Name that painting…Test your knowledge of art history by naming these famous paintings. Take this simple 25 question test by writing your answers on paper, then check your answers at the end of the quiz. Don’t peek!
What is the name of each famous paintings pictured below?
1. __________ (1503 – 1506) by Leonardo da Vinci
A. Portrait of Lisa Gherardini
B. Mona Lisa
C. Ma Donna
D. My Lady
2. __________ (1511–1512) by Michelangelo
A. The Creation of Adam
B. God Reaches Out
C. Genesis of Man
D. The Touch of God
3. __________ (1665) by Johannes Vermeer
A. Girl with a Blue Headscarf
B. Girl with an Exotic Dress
C. Girl with a Pearl Earring
D. Girl with an Oriental Turban
4. __________ (1893) by Edvard Munch
A. The Ghost
B. The Tormented
C. The Traveler
D. The Scream
The Large White Dog
Animal Art by Teresa Bernard
16″ x 20″
Oils on gallery profile stretched canvas
In the previous lesson, titled “Basic Art Element — Color, Part 1” we looked at the basics of color and its relationship on the color wheel. In this lesson, color harmony (a.k.a color schemes), will be discussed.
Color harmony is the relationship of colors that work well together. A harmony can be basic having only one color with several shades (monochromatic) or two colors that complement one another, or it can be a more advanced relationship involving a combination of multiple colors. There are many ideas for achieving harmony in our color palettes. These harmonies are based on the color wheel. A color wheel is a handy tool to have around as it helps the artist understand which colors work well together. Following are some illustrations and descriptions introducing some of the more popular color harmonies.
The word “monochromatic” means one color and a monochromatic color scheme is made from the various tones, shades and tints that are surprisingly possible within a single color. Monochromatic colors work well together, producing a harmonizing and soothing effect.
A monochromatic color scheme is created by choosing a single color from any of the twelve colors found on the color wheel, then using it along with its various tints, shades and tones. The example below is a monochromatic family.
Complementary colors (a.k.a. color opposites) are those that are located directly opposite each other on the color wheel. For example: violet is the complementary of yellow since it is located opposite of yellow on the color wheel.
The complementary or color opposites are:
ο Red and green
ο Yellow and violet
ο Blue and orange
ο Yellow-green and red-purple
ο Yellow-orange and blue-violet
ο Red-orange and blue-green
ο Red-violet and yellow-green
ο Red-orange and blue-green
ο Blue-violet and yellow-orange
Painting tips regarding color opposites:
1) When equal amounts of color opposites are mixed together they will cancel each other out resulting in a drab neutral gray.
2) When color opposites are placed next to each other, especially when fully saturated, they create the strongest contrast between them and will even create the optical illusion of appearing to vibrate. This illusion is most evident between red and green.
A variation on the complementary color scheme is the split-complementary color scheme. Rather than the color opposite the key color on the wheel, the split complementary takes the two colors directly on either side of the complementary color. For example if your key color is yellow, you would select the two colors on either side of violet instead of violet to make up this harmony of colors.
This scheme allows for a nicer range of colors while still not deviating from the basic harmony between the key color and its complementary color. It has the same visual appeal as the complementary color scheme, however, with less contrast and tension. The split complimentary color scheme is a safe choice for virtually any design as it is near impossible to mess up and always looks good.
Analogous colors are groups of three colors that sit next to one another on the color wheel. One being the main or dominant color and two supporting colors. The effect of this color scheme can be quite dramatic as these hues usually work very well together in creating a sense of unity or harmony within the composition.
When using this color scheme, choose one as the dominate color (usually a primary or secondary color), a second color to support, and a third as an accent.
• Accented Analogous
An accented analogous scheme (also called analogous complementary) is a combination of the analogous and complementary color schemes. It consists of colors which sit next to each other on the color wheel and a color that is directly opposite to these. The direct complement then becomes the accent color to create a dynamic contrast against the dominant color grouping. This is a great way to add warmth to a cool analogous color pallet or a cool accent color to an otherwise warm color scheme.
Painting tips using this color scheme:
1) This color scheme works best when the number of colors used are limited to four.
2) A good time to use this scheme is when three closely relate colors are dominating a design. Adding the contrasting color provides a surprising accent for the composition.
