- Lesson details
In this first lesson of the series, instructor Bill Perkins will introduce the following elements: aspects of line, edges, eye line, implied line through force and direction, rhythm, direction of axis, and space. Bill will also introduce the Style spectrum, elements of design, Notan versus Mass and Chiaroscuro versus Form.
- Faber-Castell Pitt Pastel Pencil – Burnt Sienna
- CarbOthello Pencil – Burt Sienna
- General’s Charcoal Pencil
- Kneaded Eraser
- Toned Paper
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Perkins will break down the components of image making that
collectively create what we think of as style. Although many
artists and art instructors avoid tackling such a complex
and seemingly subjective topic, Bill will demonstrate that bill will demonstrate that
these components of visual language can indeed be
analyzed and understood to give you more control of your own
art and a deeper understanding of the art of others.
In this first lesson of the series, Bill will introduced the
following elements: aspects of line, edges, eye line, implied line
through force and direction, rhythm, direction of axis, and
space. Bill will also introduce the style of spectrum, elements of
design, notan versus mass and chiaroscuro versus form,
which are primary design biases that deal with technique,
personal styling, and modes of expression.
have to kind of think about or I hope you think about before
you start beginning your compositions. And these are
just broad-based things, but they're all involved with how
we personally approached the subject that we're drawing or
we'll talk about the subject.
Okay, here's some of the things you might think about in
terms of the subject or be swayed by by the subject.
You're going to choose something, a subject that
appeals to you in some way, and so these are the different
factors you might consider about going into that subject
or ask yourself about, you know, are you sensitive to or
leaning towards or is your main
incentive here is to deal with the anatomy or construction?
Okay, the anatomy if it's a figure or the construction if
it's environment, an object, or a situation, still life landscape,
seascape anything so the actual breakdown and construction of
the subject itself, okay as an element as a thing, okay or
things. So is that the motivating factor, is that the
thing that you're most interested in driving you? Okay,
or there's the surface.
Now the surface of the subject, this could include the
So are you interested in capturing a seamless illusion
of what you're seeing, is this subject something that you want
to capture the finite line or light quality or color
quality of what you're looking at or trying to capture, is that
the thing that is going to be mostly or is it can be mostly
the major factor in why you choose what you're doing or how
you're starting to approach your composition or your
artwork. And this would include - your surface illusion might
include textures and so on. So I'll put textures too.
There you go, the surface illusion or surface textures.
Now the other thing that you might look at in your subject
or about your subject would be expression.
Okay. So with your subject, what is your subject
expressing? So that might be the outwardly, okay, their
outward expression. So if it's characters or people or
a person, what is their expression and what does it
mean? What is that that main statement that they're
delivering that you can put across in your visual? Okay, so
their expression or the expression of the subject would
be more outwardly.
Okay. So what is it? What are they physically doing? How are
they physically showing that expression?
The other side of expression
would be inwardly so expression might be the inner thoughts.
Okay, the inner thought of your subject or a subtext, I'll
put subtext here too.
So as the outward expression might be the text. This is the
character. This is their expression. The inward
or the subtext might be but what are they really feeling
about that? Okay, so that can kind of complete the illusion
If you're thinking about it that deeply you can actually
get more in your expression. Okay. So if you're looking at
it both outwardly, what are they physically doing and what
are they feeling about what they're doing? So think about
those two things. You could even think about that in terms of a
still life or a landscape as well. This might be the
physical expression of the layout of this land, but you
know, what's happening in that land? You know, what's going
on in that place, is it a good place, is a bad place, is it a
common peaceful place? And how you express the outward
elements and then how you can you have to ask yourself what
can you do to help bring out the inward or the
feeling of that space, what it might be or a feeling of that
space. So the expression of that space and that sounds
really abstract but any I'm we can deliver visually, things
that will - elements, visual elements that will make the
viewer that will attack more than one of their senses not
just their visual senses. But if we can create an image that
makes them feel some different taste or makes them, reminds
them of a sound or can give them some other experience,
it's combining those, if we can connect to the viewer with
multiple on multiple senses, on multiple fronts, then we can
create a bigger, broader image or illusion or a deeper
experience for the viewer. It's hard to do but it's something
if you don't consider these things you won't arrive at but
if you just start thinking a little more deeply about what
you're doing, what draws you to it, and the expression of that
subject you'll start thinking about those things a little
more. So these are things that might draw you to a
subject or bring you interest or make you interested about a
particular subject. Now let's talk about the artist.
Because you're the one that's communicating, you're creating a
composition, you're creating a scene, a situation, putting
something together. What you have to say about it is
important as well. So and again, these are different
factors. If your idea could range or the way you
involve yourself could range anywhere from a finite likeness
that you work really hard to remove any sign of your
application to get a really
finite kind of illusion or do you show the process. And these
might sit on other ends of the spectrum, but all the way to
abstract work that really just shows process. Okay. So these
are different ends of the spectrum.
Our point of view as an artist we all sit somewhere along that
line. So to find where you sit, that's your base. As you as an
artist need to discover your base of what you're
feeling or the way that you approach things. Do you like to
see process in your finished piece? Do you want to eliminate
your personal process and show just the expression of the
subject? Those are all factors that you want to kind
of weigh in when you're dealing with composition. So
this is a real abstract point of view towards it but you're
building around building a composition. So as an artist
you have to ask okay what do you want to say visually?
