Lesson Two - Martha T.


Image 1 of Hopper’s People in the Sun, analyzed for contrast and relationship.

Color: Complementary blue and yellow-orange relates landscape to shadows and door/window. Red scarf and green blanket give contrast to blue & gold color scheme.  Multiple hues of blues and golds add relationship.

Size:  Detailed chair legs contrast with broad color masses of landscape.

Shape: Long horizontal sweeps of landscape and shadows create relationship, but give contrast against triangles of chair legs and diagonals of people’s legs and even the hat brim.  Many angles (arms, legs, chair legs, shadows)  point toward unseen object outside the picture world, bringing that object into relationship.

Image 2 of Picasso’s Brick Factory at Tortosa rendered in black and white

Top: Black and white with no other changes reveals more angles than color version.

Middle:  Traced outlines of edges shows complexity of this composition.

Bottom:  Photoshopped version, using Filters, is pleasing and balanced.  It makes me wonder what Picasso “saw” when he began to draw this, that is,  how his eye reduced, then enhanced it.

Lesson 2.2 - Paulette C.

Lawren Stewart HarrisAbstraction #119

Study of Contrast & Relationship


Harris uses complementary colours of blue ( with the darker blues serving on the outside edges as a frame to keep the eye inside the piece) & the orange sprinkled around the inside of the piece . The analogous blues develop the relationship by utilizing a variety of blues in value; size; texture & shapes throughout the piece.

b Size- Lawren Harris builds both contrast & relationship with the variety of sizes of semi-circles;& mostly-incomplete rectangles & triangles.

c.Shapes & Texture-The semi circles are distributed diagonally across the bottom half of the piece. They contrast in size, value & colour (analogous & complementary) which works tounite the overall visual of the piece. The cloud shapes are similar to the more graphic semi-circles but add contrasting texture as well.

d.Value- The complexity of the top yellow triangle is developed by the use of tints of yellow that make this figure even more complex with the interspersed grey thatadds both dimension & depth to the shape.  The collective difference in values throughout this pieces keeps the viewers eye within this piece.

e. Stylistic -Contrasting triangles & semi-circles(varying in size, value, colour) sprinkled throughout this piecescreate an interesting complex contrast while their shape & graphic style create unity at the same time.  

f. ThematicThis piece uses both contrast & relationship to illustrate the drama & majesty of the Rocky Mountains.

Lesson 2.1 - Paulette C.

Emily Carr - The Crazy Stair 1928-30

Focus 1-FIGURE

I feel that the upper left-hand Figure is the most dominant in this piece for me.

The relationship between the dark value in the face contrasts with the higher values of red/ orange/ brown/white of the mouth, eye & nose. The rest of this rectangular body contains these contrasts as well which contributes to the compelling overall drama.   

Focus 2- CANOE

The relationship of dark values colours between the Canoe and Figure works as does their contrasting shapes.  The shapes contained within the canoe are differing sized trianglesthat contrast in value & colour withthe canoe & the figure above it.  These small triangles have enough high-value colors orange(relating to figure)with the yellow triangles connecting the two small red rectangles to pull my eye along to the third focus— the stairs.

Focus 3 STAIRS

The stairs have smaller, rectangular, individual shapes working to establish the relationship of the stair’s overall shape. These smaller unit rectangles have higher value and different colours that contrast with thegreen background. This works to move my eye up the right side of the piece up to the Long Houses. Although these Long Houses are large, of higher value perhaps it is their lack of texture but they are such a high contrast from the Figure that it pushes my eye to the Figure again after a brief“dalliance” to study the Raven above .

The high value “Halo” behind the head of the Figure & Ravenadds to the visual relationship between these two figures.

Lesson Two: Part 2 - Gail N.

My projects. 

Composition #1. I used a small print and then made purple circles. Pretty dull. Added yellow and blue-green, which added contrast and spark. The color and shapes create contrast while the sizes -relatively the same- provide a relationship that holds it together. The yellow buttons draw the eye from the spiral to the top of the rectangle. It's simple but it works. 

Composition #2. I stamped dark red fabric with a black figure. Since I didn't have any stamps or time to paint, I made a stamp from apotato (hello elementary art classes). In the end the fabric was hard to work with because of the heavy contrast of the motifs and overall darkness. 