• Triadic (Triad)
A triadic color scheme is made up of three colors which are equally spaced from one another on the color wheel forming an equilateral triangle. Thus every fourth color on the color wheel will make up part of a triad.
Some examples of triadic color schemes could be:
ο Red / Yellow / Blue
ο Orange / Green / Violet
ο Yellow-Orange / Blue-Green / Red-Violet
ο Yellow-Green / Blue-Violet / Red-Orange
Painting tips for mixing triad colors:
1) Work with only the three selected colors in your triad and their mixes.
2) Make one of your colors dominant with the other two acting as subordinates.
3) Add variety to your design by including different shades, tints and tones of your triad colors.
23. How can an artist show unity in their artwork?
A. By drawing happy people
B. By using principles of design that work together to create harmony
C. By using many different elements and principles in their artwork
D. By drawing everything really close together
24. Negative space is the background or space around the subject of the artwork.
True | False
25. As a rule in painting, objects in the background are usually made lighter to show __________.
26. Perspective is used in art to create __________.
A. a vivid painting
B. the illusion of depth
C. create pattern
D. create balance
27. The aesthetic center of interest is located directly in the middle of the format.
True | False
28. The point on the horizon line where parallel lines appear to disappear.
A. Tonal Range
C. Vanishing Point
D. Linear Perspective
29. Two lines that eventually come together are converging.
True | False
30. What essential tool is necessary to create linear perspective?
C. Ruler or straight edge
31. An object in the foreground should be drawn small and toward the top of the paper.
True | False
32. Objects in the middle ground of an artwork should be drawn larger than objects in the background.
True | False
33. The way we show objects in proportion to one another as they recede to a distant point.
C. Linear Perspective
34. The placement of the horizon line depends on the artist’s point of view.
True | False
35. Flat, filbert, round, and bright are all standard art brush shapes used for oil painting.
True | False
36. When artists think about their composition, they are thinking about __________.
A. a technique used by modern artists to make designs by attaching two and three dimensional objects to a flat surface
B. lines that show the edges of forms and shapes in the simplest way
C. ordered arrangement of elements in a work of art, usually according to the principles of design
D. a system of drawing to give the illusion of depth on a flat surface
37. The area on a surface that reflects the most light is a _________.
38. The three basic properties of an artwork are composition, content and __________.
A. principles of art
C. elements of art
39. When you paint you should always clean your brush to __________.
A. know what brush you are using
B. share it with your friends
C. keep it looking new
D. keep it clean so your colors stay beautiful
40. The rule of thirds dictates __________.
A. that three colors should be used in an artwork
B. the design be limited to three objects
C. where the main subjects in a work of art should be placed
D. the canvas should be divided into three main sections
Space is one of the basic elements of art. It refers to the distance between or the area around and within shapes, forms, colors and lines. Space can be positive or negative. It includes the background, foreground and middle ground. Both positive and negative space can play important roles in the overall success of a work of art. By understanding the difference between the two, you will:
Become better at designing unified compositions.
Be more successful in visually communicating your story.
Gain important clues about the meaning of an art piece.
There are two types of space that exist within art — positive space and negative space. Positive space is the actual objects or shapes within an artwork and negative space is the space around and between those objects. A good way to demonstrate positive and negative space is by utilizing Rubin’s vase. (Refer to illustration.) As you can see the vase occupies what would be referred to as positive space and the space surrounding the vase is negative space. Notice how the negative space is forming silhouettes of two faces in profile.
Positive space is the area or part of the composition that an object or subject occupies. It is usually the main focus of the painting, such as a vase of flowers, fruit, or candle in a still life, a person’s face in a portrait, or an animal in a wild life painting, or a building, trees and hills in a landscape. When used skillfully, positive space will add interest by enhancing and balancing the negative space in a composition.
Negative space is that empty or open space that surrounds an object. It helps to define the object, gives it some breathing room to prevent the painting from being too crowded and has a huge impact on how the art piece is perceived.
An interesting thing about negative space is it can be used to prompt viewers to seek out subtle hidden images within the negative space causing your design to get more attention and to be remembered while other less interesting works aren’t.
Why is negative space so important?
