Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Art Tip Tuesday #2 - The Power of Contrast

Art Tip Tuesday 2

Last week on Art Tip Tuesday I shared a few ideas for how to get into the creative zone. This week I am working on an ink drawing that will be screened onto shirts (see that info HERE) and thought it would be a good example of contrast. Readability is important in art that will be seen from a distance, such as shirts, and contrast is the greatest way to make an image readable. In this design there are a large variety of sea creatures and my biggest concern is that they will get lost in each other. To avoid a big blob of lines and chaos, I am concentrating on bold lines around each specific creature and creating areas where the black-to-white-transition is sudden. The fish you see in the photo have been inked very dark where they go behind the mermaid's ear and their heads have been left mostly white. This abrupt shift makes the fish look more like they are moving forward whereas if I had inked more detail into their heads they would look like they are swimming to the viewer's right.

At this point the conical seashell above the fish is mostly white, so you see it gets a little lost. As I add more detail the shell will look more like it's in the middle ground behind the school of fish.

Tip: Always take a few moments to step back and look at your piece from a distance. Most people will never have their eyes as close to the art as you do, so see it how they will see it. Notice what parts don't stand out enough and parts that stand out too much. Make adjustments so the piece flows how you want it to.

Contrast doesn't have to be the amount of black versus white, so next week I will share some tips on the uses of color and shapes to obtain balance.

Bryan Collins
Get originals and prints at http://www.bryancollins.etsy.com
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