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Saturday, June 11, 2016

Using Contrast as a Tool

What do a hammer and value contrast have in common?  
Answer:  Both are tools that we learn how to use and both can do a single task, but towards a number of intentions.  
One of the reasons people tire of dealing with composition principles is that they seem so academic and restricting.  That's why in Finding Freedom to Create I changed the nomenclature, calling them generators, a word with all that baggage.  I call one group of these Results and another group, Workers.

Among the Workers is contrasting and value is an element with which contrasting works.  The painting below is dull and uninteresting because value contrast is not doing its job.

But if we go back into the same painting and put value contrast to work, we can achieve visual clarity.  The painting becomes more dynamic, more life.  . 
We can use degrees of contrasting value to control where the eye goes in a painting or how fast the eye moves within the piece. We can pull the eye to a focal point by setting a strong contrast then lead the eye towards that area using reduced degrees of contrast.

It's a fun thing to work with and is what I'm doing in this week's video lesson in which I take the study from Lesson 3 of Series 16, Focus with Value to a finish by using value contrast as a tool to do just this.  

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