Get a little perspective

The Dictionary describes the meaning of perspective as, “the art of drawing solid objects on a two-dimensional surface so as to give the right impression of their height, width, depth, and position in relation to each other when viewed from a particular point.”

This is an amazing thing to study a lot ! It will make your work pop out and look outstanding, as you’re portraying objects in three dimensions. Viewers can associate with your work, and can focus on all the details, instead of getting caught up in perspective errors. There’s 3 main types of perspective, 1-point, 2-point and you guessed it 3-point.

1-point– One point on the horizon line (eye level), all perspective lines travel towards that point, this can be used in so many different ways to achieve some really creative results. You should always try to put the horizon line near the bottom of the image, many artists place it too high, which focuses too much attention on the ground. This is useful for some images, but the majority have low horizon lines.

one-point-perspective

Values as shades of light

Value is an extremely powerful tool in the fundamental pool, perhaps the most important fundamental, dare I say. You want to make sure you study value, after you see what it can do to your art, you’ll be obsessed with learning it. Values are extremely important to understand, you can use it in the first stages of an idea to quickly sketch out an idea, using shades of white and black to show depth and focal areas of an image, with the least bit of effort you can get some very great ideas and a direction to go with your project.

Value is used to create a focal point within a painting or drawing.
The human eye is immediately drawn to a light element against a dark element.
This creates, the focal point of interest. To create the illusion of depth, gradations of value are also used. Areas of light and dark give a three-dimensional illusion of form to subject matter.

The word “value” is used a lot around this site and with good reason. Value is one
of the seven elements of art. Value deals with the lightness or darkness of a color.
Since we see objects and understand objects because of how dark or light they are,
value is incredible important to art.

Value deals directly to light. We see things because light reflects off of objects
and goes into our eyes. Our mind processes the light and rationalizes what we are
seeing. Without light, we cannot see anything. In order to draw or paint in a way
that creates an illusion of what we normally see, we must fully understand light
and how it reacts on surfaces. Value is the key to the illusion of light. This
is why value is so incredibly important to drawing and painting.

Using Value in Drawings
The whole point to value is to create the illusion of light. So value is used to
basically create the illusion of highlights and shadows. Highlights and shadows combine to create the illusion of a light source. Remember, without light we cannot see. So technically, without a light source, you have no illusion.

Beginner Mistakes

Made by 3dsmax, first modeled, textured and rendered image.

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Value is used to create a focal point within a painting or drawing.
The human eye is immediately drawn to a light element against a dark element.
This creates, the focal point of interest.
To create the illusion of depth, gradations of value are also used.
Areas of light and dark give a three-dimensional illusion of form to subject matter.

The word “value” is used a lot around this site and with good reason. Value is one
of the seven elements of art. Value deals with the lightness or darkness of a color.
Since we see objects and understand objects because of how dark or light they are,
value is incredible important to art. (I’ll remind you that drawing and painting
is about seeing.)

Value deals directly to light. We see things because light reflects off of objects
and goes into our eyes. Our mind processes the light and rationalizes what we are
seeing. Without light, we cannot see anything. In order to draw or paint in a way
that creates an illusion of what we normally see, we must fully understand light
and how it reacts on surfaces. Value is the key to the illusion of light. This
is why value is so incredibly important to drawing and painting.

Successful Artwork has a Full Range of Value
Artworks that exhibit a full range of value are generally successful. It doesn’t
matter the type of art you are creating. As long as there are dark values in harmony
with light values, your artwork will most likely be aesthetically pleasing. A full
range of value means that they are ample amounts of light values- called tints, and
dark values – called shades. To be sure that you have a full range of value in your
artwork you may create a value scale…

Valuescale-The-Elements-of-Art

Using a value scale, you can be sure that you create a full range of value. Many
artists use a value scale as they work, identifying specific values and adding them
in appropriate spots.

Take this apple for example…

reference apple-Value-The-Elements-of-Art

Image Source

If we were to take out all color, we would still see the apple and recognize it as an
apple. In other words, we are just showing the values of the apple…

value-the-elents-of-art-bw-apple

If we take this one step further and isolate eight of the values, we can see where we
would need to draw or paint the values…

Value-the-elements-of-art-apple

Using Value in Drawings
The whole point to value is to create the illusion of light. So value is used to
basically create the illusion of highlights and shadows. Highlights and shadows combine
to create the illusion of a light source. Remember, without light we cannot see. So
technically, without a light source, you have no illusion.

The Ultimate Lesson Plan

ìThe Ultimate Lesson Planî is a complete classroom solution for art teachers that
includes lesson plans, videos, handouts, quizzes and more.

LEARN MORE
This is why value is mentioned so frequently on all of the art instruction videos
and pages on this website. It’s important. If you understand and implement value
correctly in your drawings and paintings, you will see immediate improvement. Value
is essential to success.

Value – Terms
Value – Element of art associated with the darkness or lightness of a color

Light source – area in which light is originating from

Value scale – a guide to creating a range of value, good pieces of art have a full
range of value

Tints – light values

Free Art Lessons- Value Scale

Shades – dark values

Free Art Lessons-Tints

Highlights – areas on an object where light is hitting

Free Art Lessons-Shades

Shadows- areas on an object where light does not hit

Composing can happen in the art world too

Composition 101

Websters Dictonary describes the meaning of composition as, “the act or process of composing
specifically : arrangement into specific proportion or relation and especially into artistic form
the painting’s unique composition.”

Basically what Websters is so profoundly trying to say, is that composition is simply the act of
arranging elements around in your image, in order to make it the most pleasing to the viewers eye.

I guess you could compare it to setting a dinner table for a lavish party. What if you took
all the silverware and just dumped it all on the table, in a chaotic mess. Your guests wouldn’t
really like that too much. It’s frustrating to look at, the same way your painting would be if
you did the same with all the elements in your scene.

For example, imagine you’re painting a path through the forest. You could place the path in the
center of the image, which a lot of beginnings will do. This is ok, but the viewer eyes are
going to follow the path through the image first. By putting the path in a zig zag pattern,
your eyes will sweep through the whole image, noticing all the other details, making it more
compelling and satisfying to the eye.

So why is composition important anyway? It’s important because it brings all the elements of your
picture together. Without proper composition, you’ll end up going in a direction that’s the
complete opposite of what you were trying to acheive in the first place.

There’s some help with this in the way of the rules. One being, the rule of thirds The rule of
thirds arranges the elements in your image using a grid placed over the image
with 3 boxes placed horizontal and vertically. You then place objects in the intersecting points
between the boxes, this always works to make your art more natural and pleasing to the eye. If
there’s no composition in an image, you can notice something doesn’t look right, but you can’t
place what it is. (image of Rule of Thirds rule)

Composition is a big part of what makes a piece go in the direction you want. You always want to
make the viewer feel something when they look at your art. Composition is what makes that happen,
as it’s the way to bring all the elements and planning in your scene all together as a whole.

To give you an idea, look at different pieces of artwork and how the composition affects the mood.
How does it make you feel? Happy, sad, scared, inspired? It’s what every great artist has up
their sleeve, you spark emotion with your work, and you’ll have all kinds of fans!

The best way to direct a viewers eye into your art is to set up a focal point. Something that’s
prodominant in your image, maybe a strong light source, or vibrante color, maybe the pinacle of a castle.
You could go about it, by placing more dominant details in one part of your image, and smaller
details in the other. This is a great way to lead the eye into your artwork. This gets the eyes
moving in a direction you determine, a great way to get your viewers to notice all the other hard
work you did making the rest of the image just as great.

There’s a lot you can do with one focal point, well you don’t have to stop there, you can create
more then one. It will definitely be more challenging to pull off, but would create more involvment
for the viewer. You’ll notice this from now on when looking at other works of art, it needs to be
cemented in your bag of tricks, so you can take better control of your image.

For example, if you have one large object on one half of your painting, you might consider
placing two smaller objects on the other side to maintain balance. You can practise by creating
large and small shapes on the canvas and playing around with balance and movement. Just by
playing around with these rules can produce some great setups, keep practicing the areas
that you’re not strong with and in no time you will start to make modivating improvements at how
well your skill level is coming along.

For example, you might want to mix small and large shapes in your painting or combine straight
lines and curved lines, or cool and warm colors.

A great way to create dynamic composition is to create a path for the viewers eye to travel
around your picture with either elements or light or shadow, you can use many techniques to
acheive this. Keep these rules in mind when setting up your composition, and you’ll be making
amazing compositions in no time and it will be engraved in your mine forever.

This is the sense that everything in a piece ìgoes togetherî either through a unifying
element like color, or lighting, or shape symmetry, you can make sure no object looks like itís
overwhelming your image down.

Here’s how it works: Picture a square or rectangular piece of paper.

If you were to take a pencil and draw two lines to divide that paper into thirds,
then rotate the paper once and do the same thing, it would end up looking something like this:

(diagram of rule of thirds)

Movement is the best way to move your viewers eye around your image, in a direction that you
want. There’s several ways to acheive this, such as a winding path, or with lighting, or color.
You can also have your shapes point in the direction you want them to look, if you have a tree
with branches pointing in a certain direction, or a character pointing, the viewers eye will
always look where their pointing.And donít forget about negative space.

Negative space is anything that isnít a subject.

To use the example of a portrait painting, the negative space is whateverís around the person.

Itís always good to be aware of the shapes that negative space takes on between different
subjects. Is it a shape thatís going to lead the eye around the piece? Is it a shape that
creates balance and movement, or does it make things feel off-balance or distracting?

If you really want to get into this you could even arrange your subjects around the negative
space to create certain shapes.

Triangles tend to create balance and interest in a piece so a lot of artists will try to
create triangles in their negative space.

A famous example of this is The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci.

Notice the inverted triangle shape between Christ and John the Beloved, the figure directly
to left of Christ. This draws the eye to the focal point (Christ) but then directs it to the
line of the table, which not only grounds the piece, but allows the eye to move around the
other subjects seated at the table.

This might sound complicated and unnecessary but the next time youíre working on a piece,
take a few seconds to notice the negative space and the shape itís making. What effect does
that have on your piece?

Yes it does sound like a lot, but composition is one of those things that becomes second
nature to an artist with a little practice.

The more you notice composition in art, architecture, photography and design work, the
more youíll recognize it in your own work and use it to shape the way people experience
your art.

THINK ABOUT STAGING
Combining different shapes and sizes together in a shot creates the perception of intensity.
Intentional overlap in images also develops cohesion and relationships among characters and
environment. The higher the contrast between sizes the greater the intensity. The same goes
with shapes.