Okay. So what is it that you want to say visually, what is
it that you want to bring out about that subject or that
situation? So your ideas, your thoughts, your feelings,
all of those things are going to ramp into the building of
that composition. They have weight in your final have weight in your final
composition. So rather than not think about it or dwell on it
too much you have to consider those things. You know, what is
it that you want to say ?Even classic portrait artist don't
just copy, many of them don't just copy a
beautiful likeness of their sitter. They try to get more of
the personality. They try to expose a little bit about that
viewer that maybe their inner thoughts, maybe not just their
physical look but try to get their inner thoughts, their
feelings, their status, their position, their connection with
with other people. Those are different factors that could go
into that portrait as well. And those are going to come from
what you're pulling out of the subject and what you want to
say about that subject. I mean, we can't really overlook the
classic things like Sargent's Madamee X as a scandal is it was
at that time. He was not just painting a portrait of a
beautiful woman, he was painting a painting about this
woman and that's what was scandalous about it. That's
what was causing the commotion about it. So your expression as
an artist is really an important factor in here. It's
what you have to say about what you're doing. So consider that
and think deeply about it. Don't just, you know, jump off
and just start putting things down. Okay. Think deeply
about it. Another thing that you need to look at or consider
as you're working is your point of view. Okay, so your artist's
point of view.
Okay. Now your point of view, I'm not talking about where
you're standing as you're painting something. I'm talking
about your point of view in terms of your position in your
time, in this time, in this place. this place.
You have to think about what has influenced you, what you
like, what -
the manner in which you work. Have you been following some
directions, some trend, are you - do you have an affinity to
particular artists? These are all part of you and your
background, they're going to influence what you do. So that
becomes a part of your point of view. So it's really
your point of view is all of your
I'll just put it as baggage but it's everything that kind of
makes you who you are as an individual. So consider those
things. It might be it might be difficult to
get away from yourself enough to really look at these things.
But all in all if you're aware of all of these things or at
least consider them when you start to build your
compositions or think about them in general, it will help
you kind of assess and find your foundation as an
artist number one, and once you establish your foundation as an
artist or where you stand and how you approach things, once
you understand that a little bit more clearly or you'll
develop that a little bit over time and you get a feeling or a
handle on that, what's going to happen is you'll have - it'll be
easier for you to make clear visual statements. So it's
really important to understand where you stand as an artist
and assess your foundation, your base, how you feel about things,
the background that you've had, the study that you've begun, the
processes you go through, the things you find attractive, the
things you try to emulate, those things that have kind of made
you who you are at this point help to define how you I'll help to Define. How you
approach your work. So get good understanding or a better
understanding that you can have of yourself and how you
approach things the more objective you can become about
what you choose and how you do things and put them together
and that will make you make it easier for you to really define
the clarity of your image in a way that you and only you would
put it down.
composition or as a compositional component, we
start with these different approximately seven, eight visual
components that connect our whole visual language. So these
are the basic ones. I'm going to repeat these over and over
but I'm going to lay them out here for you. There's line,
Line, tone, shape, space, direction, rhythm, and color. These are the
factors of these, the visual components that were used to
build any composition outside of that. What we do is compare,
compare, compare. Now,
what are we comparing? A lot of times we might identify things
as a key, like a tonal key or a color key. And what does that
really mean? Most most students that I ask to help clarify
that they go well, that's what it is. It's mostly
that. So let's take for instance a tonal key. Okay,
because it's the easiest most direct thing. And tone by the
way out of all these components actually has more influence on
creating the mood of a piece than the other components. It's
a little bit more dominant in that way. That's why there's a
lot of artists that that that might not be strong with color,
but they have a strong handle on tone or value and if their
values are correct sometimes you can forgive some
awkward color for instance. But you know, you have the full
picture, you need it all. So you need to be aware. So the way to
deal with key is just this okay, these are our components,
and the way we deal with key is we have a major key,
okay, and we have a minor key.
Okay, your major key is the proportion.
Okay, the proportion that's what you're looking what that's what you're looking
at when you talk about a key. If it's a dark key it would be
mostly dark, if it's a light key it would be mostly light.
Okay, so a proportion we might identify it as something like
this. If this is -
as a symbol this might be mostly light. Okay, so our
major key might be mostly light, but how dark is dark? We
haven't answered that and we don't define that. You need
another angle on keying something. So we go to our
minor key and our minor key is the range of contrast.
Okay, your minor key is the range of contrast. Now the range
of contrast within the image, within an area, within a thing,
within two little parts. It will all break down. Okay, and it
will all kind of get smaller and smaller and smaller. So the
larger proportion to the smaller proportions to the smaller
proportions is all a comparison or a comparative process, but
you have to look at it not just broadly compare, be more
specific. Okay, compare the proportion of one thing and the
range of contrast of that thing to another. Okay and abstractly
in a diagram, it might be like this.
Okay, there might be medium contrast or the range of
This would imply greater contrast.
This might imply less contrast. I'm even putting some over here
and a little bit over here. Okay, this also might create
So your minor key our range of contrast, it doesn't matter if
it's overall light or overall dark. It's the range of
contrast within that area. That's why it's not a one-stop
shopping of key, it has to do with the larger areas,
surface area to a smaller surface area, the dominant
factor and the submissive factor and within that it's
okay how dominant, how submissive? Okay, that's where
you deal with your range of contrast. So abstractly this
major and minor key can be used or when you start looking at
things and breaking them down by a major and minor key you're
going to see that it applies to the shapes in your
composition, it's going to apply to the tone, it'll apply
to the line, which we'll talk about a lot, space, how you
handle space, deep space flat space and so on, the direction,
the forces, visual forces that that shapes create, or
the rhythm. All these things and color they can all be managed
through your major and minor keys.