I needed strong colors and forms to work on the background so I started cutting pieces of fabric and auditioning different colors and this is where I stopped. It has the upward thrust of the long rectangles which take the eye to the top but the base rectangle and edge balance the heft. The small pieces relate to the stamped motifs in shape and size and help soften the background. This is one of those exercises where you never know when to stop. It's been fun, though. 

Lesson Two - Gail N.

Contrast and Relationship

Picasso 138

I think of the contrast here as that of shape as compared to the realistic image of a baby. Its relationship to the actual person, his son, is exaggerated and intense, perhaps conveying his intense feelings for his son. 

Shape:  Blown-up and outlined separate body parts distort the image, yet there is a similarity among them that ties the figure together.

Texture: The checkered sections add texture and interest, making a monochromatic piece pop. 

Color: Monochromatic with pops of white that draw the eye.

Organelle by Betty Busby

This piece has an overall organic feeling created with similar sized elements in the background, in the amoeba shapes and in the dark space at the top. An organelle is a component of the nucleus of a cell.The abstract piece invokes primordial space - I can picture sea creatures, seaweed and water. 

Contrast is created with color in a complex relationship of values of purple, red, and yellow-green. A split-complement? The use of the white circles at the lower left ties the piece together with the top or "sea" drawing the eye diagonally across the piece. 

Texture is added by the embroidered cilia around most of the shapes giving a feeling of motion. You can almost feel them hanging suspended in the primordial stew. 

Coming by Janet Kurjan

Color: The striking use of color defines this piece with the triad of yellow-green, blue-violet and red-orange. The value of the colors in uniformly dark and intense but the incorporation of shades and complements of the main colors adds complexity and sizzle. 

Size and Shape: The slight variation of the shape and relatively uniform size also tie the piece together. 

Lesson Two - Barbara I.

Examples of Contrast and Relationship

I am always interested in art quilts done in a series. I recently saw a presentation about a new exhibit done by ARTful Women titled, “The Classical Elements in Fiber & Poetry.” I ordered the catalog and received permission from Lin Schiffner to use her images in this post. The artists developed four pieces representing Earth, Water, Fire, and Air. All four of Lin’s pieces demonstrate “Relationship” through:

            Color – Monochromatic (primarily) and representative of each specific element.

            Shape – Circles and lines, which bring a sense of movement (in the circular elements) but within a stable environment provided by the slender lines (lots of luscious fabrics and strings).

            Value – lights and darks again create depth and movement.

            Thematic – the artist has used the same elements in all four pieces to connect them in a presentation of earth, water, fire, and air.

            Stylistic – when the exhibit is viewed in its entirety, each artist brings a different interpretation of the theme through a selected style. This artist took great care to keep the four pieces unified.

From: “Gee’s Bend, The Women and Their Quilts”

Artist: Jessie T. Pettway, “Housetop” – nine block “half log cabin”

The quilts from the Gee’s Bend community evoke an immediate emotional response from those of use who use all kinds of rulers and gadgets to get our pieces perfectly cut and sewn with ¼” seams and machine accuracy. We follow patterns and allow our work to be judged. These quilts force us to consider the true art of quilting – making something beautiful with scraps and an eye for developing patterns.

In this quilt I noticed:

            “Contrast” through

Color – the black and yellow POP and force the eye to move around the quilt, while the prints provide a place to rest.

Shape – it appears that a log cabin block was constructed, then cut and turned to create a new design. The squares and rectangles  force the viewer to try and match the various components.

Texture – prints and solids are used to enhance the movement in the quilt top.


                        Thematic Relationship  - The log cabin “theme” is evident throughout the quilt.

                        Shape – Each strip is a distinct element, but in combination, they for a strong graphic relationship.

Joseph Cornell – “A Pantry Ballet”

Although Cornell created his pieces as 3-dimensional, I wanted to include this piece as one that has a great sense of humor. The longer one looks at it, the more interesting it becomes.


            Texture – There are a variety of textures within the piece; plastic lobsters, printed shells, wallpaper background, suspended silverware, and tulle (I think) skirts on the lobsters.

            Stylistic Contrast – The variety of materials, while dissimilar, come together to tell the story of the piece.


            Thematic Relationship – All of the images have to do with things that live in the sea, and eating things that live in the sea.

