms were enlarged to show importance. This is why Egyptian gods and political figures appear so much larger than common people. The ancient Greeks found fame with their accurately-proportioned sculptures of the human form. Beginning with the Renaissance, artists recognized the connection between proportion and the illusion of 3-dimensional space. (Brueghel)

brueghel_hunters

Pattern/Rhythm

Pattern and rhythm (also known as repetition) is showing consistency with colors or lines. Putting a red spiral at the bottom left and top right, for example, will cause the eye to move from one spiral, to the other, and everything in between. It is indicating movement by the repetition of elements. Rhythm can make an artwork seem active. (Duchamp)

duchamp-nude-descending-staircase

Now that you’ve got a good idea about all the elements and principles of Art is is time to incorporate them into some small sketches.

Drawing #19  Thumbnail Sketches of the 9 Principles of Art.

Time Required: 30 minutes to 1 hour

For this drawing you will first draw 9 small boxes evenly spaced across your paper. In each box you are going to illustrate a principle of design using only rectangles and squares. No round edges! Really think about how to best illustrate each principle and you’ll start to get a feeling for what they really mean.  These types of visual thinking are better taught through practice rather than words and explanations. You can see an example of a students drawing below.

principles-of-art-design

Drawing#20 Small object compositional sketches.

Time Required: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

For this drawing you will divide your paper into smaller sections (at least 5) . In each small rectangle draw a sketch for a composition based upon 4 or 5 different small objects.  Play around with proportion and cropping the image.  Make sure your composition incorporates all four edges. This is most easily achieved by having the objects you are drawing to be cropped off be the edge of your picture plane. Then start working with different principles of art, and look at how you can use these ideas to create more interesting compositions.

composition-drawing