But today I want to focus on line. So now I'm going to focus
Okay line as an element, a visual component.
Working with line as a visual component. It can be
expressed in many many different ways. This is
different than - the line that I'm going to describe is
different than than this. This is just the result of this
tool. Okay, in your composition there's various ways to deal
with lines or creating lines. There aren't any real linel
like this line in nature. So lines are created by -
in one composition your line might be the horizon line.
Okay? So our horizon line is where you have one shape
meeting another shape, that might create a line. Okay. So
if this is the ocean here, okay, your horizon line would
be that implied line or it is a line created by two shapes
coming together. There's another kind of a line that
might be created if
you have two shapes intersecting. So where they
intersect would create a line. This intersection. Say this is a
wall. Okay, there's a doorway and there's a window over here.
Where they intersect these would be lines. So this would
be a line, this would be one shape to another shape. This
would be a line like this type of a line. So it's important to
look at these and it sounds a little bit redundant and a little
simple, but these can be very important elements in your
composition. So they can either help you talk about your
subject and the subtext of the subject or they can get in the
way. They can create situations where you have create visual
tension, because whether you want it or not,
you just need to be aware of these things so that you can
design it. Okay, not just have it default within your image.
Okay, so you have - where shapes come together
like this and this, or objects come together like this and
this. Okay, and then you have implied line. And an implied
line might be
something that is not a tangible line, but between two
objects, there might be a force. Force created by the direction
of two things. So let's just say that you have a picture
and you have a handle on the picture and you have a spout on
Okay, just with this simple little picture you're going to
see that this direction goes this way. Okay. So in a
situation like this, you're going to need - it's going to
imply a direction here and you might want something to stop
direction. So now we've created some space within these
two just by having two objects, one that kind of throws this
implied line and one that catches this implied line. And
again, this isn't a drawn line like this, this is a visual
connection within your composition. So maybe
this is a composition where there's some different things.
Maybe there's a box or something in here. Maybe this
is a plate back there or something like that, but you're
going to create this space by having those,
these directions, and implied lines are good part of that. So
you might have two surfaces.
This would be two surfaces here. This would be two shapes.
Okay, this would be implied.
An implied line and then you have eye line.
If you have a figure or a person a portrait, the eyeline
is extremely important. What direction are those eyes going?
Okay. Now I mentioned the seven visual components but - and
I've mentioned in here that this spout, even though it's not
a face, it becomes like a face or a direction. So the direction
of this is a factor in creating this implied line. So if you
can't really have an implied line if you have -
well something like this we imagine the center so we go
from center to center on these two things. So this implied
line would just go from center to center on these two objects,
implied line can also use
Okay, and if I put another shape in here like this, I'm
going to get an implied line that comes around like this.
I'm starting to build because I have created or using
okay, I'm creating an implied line through these shapes.
Okay. So now I'm using a line, I'm using direction, I'm using
shape and all these things exist within a face, within a
figure, within a landscape, within a still life. It happens
in all of our compositions. So just to be aware we have these
implied lines. Again eye line.
You might have -
this is a person, their eye line might be this is like straight
forward. Okay, you might have a eye line like this, you might
an eye line like this.
Okay, and that becomes important.
You might have something where
your eye line might be up here, giving a direction also.
So however, you place this, the focus or the gaze of the your
your model or the person, that's going to be very strong
component to your composition.
painting by Howard Pyle. This painting is called Marooned. He
painted in 1909 and it's a pirate marooned on whatever, he's
on land but there's nothing but water. What the story is is that
there is nothing out here. Now if we think of Robinson Crusoe
or we think of, you know being marooned on an island you might
think of a shipwreck and a tropical island and all this.
Howard Pyle chose to do this.
Okay, this line like we're talking before, this line is
where the sky meets the sand or meets the ocean. Okay instead
of showing a vast ocean he wanted to show He wanted to he wanted to show
the outward and the inner expression of this Sinner expression of this
pirate. What are they feeling by being marooned, what does it mean
to be marooned? He didn't include a ship or a shipwreck
because that would be shipwrecked. He included the
idea, the feeling of being marooned. And being
marooned in Pyles image like this means being alone
with nothing. There is nothing. You could
say he's in the middle of a vast ocean, but that would make
him very minute and it wouldn't allow him in his composition to
give more inner expression or inner feeling. So this is how
he kind of worked it out with line in terms of shape to
shape. Here, this is important as well, I'm
going to draw this with going to draw this with
charcoal just to kind of point out these things. This line,
this long strong horizontal in here where the sky and the
ocean and the sand meet, this is really important because
there's nothing interrupting it but him and this small little
This little ripple of foam in here gives balance to this
image. Okay. It's another factor in your composition is
balanced. In this composition that factor looks something
like this. You have something small and something big.
This is the idea of balance. Okay, so you might have
kind of your fulcrum here. The farther out you go the more
you're going to see this this balance of something large to
small but in this situation, he's got something small and it
works against something big. Now as far as an implied line or eye
movement that's another kind of a way to think about line,
how the audience views the image and the path the
the audience their eye travels through your image. That's also
important. SoI'll depict that too. Where this little ripple comes up
his back is curved down this way.