Lesson Two - Uta L.

Andy Goldsworthy : Snow, heaped into a line, slowly melting (from: TIMe)

The long rectangle in a natural environment is a clearly defined shape that starkly contrasts with the natural shapes around it. This holds for all four stages.

first two: black and white contrast. In the first stage, the contrast between black/white is still relatively light as most of the environment is still snowy and basically the colors gray and white predominate. The shape of the rectangle is visible because of the different colors, but color contrast is not really strong.

In picture two the contrast between black and white is much more noticeable because some of the snow immediately around the ‘wall’ has already melted, leaving a much darker area that defines the shape more strongly: here, it is more noticeabley a double shape. The contrast is more noticeable, too because other natural elements are more pronounced after the snow has melted from the trees, and the snow cover is less dense.

Picture 3 finally introduces real color: due to the fact that much more of the snow has by now melted, color as such is introduced into the overall picture. The white shape of the rectangel yet again is visible due to the strong contrast of the intensively white line, but not it appears only as a single shape.

Picture 4: the shape is still visible, more color is added through the appearance of grass.

It would be interesting to know a) the number of days over which these pictures were taken, and to know the difference in daytime between pictures 3 and 4 – if picture 3 had been taken at the same time of day as picture 4, it might have left a completely different impression.

Gabriele Münter Sunset on Lake Staffelsee

strong contrast of color: three primary colors placed pretty much next to each other

only two of the complimentary colors from the range of secondary colors are also included in the picture (the definite lack of orange (which appears as only one little line in the streak on the right hand side) is very noticeable and makes orange even more conspicuous

contrast of shapes and values: the black island in the middle, shifted slightly towards the left, balancesthe whole distribution of light/dark values, and of shapes, because the repetition of the two ‘spikes’ rising from the island

contrast of line: several of the ‘cloud’ shapes (and the upper line of the hill in the foreground) are encircled by red lines. Only red lines appear. Linear elements in the lighter area of the picture do not have this lining function, but are included.

Emil Nolde – Sea and 3 Yellow Sailboats

Top - Lake Geneva, Bottom - Sea and 3 Yellow Sailboat, Top

Top - Lake Geneva, Bottom - Sea and 3 Yellow Sailboat, Top

The whole composition revolves around the complimentary colors contrast, which is mostly carried by the boats, 3 defined shapes against a backdrop of amorph water/clouds. 

repetition of shapes in the ‘above’ sails and the mirror images

Contrast of complimentary colors and the adjoining colors in color wheel (purple/blues)

contrast of values: purple goes from darkt to light, a wider range than the variation in value in the blues.

Lake Geneva

color contrast: almost complimentary color (blue/yellow), with a bit of real complimentary in the foreground

contrast in shape: 1) a line (the coast line) vs. the rest of the picture; 2)coastal shapes + mirror images vs. more amorphous clouds, repetition of the coastal shapes through mirror images.

Georgia O’Keeffe My Last Door (my absolute favorite in the exhibition four years ago!)

contrast of ‘color’ reduced to the minimal but total contrast between black and white, and a bit of grey (contrast of values)

wonderful contrast of shapes: the two different long grey areas at top and bottom of the picture, the white background (i.e. a large rectangle) and the black center rectangle bordering on square: a dark focal point.

repetition in the use of small grey rectangles with minute variations in size, lines and values.

Own works:

I chose to use one work of mine that has already been finished, one that is still in the process of being finished, and a small new composition worked on according to the guidelines given in the assignment.

Finished piece:  

Shades of Green (Play of Lines XXXIV)

When I was working this piece I was reacting to the statement of a friend whom I had given a piece of hand-dyed green fabric, who said “why do you think are there so few green quilts around?” – yet I had many green scraps. So I was using up scraps, sewing them together by values. Green by itself seemed boring, so I wanted to add contrast and chose complimentary red to dissect the pieces with thin lines in a certain arrangement, repeating the arrangement, but each is its own as they were made individually. Then I arranged the blocks, and at that stage did not like them touching each other directly, so I added the frames – I regret that now, but too late. The arrangement by value happened with gut feeling, so I wasn’t really sending any kind of artist message while making it. 