It can add interest and is an excellent way to draw attention to your works of art. A good balance between great negative space and intrigue will cause the viewer to desire more time looking at your work of art.
It can draw the viewer in giving them a sense of inclusion because they discovered a subtle hidden message or image in the composition. Even though it may be a simple composition, great negative space reveals there is more to the piece than first meets the eye making it a more rewarding experience for the viewer.
It gives the eye a “place to rest,” thereby adding to the subtle appeal of the composition. The equal amounts of both negative and positive is considered by many to be good design.
Does a negative space have shape?
In what ways is negative space important to the overall success of a composition?
Anything that has a surface has some type of texture. Texture is the way a surface looks and feels. It is experienced in two ways — with touch (tactile) and with our eyes (visually). Fine artists often use texture in the following ways to:
create a focal point
visually balance their compositions
Texture is essential in paintings to make objects appear to be real. Even in abstract paintings texture can serve to enhance the viewers experience by suggesting certain feelings or mood regarding the artwork. Texture can also serve to organize and unify various areas of a composition.
Texture can either add to or take away from the overall effect of the composition. When it is used haphazardly or in the wrong way, it can confuse or clutter the painting. However, when used with deliberate skill, texture will bring a composition together creating the illusion of realism and adding unity.
There are two types of texture — tactile and visual.
Tactile texture is the real thing. It is the actual way a surface feels when it is felt or touched, such as rough, smooth, soft, hard, silky, slimy, sticky, etc. 3-D art such as sculpture and architectural structures are tactile in nature because they can be felt. An example of real texture would be wood, sandpaper, canvas, rocks, glass, granite, metal, etc.
Even the brush strokes used in a painting can create a textured surface that can be felt and seen. The building up of paint on the surface of a canvas or board, so that it creates actual texture, is called impasto. Painters may choose to apply their paints thickly or thinly depending on overall effect that is wished to be achieved.
Visual texture is not real texture. All textures you observe in photographs are visual textures. No matter how rough objects may seem to appear in a photograph, the surface of the photograph is always going to be smooth and flat to the touch.
Artists can create the illusion of texture in their paintings by simulation or implying it through the use of various art elements such as line, shading and color. It is created by repeating lines, dot or other shapes to create a pattern. Varying the size, density, and orientation of these marks will produce other desired effects as well.
Although there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of different types of texture, nonetheless, all texture will fall under two broad categories — rough and smooth. For example:
What other textures can you think of? Comment below.
Your Next Art Lesson
If you enjoyed this lesson, be sure to check out another one in this series.
Color is the element of art that involves light. It is produced when light waves strike an object and are reflected into our eyes. It consists of three properties: hue, intensity, and value.
Hue — This is simply the name that is given to a color, such as red, yellow, blue, purple, green, orange, etc.
Intensity (or saturation) — This refers to the purity or dullness of a color. Purity is determined by whether or not a color has been mixed with another color and if so, to what degree. Colors straight from the tube are considered the most intense. Those mixed with other colors are considered less intense. There are two methods that can be used to dull the intensity of a color:
1) Mix the color with gray
2) Mix the color with its complement
Value — This is the lightness or darkness of a color. A color’s value changes when white or black is added. Adding white creates a “tint” of that color and adding black creates a “shade”.
Using color effectively in the creation of art involves understanding three basic areas: the color wheel, color value, and color schemes or as it is also referred to, color harmony.
The Color Wheel
The color wheel (sometimes called a color circle) is a handy tool often used by artists and interior decorators as a visual aid in understanding the relationship between colors. It was developed in 1666 by Sir Isaac Newton when he took the color spectrum and bent it into a circle. The color wheel is a circular chart divided into 12 sections with each sector showing a different color. It is made up of three different types of colors – primary, secondary, and tertiary. The term “tertiary” means third, by the way.
Primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. These colors are equally distanced apart on the color wheel. There only three primary colors and they are the most basic colors on the wheel. They cannot be created by mixing any other colors together and can only be derived through natural pigments. All other colors found on the color wheel can be mixed from these three basic colors.
Secondary colors are orange, green and purple (or violet). These colors are created from mixing equal parts of any two primary colors together.