So this closes, gets closure, with this here. And then also
his coat coming down here and this water line again. It's a
shape to shape creating this line. This little water here
implies that this sandspit this sandbar or whatever he's on is
very small. Okay. This is important, too on how small
this space is? Okay, and that's important to his thoughts and
his feelings of how this place is. If he did a tropical island
There's Hope with a situation like this. He's there the the
island is so small and the ocean is reflecting nothing in
the sky, nothing. So there's nothing in the sky, nothing in
this ocean and the land he's on is so small and
insignificant it all adds to his inner feeling and thought
here. Now we look at at an eye line and if we look at his
eye line, his arms and shoulders,
his hands are down here.
coming back here. If we construct his body in here
somewhat like this,
his head is down.
His eye line
is looking down.
His head isn't up. It's down. There is no hope, he has no hope
It's totally desolate out there and what we see
from his eyeline being down is very diminutive. And so
pushing his eye down here his eye line also adds to the the -
it's a line factor, but it also adds to the mood. He's trying
to convey in his image. So as simple as this
composition might appear.
This creates a directional line back here to
kind of bring your eye back in here. So we get closure from
here, here, here. Okay. So this might be your eye path
okay through the picture, but he's dealing with a line based
surface to surface, again surface-to-surface.
We have the closure between this and an implied line
between these two objects. It creates a balance. And we also
have his gaze or his eye line down being diminutive and and
submissive to this world That's
where there's nothing. So his feeling within this total
mood is is completely down. So as a storytelling image,
it becomes very successful in that he removed everything of
hope, anything they could give you the idea of a possibility
that he would be saved. On the other hand
in order to show that
he wasn't - in order to show him as being small in this big
but yet be large enough that the viewer can look at his
demeanor and depict who he is and where he is and see his
clothing from the standpoint of his status or what he
represents or who he might be, in order to see that
close enough yet make him feel so removed is an important
contradiction that he's able to pull off in this. So I thought
it was a very successful composition in terms of how the
whole thing is put together and really relies on lines both his
eyeline, the implied line, this line or what could be
almost like a physical line on the horizon here and then this
line of these shapes, the water coming into there, it all works
together line on line on line.
eye line and eye movement and how they work together. But I
also want to talk about how you as the artist would direct the
viewer's eye or how their eye movement might work through
your image and how you might design that into your painting.
So that's really critical because
how they move through your picture is going to keep them
in your picture. If their eye just falls right out of your Falls right out of your
picture or you might have a beautiful rendering but if
their eye falls out, they weren't going to spend time
looking at your painting. So you need to keep them moving,
keep them active within your image. So their eye line or eye
path becomes a critical factor too just in terms of keeping
your work alive, keeping it it building and stuff for
your viewer, for your audience. So I'm going to go over an
image that's got a lot of movement and a lot of rhythm,
rhythm being another one of our components, but I'm going to
look at it in terms of how the viewer's eye path might
work through that that image. So
there's two figures in this image you can see
and within here there's -
with the two figures there's some general abstract shapes
that I'm just going to take in general. One directional
movement here, one directional movement here that that is more
dynamic. Okay. So out of these two dynamic shapes or from
these, countering those, are these other abstract shapes.
that create these strong patterns.
That's our general eye path. Now how we move the viewer's eye
over the form is going to be really important too, but in a
general composition and this is a circular composition within
it, within this composition, we're going to look at how this
all gets broken down. Okay, and this composition and the eye
path. So what we're going to look for is we're going to see
out of these two figures there's a wing that comes here,
again countering that there's a strong shape of the back of the
arm that comes down. So things are all relative to what's next
to it and across the image. So I'm going to go what's next to
it and across the image. This pushes up this way, gives us a
direction now. So as we look closer we're going to look for
the direction and angle of one line, one shape, to another
shape, right, next to it and then across cross the composition. In
this case we'll look at this force this angle against this
and also pushing a force up here and then getting this over
the top here.
So there's an implied line from there to there. Okay, that
comes across here. Countering that is a volume
but it has a directional line or axis and your axis works as
another line is like a center line. So your access works with
direction who works with rhythm, but this axis line here
creating a shape here like this.
Okay works against this shape.
You see the axis on this
going more like this way. So we have access this way and access
across here, coming across here, is going to be
another shape that's going to be pushing up this way,
coming out here,
and out. So we have this axis against this axis. This force
is pushing up here.
And then this is working against that, this is working
against that, and then we want to go across because there's -
this woman's chest here
works against this plane that comes down here
in this fashion.
So these surfaces are going to also follow this path. You can
see across here this angle is going to counter this angle, the
axis of this, and how they all work together.
There is a part of her hair piece here that's going to
come across and also going to give a shape in here. Again
reinforcing this direction out here or this shape
that gives some direction out in this direction.
And these are all pushing out this way. So now to counter
these, these shapes here. There's a movement here and
Okay, and now this movement in here
is going to be
entwined with his hand and finger
coming this way. So he's going to be wrapping around, his hand
is going to be wrapping around here.
Back of his hand here coming up to an elbow here, where her hand
is going to come off like this. So these are both - these are
really intertwined so they need to be
interconnected in this way. Now to simplify this, kind of bring
this up, and again going across the form, garment over the back
of his arm.
