Saturday, February 06, 2016

Creating harmony

When analyzing some of the paintings that I admire, I can't help noticing how all the colours go well together to create a great sense of harmony. This is visually very satisfying.

There are several different components to any painting and any or all of them can come into play when one considers its harmony, or lack thereof. This feeling of harmony can be the effect combining similar or related elements such as:
  • Adjacent colors
  • Similar shapes
  • Related textures
Some people believe that using large rounded, fairly symmetrical shapes within a composition denotes balance and harmony. In any event, the consensus seems to be that sharp angles are to be avoided for harmony.  Often times, the design helps bring about unity and harmony. At the extreme, too much harmony and little contrast creates monotony. A balance must be struck between areas of harmony and areas of contrast.

Have  a look at these paintings of Joseph Zbukvic. I feel the harmony in most of his paintings. He uses a number of techniques to create feelings of harmony. The use of a limited palette gives these paintings a tight color harmony and an overall warm or cool color glow. Also grouping the subordinate shapes reinforces the focal point.
Joseph Zbukvic watercolour

Joseph Zbukvic watercolour hamony
Trying to keep the area of contrast smaller than the large harmonious area achieves a visually satisfying balance.

Do you also notice a sense of rhythm in these paintings: boats or people. Skilled painters like Zbukvic overcome the challenges of disparate shapes and guide the viewer through the work in beautiful rhythms hence creating harmony.

There is  much to learn from examining the work of masters such as Zbukvic. Translating those observations into practice takes lots of practice and time. 

This week's artist find is Charlene Madden. Thank you to Tam-Tam for recommending her.
Charlene Madden watercolour
Have a great week

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