Red + yellow = orange
Yellow + blue = green
Blue + red = violet (purple)
Tertiary colors are red-purple, red-orange, blue-green, blue-purple, yellow-green, and yellow-orange. There are six tertiary colors and they are the result from mixing equal parts of a primary color with a secondary color. The proper way to refer to tertiary colors is by listing the primary color first and then the secondary color. That’s why tertiary colors are referred to by a two word name.
Red + violet (purple) = red-violet (red-purple)
Red + orange = red-orange
Blue + green = blue-green
Blue + violet (purple) = blue-violet (blue-purple)
Yellow + orange = yellow-orange
Yellow + green = yellow-green
Color also has a value. Value is a measurement to describe the lightness or darkness of a color. It is determined based on how close the color is to white. For instance, lighter colors such as yellow will have lighter values than darker colors like navy blue.
A good way to see the difference in the values of colors is to look at the greyscale. White is the lightest value, while black is the darkest. Middle gray is the value halfway between these two extremes.
The value of a color value can be affected simply by adding white or black to it. By adding white to a hue, a lighter value is the result. Lighter values are called “tints”. When is black added to a hue, the value becomes darker, creating a “shade” of that color. See example below.
The temperature of color is how we perceive a particular color, either warm or cool. Warm colors range from red to yellow on the color wheel, whereas cool colors range from blue to green and to violet. Each temperature takes-up one-half of the color wheel (see images below). Somewhere in the green and violet spectrums the temperature changes between warm and cool.
The characteristics of warm and cool colors include:
• are made with red, orange, or yellow and combinations of them
• tend to feel warm reminding us of heat and sunshine
• tend to advance into the foreground, i.e. come toward the viewer
• may feel more energetic, attention-grabbing and aggressive
• are made with blue, green, or violet and combinations of them
• tend to feel cool reminding us of water and sky
• tend to recede into the background, i.e. move away from the viewer
• are more calming and soothing
Neutral colors do not appear on the color chart and are neither warm nor cool. They are called neutral because they lack color and are derived by mixing equal parts of color opposites together (i.e. red + green, blue + orange, or yellow + purple) resulting in drab looking grays.
Black and white are also consider neutral because they are neither warm or cool and do not change color.
This lesson on color continues in part 2 where color harmony is discussed.
Value is a basic element of art that refers to the gradual change of lightness or darkness of a color. It is created when a light source shines upon an object creating highlights, form shadows and cast shadows.
Value is most evident on the gray scale where black is represented as lowest or darkest and white is represented as the highest or lightest value. Or more simply said, they are the various shades of grey between white and black. Artists us them to create highlights and shadows (shading) in objects and create depth in their paintings or drawings.
Colors can have value too. In painting, value changes can be achieved by adding either black or white to the chosen color. Some colors, like yellow and orange, are naturally light in value.
The Benefits of Values in an Oil Painting
Successful paintings have a full range of value. This means that there are ample amounts of both light values and dark values. Paintings which possess a full range of values tend to stand out more and are more pleasing to the eye.
Value creates contrast and adds emphasis. The human eye tends to be drawn to areas of high contrast. High contrast occurs when lighter elements are placed directly next to much darker ones thereby creating a dramatic effect. This is a technique that is used to draw attention to specific areas of a painting that the artist wants to emphasize thus creating a focal point. For example, a light figure on a dark background will become the center of attention, and a dark figure on a mostly white background will command the eye’s attention as well.
Value creates the illusion of depth. Value is an important tool to suggest roundness or depth. It helps to create depth within by making an object look three-dimensional or a landscape to appear to recede into the distance. Light values make elements feel like they are further away and dark values make them seem closer.
Value creates opportunity to set the mood.
Low Key — These are paintings that exhibit mostly dark values and very few lights. Low key paintings have very little contrast and seem to communicate a depressing, sad, or mysterious mood. Paintings with predominantly dark values often conveys a sense of the nocturnal and secretive, of things hidden just beyond sight.
High Key — These are paintings that feature mostly light values and very few darks. There isn’t much contrast in a high key painting. Usually these paintings possess a light, happy mood. Female portraits are often high key as they can convey delicacy, innocence and dreaminess.
Using both high and low key colors in a painting can create contrast which often feels dramatic or exciting.