This is back of his arm here and then following that up here
gives you the volume of his chest in there. His shoulder
coming up in here
it gives you this to this coming over. It gives you a
full volume in here and pushes back
and pushes back his neck
Okay, so we're going up here across from how these
are intertwined and this direction force is up here and
pushes over the shoulder and then the back of the neck, even
a couple folds on the back of the neck and across here,
give him this long stretch where this is bent in here.
And again, there's a shape in here that comes across,
reinforcing this form,
coming across there.
And we see the axis in his eye line way up here.
we're going to get this kind of a line. It's going to reinforce
this. So this and this are all going to push up towards here,
from her hair here. There's a piece of material falling and
it falls over a shoulder down here.
So this is going to be important how it wraps around
and gives real active against more passive.
Okay, and then her shoulder sitting in here,
this is going to give length to her neck in here.
Okay, and how her arm that's going to wrap around here, the
material is going to wrap around here and again create
something that's more active here against more more active here again,
something passive here, giving you this direction, following
this flow down into this region down here.
Coming down here, moving your eye across.
Okay, as we come down here,
we're going to again follow this up around and around here.
So there's a another softer shape that comes down here,
falling down here, wrapping around and then his foot comes
here and his toes again turn you in. Okay you want to go in
because you want to keep your eye in this circle.
All this is about building the shapes within here. The material
flows all through in this area in here and then across from
leg to leg so our eyes are going to go over this and
over this form
and go back to her ankle here.
So we're going to have these at different angles coming off of
here and then wrapping around her lower leg here
we're going to also wrap around this way.
I exaggerate these things a little bit just to push the
but they're all very present in the artwork.
Okay, and there's other hand coming across the back
of her back arm and then the wing to both little cherubs
comes off here like this and again pushes your eye in this
direction and then a shape in here pushes you up again in
this direction, reinforcing up, up, up, and up and over.
This over the top of her head comes, it's asymmetrical to
her axis line
to something a bit more like that.
And as her shoulder comes up it tucks in,
again, pushing that curl like that gives force up in
this direction. So it gives it an eye direction, an eye line
is going to be moving there and it's going to be countered by
this moving up in this direction.
Now this is a case where as much anatomy is in this drawing
and rhythm in is in the drawing, it's really, the the
rhythm and the expression of that rhythm it appears is more
dominant and that's where I'd say, you know,
if you look at where you're coming from or what you want to
express in your image if it's more anatomy, you wouldn't be
doing it quite this rhythmically possibly, you'd be
more interested in the individual part or how that
figure is actually composed within its own self. Whereas in
something like this, with the two figures you want to feel
the movement and rhythm from one to the other and the shapes
and pushing those shapes is really what's driving this
a little more so its emphasis is on the rhythm and movement, this
rhythmic movement that happens through here. Moving the
viewer's eye through in these rhythmic patterns. Okay another
bottom of his wing coming up here into this situation, again
finding these areas that pull around, okay.
his axis is you see under his jaw just slightly. It's
not - it's not really pronounced. It's a soft shape
there to make him feel younger and stuff, but
you feel his shape coming this way. Whereas hers
this is her chin and you see
a little bit here we're gonna want to see his axis is going
back this way his eye line, but his gaze is looking down here.
So this is really important.
Okay, so if we look closer at the axis of his head, the axis
is this way,
his neck is this way.
And this is the axis, this is the axis of his neck, but then
his eye line.
This is his eye line down this way.
This is it the direction of his gaze.
Okay, so we have this axis here, this axis here, and his eye line
is this way. So axis lines that are all countering and then his
eye goes against this axis line. Now what happens there, that
makes things more dynamic. Anytime you build the tension
one thing or another it's like drawing a bow. So
this is set up this way.
You can see up this way
and his eye line is going down this way. So it sets it up and
you're looking down. So those are countering one
another and that's why this makes this so interesting and
so intense of an image, okay. And countering that, we have her
and he has a long neck line in here.
Against that her head creates a not a long neck line this way.
And a force pushing in here.
So this force is pushing against this long line. So this
direction here and then the axis goes back this way.
And this one is over the top. So let me put that in here, if we're
over the top
we're looking underneath.
This is the situation that we're ending up with.
So we have a force pushing up this way, I'm going to use this
this pencil here
to show you really how a lot of these things are
working. This one is coming up and it's going to an angle this
way, arcing out this way.
Then the top of her head and axis is coming this way.
Within there, kind of pushing back in that way.
Under her chin we have
Upper lip. Of course, we're seeing more of it just because
the perspective going up there and then
the shadow shape on the side of her nose
the Direction coming over the top push this brow pushing up
over the top and catching over here.
Right in there.
Okay, so as the shapes on her face are going around and
around following the axis going back here.
I want to show how it kind of plays against this off-axis
scarf on her head that comes back and wraps down here. This
creates a direction up here, this direction, that direction,
like his eye line coming down here.
So his gaze towards her in this direction
counters the axis of his head and neck.
And then from her ear we get this long line down here.
Okay, and this pushes up here, pushes up here, and allows us to
get that shoulder pushed in there. So we re feel
that shoulder curling over and pushing that force back. So if
we have a contour line, which is another kind of a line,
contour line is a line that sits on a surface. And this
works as a contour line of her garment coming around. Okay as
things fall around they'll fall around these forms, so
as her arm comes in and meets with her ribcage up in here,
you're going to see that turn and that turn, that slight
little turn in there is going to give you the amount of
tissue here. It's give you a sense of the volume and tissue
here. But also give you the line. I'm looking at how the
lines are actually influencing this. So even just the volume
here and now it turns in here this little turn helps push
this direction again, it's always looking for these
things. Then we have just a slight little shadow moving in
here, pushing up in this direction,
holding on to this form, pushing back here.