It has a combination of machine stitching around the red line motifs and extensive seed stitch all over the quilt (except inside the motifs).

Piece in progress:

No title yet – perhaps “Thinking of Nasrin” in Aghanistan

This piece started from a challenge in our group to use one embroidered square from Afghanistan (they were all made by the same embroiderer, Nasrin). The original square I chose is this one. (square) Because two squares were left at the end of the choosing process, I decided I would include those as well. Didn’t want to keep them square, though, so inserted them into a circle. I had a piece of a tchador with the typical embroidery which I had dyed blue and wanted to use this with the embroideries by an Afghan woman, but without replicating a tchador. I kept the hemming lines that were in it, cut it up to keep the embroidered parts and arranged it, then added a printed piece of fabric of mine which takes up the circle-theme in the printing, a little piece of fabric that my son had done some embroidery stitches on (upper right hand corner), took up the yellow of the original challenge square in the lowere left third and added a mixtrue of embroidery stitches by hand to tie that strong yellow line in and keep it from popping out too much, and some machine quilting that echoes some of the patterns but has areas where it stands completely for itself, too, but very ornamental. 

To me this quilt expresses a lot – but I think I won’t talk about that here without having heard the analysis of the use of contrasts/repetition.

Little composition:

all this is non-fixed as I simply pinned it onto the wall on top of another piece (which explains the weird upper righthand and lower lefthand corners in some of the photos, these don’t go with the composition).

I began with a piece of cloth I printed in November (1).

Then I added some circular shapes in the background color, and taking up the sort of circular shapes from the printing, and imitated the purplish square figure through the purple lines arranged in squarish arrangement (3). 

Another little circle, in another color, and integrated into the original and extended square (4).

Because it seemed a rather boring and dull composition at this stage, I wanted to break up the square-shape and tried adding the purple lines in rectangle arrangement at the right top and the left bottom corners. (5) Then it needed contrast (6), but the more pointed arrangement and broken line in (7) appeals to me a bit more. Size: approx. 30 by 50 cm. 

Hoping to get back to some of the other exercise suggestions...

Lesson Two - Priscilla S.


I enjoyed one long full day of pulling out all my art books andear marking thosethat looked interesting.

In general, I found myself choosing art work which touched me at a deeper emotional level, although the one piece I chose because of its wit.  Based on the kind of art themes I focus on, I also tried to find art which would give me ideas for my own work.

And Itried to choose pieces which weredifferent from each other in order to get the practice of analyzing each for CONTRAST AND RELATIONSHIP.   

I was also surprised that many of the pieces I chose, used several of the elementsin the same piece.


   (On the way out of her visit to her psychiatrist, the patient drops her father’s disembodied head into a small circular well, and as a result is able to drop one layer of her veil.  The basket she carries holds “more psychological waste”, so other layers of veil still remain, covering her mouth and leaving her mute.)

Varo is one of my favorite artists...surrealist.....focuses on women freeing themselves from.....almost everything.....  Even though the subject matter is serious, I smile every time I look at this piece and “root” for her.


**COLOR schemeis interesting to determine as at first I thought complementary, but then I wondered about analogous (depending on how far around the color wheel one extends, yellow orange and yellow green).) 

** SHAPES (rectangles; arches; circles; curlicues; triangles)

** VALUE. 


***  FACE is repeated to build on theme.

**TRIANGULAR SHAPE is repeated in the hair; clothing; andfather’s head.  

** THEMATIC RELATIONSHIPSinclude sign on the psychiatrist’s door (Dr. freud, Jung, Adler);  facial imagery; several doors to go through; the deep well.

Thus,  several elements were used to create both CONTRAST and RELATIONSHIP.


(This piece brought up in me deep feelings of tragedy and shame.  Many recent comments by some one politician currently running for President have reminded me of a very sad blot on this country’s history when we interred well more than 100,000Japanese American citizens in 1942 for several years.  This piece was painted by a well known artist who with his family was interned at a camp in Utah.  This piece captures the brutal winters and misery of the camps).


** COLOR neutrals; greyed violets and jeweled greens. Subtle but contrast in value.   

** SHAPE Building size and people due to perspective.  Also rectangular buildings and smaller rectangular windows; the triangular mountain peaks.

