Most Important Painting Elements

The five most important elements in painting or drawing regardless of medium are: shape, value, value gradations, placement and edges. 

Our visual perception of three dimensional objects on the picture plane is controlled by the shapes and placement of various blocks each having differing color values from those adjacent to it. Whether we perceive the shapes as being flat or curved depends upon the gradations in value within a given shape and the nature of its boundaries with adjacent shapes. An abrupt edge signals a sharp break between two blocks whereas a gradational edge signals a curved boundary.  Another element is texture which is really a type of value gradation that is repeated in some way.  By proper manipulation of these elements masterpieces have been created without any concern for color.  Making use of the additional color properties of hue, intensity and value certainly adds to the interest of most paintings and provide still more challenges for the artist.

Pencil drawings are particularly useful for new painters as they provide some simplification of subjects in that they only have to worry about  shape, value, value gradations, placement and edges.  Drawing is really just monochrome painting in shades of gray, so extensive drawing practice makes for better painters.  I will repeat what has been told by many good artists - If you want to paint well then DRAW, DRAW, DRAW.



Posted by: lknight
Posted on: 11/12/2009 at 2:56 PM
Categories: Tips
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