Again, pushing back up in this direction and then we can go
back in here.
So this is a longer form in here and from her chest in here
all the way down to her navel in here because this long
elegant curve but we have these forms this way and then
Okay, as it wraps around here and then pushes in here we get
this directional force again coming from this area here
across to here and we can even go up here. So we might go
across the form and a contour line, right, the material
is coming across her arm in these contour lines, showing us
the volume there.
And this goes up around her shoulder.
Again, leading our eye into here. And from the same place we're
going to get part of his chest coming in here, pulling up into
Okay, so we can see how we get this pushback and up and
flows around this way like this and the shape of the
way her hair flows can be really significant as well.
And from her hair you know the shape of her hair and also
the scarf that she wears here that comes across, it gives
another shape in here and basically builds a shadow
that can help push us up to this
very dominant shape up here, giving the eye movement
across here and catching here.
And it's important that these two shapes aren't the same two
because two matching shapes gets buried kind of boring. You
want to have one countering something else. It's like I
mentioned before with like balance, you might have a -
instead of two equal parts, you might have a large one and a
small one farther away from the fulcrum. In this situation we
have a longer sleeker shape over here where we have more of
a vertical shape
over on this side. So they're two different shapes, but we
get the sense of what they are immediately anyway.
This starts to go up in this way, around this way.
Okay, and then as a fabric comes around here, this is
still a cross contour line comes over her arm and then
shadow helps for the other part of that contour.
Contour lines wrap over the form like this,
tell us a little bit about how the material folds but also it
tells us what's underneath the material.
Okay, so from coming all the way down here pulling up to
here pushing over, pushing over, over the top,
over the top,
over the top here,
and this little break in here also works as a shape that
gives direction, both up and down.
Long neck in here pushing back and then this
over his shoulder back of neck
back of head here.
So it goes back here and then wraps around and comes back
down. Again up his arm, and we get contour lines over
the top of here. His hand works as a contour over her arm. Her
arm comes back and falls
back over the top of his
forearm there and then his comes as a support under this.
so they interlock.
And then this force comes down here and up, reinforcing this
under his buttocks, supported by his foot
and then this shape turns around and pushes us back into
this and the bottom of his wing comes around here. So all of
these things, all these shapes, all these lines work as
arrows and directional forces that push the
viewer's eye through and in throughout this image.
or if there’s a longer line going through there, you know, that I can see I’ll
kinda go for that.
Once I get that
long - the longest from here, then what I can do is I can see where some of these folds
where there’s a long stretch in here so I want to push that up so then that’s putting her shoulder up higher, it’s gonna help do that.
So I push that up okay so then it falls down this way on this side and then I come down in here pulling back to her hip
and then her skirt hangs off of her hip like that
Down in here, back up in here, and then going to go from here back up and around and then I can see on her arm how the knees kind of go this way.
So once I get that gesture showing that force of where those things are, that’s where the folds come from.
you know, radiate from. So you know again kinda getting that main gesture first, you know, then you can hang
all of the material, all of the structure off of those things.
Off those points that you pull.
I’ll push the things here - these are the things I’m looking at, kind of the directional lines that
that last pose to push up from her little finger here.
to another finger here, to another here.
Back out to here and then back in. So I'm trying to get this movement
between her arms and there's kind of this back and forth movement that zig zags through
here up and then keeps coming up in this way to kind of accentuate this, the poll
on this, that kind of a thing.
I’m gonna go over the top of this one too, get my the shapes right there. I come in here, my
shoulder up to the back and then come up the arm or her hand , the bottom of her hand turned up
in here and it kind of pushed up into her face, the back of her thumb and
so on. And I thought that was worth noting.
As I come up here what II didn't get is I didn't get her eyes up in
here. This is really more of what was going on. And then as - her shoulder’s forward like this it’s gonna pull from
up down here, cross here, and then back over in there.
It’s more pushing there than what I had before.
image is a situation where as we saw in the last images where
there was multiple figures all interacting there was a
closure between their axis lines and their eye lines. And
it all created a movement of direction. In this painting or
the painting that I'm going to draw from is Thomas Moran's
the Mountain of the Holy Cross. This is an enormous painting, a
huge painting. And when I first looked at the painting and confronted
this painting it was really hard for me to personally focus
on what's the composition, where's the focal point? How do
I move through this picture? Because it was so big, so vast
it even in the room it was hard to really get back far
far enough back that I could really kind of perceive the
whole thing and conceived it was one composition. And as I
started looking at the painting and reading more about it and
the whole idea of a Hudson River Valley School of painters
and stuff, their motivation was to capture the bigness, the
vastness, the grandness of all of outdoors in this in these
territories that were undiscovered the first time
that people saw this vastness and they were painting
images that represented this endless ongoing beauty. this endless ongoing Beauty.
Okay, this live kind of wild wilderness and in this
painting I realized once I started thinking about it in
those terms. I realized that this is a composition that
doesn't have a rhythm like the other paintings where we had
two figures, one figure, focal point or rhythm that moves
through directly. This is an image of multiple paintings.