** TEXTUREIs subtle but I can almost feel the cold snow and small bit of heat coming from the buildings.

***THEMATICALLY. Loneliness of few people about; the many buildings filled with misery;  stark isolationof. buildings with no where to escape

Many of the same elements used to build CONTRAST AND RELATIONSHIP. 

THE SCREAM, (The Scream of Nature), Munch

(The work shows a figure with an agonized expression against a landscape with a tumultuous orange sky.  Munch wrote a poem about his walking in the early evening and saw a setting sun which turned blood red with fires in the sky and he sensed a scream passing through nature.)


**COLOR Complementary, orange red and blue.

**SIZELarger screamer andtwo smaller men. 

**SHAPE Curving lines and shapes in water and sky contrasted withstraight lines and shapes infence and road. 

** TEXTUREStrong with flowing curves. 

** THEMATIC Contrast with distorted figure inforeground andnon-distortion intwo males walking away.

Again, elements making for CONTRAST also make for UNITY. 

UNTITLED, Basquiat 

(This piece appeals because of the artist, whose work I like.  Basquiat's art focuses on social commentary anddichotomies..... wealth versus poverty, integration versus segregation, etc. His paintings are often covered with text and codes.  Basquiatdoodled oftenwith a loose, spontaneous, andchildlike creative process.)


*** COLOR. complementary blue and orange

*** SIZE/SHAPES Circles and rectangles; arches

*** LINE Shapes and text.

*** THEMATIC On one hand, simplistic and childlike.  On other hand, I sense a depth in wondering about the blank facial form and whether the hard scribbles are covering over something the artist was saying“no” to.   I’m actually finding it a challenge to put into words why this is so appealing to me on an emotional level.

FEAR, Hisako HibiI 

(This piece again is about the aftermath of the tragedy of the WWII internment camps as just being released from the camps atwar’s end did not mean a return to normalcy.  These people lost every thing including careers.  This piece was painted by the wife of the artist who painted the internment camps above in #3.  Her husband died a few years after they were released; she had two small children; and worked in garment factories in New York the remainder of her life.)


*** COLOR complementary blue and orange

***SHAPE Triangular; swirls; circles and SIZE of shapes

*** TEXTURE Matte versus small bubbles of clouds

***THEMATIC Large triangular New York buildings overpowering a tiny mother and child with black swirling clouds.  And stars and sun can’t reach through to the family under the black clouds.

 Again, the ideas of RELATIONSHIP are the same elements used for CONTRAST. 



PROCESS:   I began by brushing some thickened greyed violet dye onto a piece of white cotton velvet starting at the bottom with the dark value and working toward the top lightening the dye as I went.  I next used black thickened dye and one of my silkscreens for the next layer.  I dont usually work in abstract, but as I looked at what I had I was intrigued to see what appeared to be the tops of buildings at the skyline with perhaps tree formsand a body of water????  I then played around with adding various shapes and placementof violet’s complement, yellow orange .  I was debating between where the 3 yellow shapes were to be placed, i.e., where they are ORon the left side as the right upper side was already fairly busy and the left side a place to rest your eye.  I decided to add the yellow to the right side and leave the resting place on the left.  The orange yellow images are hand stitched with a texturish silk thread.


COLOR :  Violet and Yellow-Orange

VALUE:  Shades of Violet

SHAPES AND SIZE;   Squares?;  Long thin vertical lines; Wider Horizontal Line with Triangular Forms Extending

TEXTURE: Yellow-orange hand stitch; cotton velvet background.


VALUE repetition:  3 different value layers of violet 

COLOR:  Bright dose of complement to pop it.

SHAPE:  Different sizes of vertical lines; different sizes of triangles extending from central line

STYLE:  Similarity in abstraction of images

Thus, Contrasting and Relationship elements similar.


PROCESS:  This piece was quickly developed (good luck sometimes).  I took a piece of black felt and abstractly painted on it intentionally trying to use primarily complementary colors of blue-green and red-orange.  Then I fused 4 pieces of a foil type of product.  And then using my hair dryer, burned the piece achieving the “holey” effect.


COLOR:  Complements:  Blue-green and Red-orange

SHAPE:  Rectangular foil pieces with irregular burn out pieces

SIZE:  Different size burn out pieces

TEXTURE:  YES.  Burned out paint.  Shiny Foil

I also see BALANCE with the darker right side balancing the brighter left side.


