Sunday, January 29, 2012

Jade & Fruit

Let me remind you again of the opportunities for simple subject matter in ordinary household "stuff".  Generally speaking, I choose simple things to draw and emphasize form by observing and reproducing light and shade on the object. If these works, especially that of the fruit, were in black & white with no color, we'd still see form. 

Now, let me play teacher for a moment. (Those of you who are experienced artists, close your eyes!)  Overlapping elements, like the leaves on the left, help us to see "depth" in a work. Our life experience is that an object in front is closer, a partially hidden thing is further away.  Picture two simple squares overlapped.

Another, very important contributor to the 3-dimentional quality of these drawings is Color!   Aside from overlapping, the green leaves come forward of the blue and grey background because of the warm yellow in the green.  The green is much warmer than those blues. 

The same deal in the pear/apple piece, the reds and oranges, very warm colors, quite emphatically push forward of the dull grey background.  Even in comparison to the cool greens and blues of the jade plant above, the fruit drawing stands out as closer!

The warm reds & oranges in the lower drawing are highly saturated compared to the green in the jade plant. When I laid down the reds with my pencils, I pressed down a bit harder, depositing more pigment, covering the grey paper completely so that no grey showed through the reds. Otherwise we would have seen the dull grey mixed with the reds, dulling or neutralizing the red, pushing it back.

BTW,  In each of the works above   I've made use of "analogous" color schemes,  colors next to each other on the color wheel.   - Blue/green in one,  red/orange in the other. Analogous colors work well together, they are harmonious.  The  quote below by Marc Chagall says it very well. 

There's another color "thing" at work here, - not in the drawings but on the page!  Red and Green are opposites on the color wheel.  We call them complementary colors.  When put near to each other, complements seem to brighten each other.  Just viewing these two drawings close to each other as they are, makes both seem more alive. (In some cases that effect is even stronger and the colors actually seem to vibrate!)  If I had drawn green pears and apples, this page would have been much less interesting!  Try this: scroll this post so that you can see both drawings at once, then with your hand cover each alternately.  See how much more lively the whole page is with both in view?  The power of complements!  The use of complements within an art work livens it up, - can make it more exciting!

OK, I'm done! Next time I'll try to lecture less.  You there, with your eyes closed, - Wake Up! 

"All colors are the friends of their neighbors and the lovers of their opposites." Marc Chagall

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