There's multiple compositions within this composition. So
it's a clustering of images and extreme images that And extreme images that that
sit on the outskirts. You could compose many many - you cut this
painting up in many different ways and have beautiful
paintings. Everyone would be beautiful. But in this
situation, there isn't one just direct path. There is a number
of ways you can go through this painting because again the
individual areas, there's areas where there's strong contrast
between light over dark and dark over light. And those are
in little vignetted areas throughout the whole image so
when I get started and I'll kind of point those out as I go
because that's what makes up the whole image and this
experience being different than the other two.
The subject of the title of this painting
okay appears right in this area of the canvas. Okay, and
generally we might think of space want to talk about space,
we'll get into it more, nut if we think of thirds, that's one
common idea about compositions is a division of thirds,
dividing things into thirds.
Sometimes if you divide your image into thirds both
vertically and horizontally what you end up with these
little axes in here and the deal with that is that
our eyes scanned those areas more often than they do the
overall edge-to-edge anywhere else, but that also has to do
with the type of image that you're putting in there. It could
change the way your eyes scan something, could
change by the time the viewer's emotional attraction to
the content as well. So there's no real absolutes when it comes
to people's eyes, will always follow a certain track. It
doesn't really work exactly that way.
but this the main the mountain cross is up here in
this area sitting on a surface of a mountain peak back here.
And it's shrouded, its emerging out of some clouds.
So this could even almost be considered as it like a
vignetted view you know of this cross on the mountain just
this in itself. There's a snow, there's some light areas and has come some light areas in
stuff emerging from this
cloud down here. Okay. Now there's little bits of peaks
kind of come down again through this cloud, they come up,
they kind of lead you down. So we have this clustering of
design here where we've got a little vignette of this peak.
This is the subject matter. The clouds the clouds.
all kind of sweep out away from this.
So again, it gives this kind of a dramatic arrow pointing
effect and direction
because of these, the shapes of these clouds coming out. So we
have the peak coming this way,
coming up here like this and then we have the clouds kind of
coming in and in shapes like this and this over here below.
The clouds are in front of the clouds. There's a hillside that
kind of comes down and then drops in here and this is a
little dark over light shape in here.
And then there's another little hilltop in front of this that's
in a shadow that goes really dark and then a little bit of a
And then down here like this.
Again, this goes into a shadowed area in here.
Here this is all darker than what's behind it. So I'll go
ahead and make that darker.
And then it turns light again in here and there's some trees
that have some shape like this that these little shapes also
push you up and this larger one, the border here, beginning an
angle here. They're sitting behind this rock, which is
lighter over darker here like that.
The bottom of this is pushing you in here. So we're getting
some little directional lines in there. Out of these, from
there's a little incline here that comes over and drops and
this turns into a grouping of trees down here that will run
dark over this light.
And this little outcropping here, there's some rocks and
things in here and then lot fallen logs of trees.
This is on the hill side back here.
So this area in here starts to work as its own composition on
its own, separate from this. Okay. Let's go across over
here. This is some other back of this hillside coming up in
it's a back of the hill side coming down here and then it
starts to rise up. There's a dominant hill right here and a
tree that comes into these clouds.
Has a rounded top like this.
It's a straighter, kind of a straighter trees, has some
broken branches and stuff in here like this. There's another
tree at a little bit of an angle.
And then another tree down in here.
Significance here is
these turn at the top and this little force up here becomes an
arrow like this in this direction, pushing your eye in
this direction. So it comes up but then it pushes your eye
over in here. So it leads you into that and then countering
that is another tree that comes like this.
And these on this hill side,
the hill side back here that goes a little dark, this
hill side like I said, this gets really dark in here this gets really dark in here
and this reads like its own.
There's a big boulder up in here and it's all dark as well.
But it reads, all of this reads dark
over a light. Coming in through here and these trees
back here. So there's a dark against light silhouette here
that against these clouds and stuff. There's the bottom of
the clouds on this side. There's a hill side that comes
over here and up and emerging from the cloud over here
So I'll put these in pretty light so that you see the
hillside up here. This one has some light and dark.
It's a little darker at the top to separate from that back.
But then again it gets a little bit lighter in some areas as it
comes down, see some detail in here in the mountain.
And then sliding down here. So this is in front of
Here we go.
So we have this almost sitting as a vignetted image. We have
this as a strong -
it's in there because this has its own kind of a strong
vignetting quality in there. This remains dark, even though
there's this large rock and
there's this shape that comes in here and then rocks
forming in here. Most of this stays very dark. So I'm going
to darken this up.
Again, like I said, this is like multiple
compositions within one composition.
And I think if you were - if you were thinking about how you
might compose an image of this endless vastness, you might
have something that overlaps, overlaps, overlaps, or very very
very deep space and grand scale one thing to another now all
these can be part of it. All these are part of it. But if
you give the viewer an experience like this where
you're showing them look over here, now look over here, now
look over here, that's part of the whole experience of this
type of an image. Whereas the previous images we've been led
through. In this one it's almost like clustering of these
separate compositions that make up this whole big vast
composition. It's kind of interesting because I believe
it's kind of the direction of that idea of the Hudson
River School, this endless vastness of wild outdoors. So
continuing down from this little vignette over from this little vignette over
here comes over to some rocks. We're going to see a river here,
the river where the water gets dark here and then separates
into white water again as it as it starts to fall. This goes up
into this hill,
it's dark, and then these rocks are dark over light
as they turn.