PROCESS: Again, another fairly quick composition.  I took a piece of gray felt and laid out several different threads and ribbons on it with the intention of a primarily Blue-Green and Red-Orange Color Scheme.  Then, Ineedle felted them onto the felt. At that point, it looked a little boring , so I added a yellow thread splash in the lower left corner.


COLOR:  yes

VALUE:  If I squint and dont pay attention to color, I do have light, medium and dark values.  And again, the dark values on the right seem to balance the bright yellow on the left.

TEXTURE:  yes, that’s what it’s about

Lesson Two - Barbara I.

“Red Devil” 12” X 16” Mixed Media Quil

“Red Devil” 12” X 16” Mixed Media Quil

My daughter, Katy, is a breast cancer survivor. As her primary caretaker during her surgeries and some of her chemo, I had a difficult time dealing with the guilt and anger a mother has when there is nothing she can do to “right the wrong,” believing that it should be the mother dealing with cancer, not the 36-year-old daughter. While sifting through hundreds and hundreds of pictures as I work through these exercises, one haunting image just wouldn’t leave me alone… So I have been working on this composition for the past week, and through it I think I’m releasing some bottled up emotions while learning about Contrast and Relationship.

As I watched Jane’s videos, I remembered that I had a perfect piece of cloth that I painted many years ago. It’s a scrunched watercolor done in gray – that was my launching pad. The next technique was taking the image of Katy in the chemo lounge and creating a “sketch” effect in Photoshop. I also found an image of the gloved hands pumping Cytoxan, the “Red Devil” that causes hair to fall out. I printed out the pics on photo paper, then transferred the images to clear contac paper, burnished them and then soaked them in water, removed the paper, and created a rather transparent image. I carefully fused those two images with misty fuse and zig-zagged the edges. Then I started studying the composition. I decided to use some wool felt and machine quilt the obvious pattern in the fabric, and then added red beads to simulate the drugs coming out of the background going through the syringe and then into the dispenser that goes to the port (which is also red) located on the far left side of Katy.  The composition was not well balanced, so I added a red border, but felt that it still needed something more. The label was the final element. I used a scrap of the gray fabric and stamped “Red Devil” onto it, quilted it and attached it, again following one of the lines in the fabric. The picture is all about Katy’s eyes / her expression… What more could these drugs do to her?

Since this is my first true “art” quilt, I hope that it demonstrates these elements:

Contrast – Value and Texture (implied with the dimensionality of the painted fabric plus the beads, the pictures, the quilting, and the label).

Relationship – Color/Gray contrasting with the bright red; Value / the scrunching and sun fading gives the background fabric a sense of depth.

Thematic Relationship – I think the elements come together to tell a story.

Linda V.

Contrast and Relationship

I am still here, just slow to respond.

I have not analyzed any formal art pieces except the ones that I used for muses. Well the artist I looked into was Paul Klee. I really like his art.

I have NO art training, thus no experience with any art mediums.

So all that I have accomplished is trial and experiment.

Choice #1, is a 5 minute let go study of value, color shape and size.

I did go back and add some variation in red orange circles.

Title: 5 minute study

Choice #1a

I used layers of water color. Shapessquare'esque', so to speak. Color and value, and shape entered into this piece.

Title: I like Paul Klee

Choice #1b

More of Paul Klee influence. 

Water color layers and ink

Title: I like Paul Klee 2

Choice #2

Composition 2

I used pastels to color the background, inks to make very abstract and random bird shapes, used collage techniques to form the large bird woman, and charcoal and graphite to make the larger bird.

All built on relationships

Title: Fly

Again Choice #2

Composition 2

I used charcoal for background, cut magazines to create abstract person like image and pen and ink line drawing accented with red ink and colored pencil

Title: Free

Here are 3 other water color, pastel, charcoal, ink pieces I did a while ago. I love circles, Title: Circles and Dots, and also biology and cells, which are circular, Cells and Cells 2.



Cells 2

Cells 2

Circles and Dots

Circles and Dots

Here are the descriptions of what I tried to do to complete the assignment.

