Friday, April 15, 2011

An ODE to CONTRAST (verse 6)

Because contrast is a game of extremes, it gives an artist license to cast aside nuance and embrace all kinds of lurid and gorgeous combinations of color and form.

Frank Tenney Johnson

George Innes

Carl Spitzweig

Still, it's not true that the farther apart the elements, the greater the contrast.  On the contrary, contrast has to remain confined by a common set of rules or it becomes less effective.  Contrast between elements of equivalent weigh tends to create tension, while contrast between elements of unequal weight tends to create movement.  Either of these relationships can be powerful, but they require the elements to be tethered together if we want to create the illusion of greatest distance between them. 

If you just try to place elements as far apart as possible, without a common set of assumptions, you run the risk of punching a hole in your picture, through which all of the integrity of the image will simply drain out onto the floor:

7 Comments:

Blogger kev ferrara said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4/15/2011 10:26 PM  
Blogger kev ferrara said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4/15/2011 11:04 PM  
Blogger kev ferrara said...

Well, any fellow who can uncover a great Frank Tenney Johnson I've never seen before and a great George Inness I've never seen before in the same post is a-ok in my book!

Thanks!

4/15/2011 11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That last picture is terrible because of the colors but also because of the composition with that pink apple.

4/16/2011 3:53 AM  
Anonymous MORAN said...

What year is that fluorescent color ad? It looks like late 60s or early 70s when the psyschedelic era ended, but art directors will still in love with black light color effects. The normal rules of color didn't apply back then.

4/16/2011 7:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is off the subject but the Society of Illustrators just announced their new members of the Hall of Fame. You wrote recently that the Society had lowered their Hall of Fame standards. What do you think about this years choices?

4/17/2011 11:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, Jerry Pinkney sucks. I don't care how many awards he wins.

4/21/2011 6:07 PM  

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