Printer Friendly

Sailing the seven C's to better painting: Concept, Composition, Confidence, Contrast II, Color Harmony, Character, Courage: Lesson 7 in a series of 10.

Last month, we sailed through the crucial importance of tonal value (the light, medium and dark areas of a painting), and we mentioned that the viewer's eyes and brain are also stimulated by other kinds of contrasting elements.

This month, we're setting our course for those other contrasting elements, which can make a big difference in the quality of your students' paintings. These visual contrasts are color, distance, distinctiveness, size and tonal value As you know, each article in this 10-part series is designed as a self-directed lesson for your students, and makes it easy for them to get involved for extra credit or as a homework assignment.

HERE'S HOW IT WORKS For teachers, each month a lesson overview and for-your-eyes-only answers to the current quiz will be presented here. Students may go online to our special student Web page by clicking on the "Sailing the Seven C's" icon at, where they'll spend some time learning about that month's topic.

Next, they'll print out the "Quiz Me!" sheet, write in their answers to three short questions, and hand it in to you as a homework assignment or for extra credit. (The following month, the answers to the previous month's quiz will be shared online with students.)

Thank you for encouraging your students to participate.

A full-time artist, Dan Bartges is the author of the book "Color Is Everything" ( Visit his website at

MUSEUM CONNECTION Contrasting color, texture or size in a painting can create and add interest, tension and excitement. When you are in a museum looking at art, contrasting elements can help lead you through the gallery.

Look for contrasting elements in one painting, or compare and contrast elements from two different paintings. Consider why paintings might be hung together. Do their contrasting features create visual interest in the gallery? Do the works play off of each other, making the visitor want to look further?

To encourage deeper looking at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, students have created podcasts based on works of art in the collection. Take a look at the selected works of art; which ones have areas of high contrast? Listen to a few of the podcasts available at the following link to hear how students interpret these works:


1Q Name three visual contrasts that might be used in a painting. 1A There are several, including tonal value, texture, distance, color, size and distinctiveness. 2Q In the painting, John Adams, why are his eyes so noticeable? 2A They are the most clearly focused part of the painting. 3Q For an artist, what's the biggest benefit to using complementary colors (also called contrasting colors) in a painting? 3A Complementary colors naturally go with one another; they are harmonious.

COPYRIGHT 2012 Publishers' Development Corporation
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2012 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Bartges, Dan
Publication:Arts & Activities
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2012
Previous Article:Movement in art.
Next Article:Contour line portraits: excited about artistic abilities.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2022 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |