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Contrast And Its Role In Painting.

Contrast is one of the major shape-generating elements of painting. Color harmony, color, treatment of light and shade in painting are constructed frequently by contrast principle. The contrast symbolics is used often in painting for transfer of the certain philosophical, world outlook maintenance.

Artists used the contrast phenomenon from painting occurrence. But the first it was described by Leonardo da Vinci: ?From colors of equal whiteness and equally removed from eyes that will be the purest by sight, which is rounded by the greatest darkness, and on the contrary, that darkness will seem to the most gloomy which will be visible at the purest ?whiteness?, each color is distinguished better on the contrast?. At studying of the phenomena of contrast from the scientific point of view allocate two aspects of problem – psychophysiological and aesthetic. The conclusions received at studying of the phenomena of contrast by psychologists and physiologists, can form objective scientific basis for studying of the theory of contrast in art practice as one of means of art expressiveness in painting.

The artist in creative practice studies laws of displays of contrast: he observes and studies, first, contrasts in constantly changing nature and, secondly, on image plane (paper, cardboard, canvas) contrast influence of two or several color tones, or dabs. Subject of studying for artists is also dependence of contrast on the areas of color calling this phenomenon. Contrasts are divided on two groups – achromatic (light) and chromatic (color). In each of groups distinguish three kinds of contrast: synchronous, consecutive and boundary (or regional).

Synchronous light contrast.

Artists often are faced the phenomena of achromatic, or light, contrast, which essence consists also that the light stain seems lighter against a dark background, and dark on light is more dark, than it is actually. In the first case contrast name positive, in the second, case – negative. Conditionally clearly, surrounded with more light or dark tone, name ?reacting field?, and background – inducing field.

Researches of simultaneous light contrast have revealed that the reacting field always changes lightness more considerably, than inducing that at excessively big brightness the contrast phenomenon weakens that the effect of simultaneous light contrast depends both on absolute brightness, and from difference of brightness reacting and inducing field. At very low or high distinctions in brightness contrast is absent or is rather insignificant. Simultaneous light contrast depends on the size of the areas of reacting and inducing field. The less reacting field, the more strongly owing to contrast it lightens. At equal brightness the big area of reacting field always seems more darkly of the smaller area of inducing field.

Simultaneous light contrast depends also on configuration of reacting field (the circle, ring, square or the letter on the same background on an equal illumination are accompanied by contrast of various force) and from distance between reacting and inducing fields. Force of contrast usually decreases at distance increase between contrasting fields. Simultaneous light contrast is shown not only in dimness or lightening of reacting fields, but also in seeming change of their sizes. The light stain against a dark background seems more than it is actually and on the contrary, the dark stain on light background seems less. Seeming change of the linear sizes at simultaneous light contrast is called irradiation. Leonardo da Vinci, who also paid attention to the irradiation phenomenon, said: ?From the subjects equal on darkness, size, figure and distance from eyes, that will seem smaller, which will be visible on the brighter or white field?.

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