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Thursday, January 1, 2009

Lists and "Thanks, Making a Mark"

If you haven't already discovered Katherine Tyrrell's brilliant blog "Making a Mark," you must and not because she recognized this blog among her top five FAQs and Answers Really Useful blogs. Katherine's blog is one of the best experiences I've discovered within the blogshere.

Thanks, Katherine. It's quite an honor to get this recognition.
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When I was teaching in bricks and mortar, I enjoyed opening the more advanced classes with a composition lesson. At times I'd choose from one of the two major art magazines (I'll refrain from naming either) a painting that was a bit less than successful (making one wonder how it got published), then we'd analyze why the painting didn't work. At other times, I'd pick a well done painting and we would examine all the dynamics that made it work. It didn't take long for my students to realize that good painting involves much more than just copying images. They looked forward to these little mini lessons and so did I.

For them, I developed a guide which I called a "think sheet" and they called the "cheat sheet." It's not much more than a set of lists, and it's purpose is simply to jog the memory as to possibilities.

To begin the New Year, I want to share my "cheat sheet" with you. Enjoy and Happy New Year!

A Brief Outline of How the Visual Language Works
(A Think Chart for Visual Composing)
"We construct images, we compose art work."

The Elements (Our Vocabulary)
Line
Shape
Size
Direction
Texture
Value
Hue
Intensity
Temperature

The ACTION principles (Things we can do with the vocabulary to make it work)
Select and Place
Gradate or Modulate
Alternate
Contrast
Vary
Repeat
Make Similar
Elaborate
Economize
Isolate
Overlap
Juxtapose
Find and use perspective
Find and use angle of shadow/light
Create dominance

The RESULTS (What We Want To Get)
Pattern
to avoid randomness
Balance
to prevent one-sidedness
Order
to overcome chaos
Harmony
to stay in tune
Rhythm
to avoid being static
Proportion
to set relationships
Transition
to enable movement
Form
to provide structure
Focal Point and Visual Path
to guide the eye
Emphasis
to avoid being erratic

Toward our ULTIMATE GOALS
UNITY
to avoid fragmentation
PURPOSE
to negate aimlessness

The CAUTION principles (Things to avoid along the way)
Tangents
Sore Thumbs
Aimless Centering
Disconnectedness


Copyright 2009, Dianne Mize



4 comments:

Casey Klahn said...

Thanks for this generous post, Diane. And thanks for putting "temperature" a f t e r "intensity" - my pet thing!

Dianne Mize said...

Glad you dropped by Casey. Notice I didn't list "color." That's one of my own pet things--I like thinking of the roles of color as each having unique importance.

janabouc said...

Thanks so much for posting this. I've been making my own lists like this but none halfway as complete. It's so helpful to have a sort of checklist to refer to when I'm not sure if a painting is finished, or there's a problem with it and I'm not sure what the problem is. THANKS!

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Thanks for the mention Dianne.