5 Minute Study

I used a background of text, used water color in analogous colors, yellow/orange/red

Circles would be the theme

I added smaller circles with black pen giving movement horizontally

Very subtle circles in red-orange

And then added larger circles in complimentary color green

I tried to use tonal changes to add some depth

I Like Paul Klee

My first experience using water colors

I varied depth of color, and for contrast used complimentary color

Orange/blue; red/green

Repetition of squares, varying sizes with some transparency to create visual interest

Trying to create a feeling of depth and floating movement

I Like Paul Klee 2

More water color

Using the compliments of red and green again

Rectangles of definite varying sizes

I added the black pen squiggles because I felt it needed a pop


Tonal contrast and line contrast

The thin pen/ink line contrasts with the cut line of the magazine

Not sure if the red adds or is too much

Texture of the print on the magazine contrasts with the rubbed charcoal background


Focused on theme. Fly/birds

Used analogous colors yellow green blue

Abstraction of birds (I don’t have stamps and attempts at making subtle birds did not work for me)

Cut collage in tones abstracting a woman with wings focused on the black crow flying away in the upper corner

May have to many or too dark background birds distracting from the woman with wings

Debbie B.

Exercise 1

See my examples and notes about use of contrast and relationship in some favorite pieces.

Stenographic Figure by Jackson Pollock effectively uses contrast, especially in line and color. Bold and fine lines create movement and texture. The complementary orange and blue bisected by swaths of yellow and black make this painting exciting. The use of black helps build relationship, resulting in a cohesive composition. 

Maisons et arbres by Picasso has a muted palette but the black lines provide high contrast. The main shapes are circles and rectangles – with rectangles appearing in grids and varying sizes. The lighter value in the three windows provides wonderful contrast. The grids and dots create relationships between elements and great texture.

This painting from Joan Miro’s Barcelona series includes contrasting sizes of lines and shapes, along with bold colors. Although less prominent, the different versions of black circles are playful and make everything fit together.

The most obvious contrast in Rocky Trail, a quilt by Randy Frost, is the coral color among all those neutrals. A repeating rectangular shape and verticals in varying sizes and the use of the yellowish neutral pulls everything together. Great value contrasts and use of the textured black to make this quilt so pleasing.

Exercise 2

I went with Jane’s suggested strategies in creating three small fabric compositions. None are masterpieces but I found this to be good practice and a useful exercise.

First I added a reddish leaf stamp, then one high contrast coneflower. It needed more, so I drew in some black circles (playing off the coneflower center shape). The little circles in the upper right are bolder, in an attempt to provide texture and help balance the asymmetry of this piece.

I stamped an all-over pattern, then added a series of circles. The black circles on the right balance the big solid circle on the left and create relationship. Because it needed a little bit more, I added the low contrast half circle at the bottom and felt satisfied with this composition.

I probably like this example the least, but a piece in my stash with spirals fit the bill for a design element in three sizes. I added the crescent shapes to give it some movement, and I liked the addition of the black crescents to perk it up.

Ruth B.

First is an image by Vincent van Gogh - La Crau with peach trees in blossom - that I think shows great contrast in several ways. There is contrast of colour with the orange roofs zinging against the blue hills and contrast of value with the white blossoms and clouds against their darker surroundings. There is contrast between the crisp shapes of the houses and the more organic textures and patterns of the rest of the landscape.

There is also relationship created simply by the shapes of van Gogh's brushstrokes - so the blob shapes (good technical term that :-) ) that he's used to create the texture of the sky are repeated in the foreground to create the texture of the land and in the middle ground to create what I think are small areas of water.

The second image I've selected is a medieval scientific instrument called the Chaucer Astrolabe from 1326. I think it is a stunning image with its rhythmic repetition of geometric shapes, the circles, overlaid with with organic images of birds and dogs. Although each of these organic shapes is different, I think there is enough similarity for them to build relationship. 

The third image is a quilt by Kevan Lunney. Gosh, where to begin - contrast of value - contrast of shape, circles and rectangles - contrast of size, variation of circle size - contrast of texture, shiny against matte... I want to own this quilt :-).

I've also attached an attempt at stylistic contrast with a repeating pattern using two stylised images of water plus a more naturalistic image of a sea creature, a leafy seadragon which is one of my all-time favourite sea creatures. I'm not at all sure if it's worked so I thought I'd put it out for some comments?