So we have this dark leading down into here a little
bit and then you know, there's a logs or fallen trees.
More rocks, more rocks.
More rocks in this area, this area starts to get a little
darker down in here.
The water then starts to flow in this direction,
starts to pull up over here.
THere's a large rock here
and then along the edge here there's some There's there's some.
trees, some plants and stuff that creates dark against light,
again over here feeds into this.
So have this patterning of this darks against lights against
darks against lights all working into these separate
Now we have another composition that sits down in here
and flows along the river as the water falls down over here.
The water is flowing down this way, another rock in the
foreground, a larger rocks coming up here.
Rocks go into light over here and as they go into light they
spill into a little plateau over here.
And then there's the shadow under this other light rock
that goes over this dark shape.
From here this is where it goes dark in here.
Like I said here this light rock over here,
there's a gradient that kind of happens along down here.
This is again real dark.
Now there's little details and textures and grass and plants
and stuff in all of these. I'm just working with the large,
directional shapes. This light and these vignetting
quality of this of this composition and in here,
there's a distinct really dark branch of a fallen - coming off
this fallen log over in here where we have
you know some foliage on that branch.
Coming in this way, start comes down here a bit farther,
but it's so significant in here that this dark and then
this light and then goes dark
and then goes light again and then the waterfall just
dropping off down in here.
So within this image,
okay, there is this a little light peering through here. So
in this overall image iIt's all set up in a way there. It's all set up in a way
that your eye can move through. You can move through the water
here. You can move through from light over dark over light over
dark that layering also gives you depth but it almost
looks like a puzzle piecea a maze of these smaller
compositionsa of this strong light against dark.This
in here. There's one down in here. There's one over in here.
There's one up here surrounded by clouds and then clouds up in
here. There's this dark silhouette of this hill side up
here. There's this little tiny area where light is hitting
here behind this branch on this fallen log and this tree
and what's happening is you're seeing it backlit. So it's dark
over light really strong. And then as this goes this shadow
starts to fade out there's a little light peering down into
this area which illuminates this and it gives us this light
over dark again. So it's dark and light and dark and light
and dark and light and dark and light all the way through back
and forth all the way through this image, but it's all broken
up in these like
beautiful little paintings, you know, there's a painting in
there. There's a painting, you know, in there. There's a
beautiful waterfall that takes place right in here. There's a
nice composition. If you're just looking at this area here,
there's another little vignette and composition here. There's
this grand vista of this
one up here. Okay, and even if you didn't even see the
cross on the mountain you have this other composition in here.
So it's tiled with all these separate compositions that
gives the viewer this idea or this feeling of look over here,
look over here, look over here. At least that's what I was
struck with when I was looking at this painting is that I was
seeing these multiple multiple compositions within the
composition, less about one strong line or direction line
to move the viewers eye like the previous images. This one was
more little composition, a little composition, a little
composition all strung together and it's what makes it
different and that's why I want to show you different ways to
approach composition. This is I think a little bit more
complex, but I think it's born from the idea that the artist
was trying to express this vastness, this big distance, and
all these possibilities out is wild wilderness. So if
you keep that in mind, you may end up going down that path. I
mean, it's pretty enlightened path that he took to put his
image together this way but whichever our direction, we're
going to be moving in a direction that our belief
system or ideas, our personal internal POV is going to kind
of emerge through and then what we might want to say what we
might want to say about the image again that is going to
come out when we actually put pencil to paper and and
illustrate or visually put down these elements or components to
create these compositions.
So there you go.
specific about style rather than just a broad general idea
of style like art history. We might look at style as a
period, a school, a
movement, a different culture.
Historians might look at things that way in order to group
artworks of different periods or cultures into categories. And
the categories might have a broad
definition. They might have specific characteristics to
that. But sometimes they're just the relative time period
and sometimes they change and they might have an early
period, a mid-period, a late period and so on but I don't
think style is something that we should be afraid of or move
away from, it's been my experience
I first started out as an artist painting for galleries and at
one point I put a group together and we put a show
together for the Monterey Peninsula Museum and I realized
through that experience none of us involved would have been
able to put that whole situation together. So what a
group of artists could do together could make something
larger than any of the individuals, so I thought that
kind of an interesting experiment and shortly after I
started doing some work with Disney Studios and because I
was interested in that collaborative process. How do
you build something? How do you all work together as artists
and come out with a product that has a distinctive style
unique to a movie and that particular story. So how do you
create that style? Is it a case where one person with a
personal style comes in and just draws everything and
everybody copies it, or is it a case where you actually
cultivate that in some manner? So I went to find out how that
was was being done. I found it is a fascinating process in
terms of looking at or creating a style for a particular story
and so on. And if we can do it for that we can do it for
ourselves and we can look into ourselves and see what is our
personal bias. What do we like, what we don't like, what
is interesting to us? And if we can just find the tools or the
means in which to describe these things in visual
language then we can make sense of these things. The
key is that I've found the key is is to look at the world
around you and look closely and pay really close
attention to the relationships that occur in nature. Those
relationships are like our common truths. Those are the
elements that we have, that we perceive, that tell us that yes
this is this type of day or this condition happens. We'll
expect this in an hour or or we know that the light will we know that the light
falls this way or looks this certain way in this certain
kind of lighting condition or things change over space, their
values, their edges, their contrast, those things change over space.
It's the relative or the relativity between these things,
these are the common truths that we want to pay close
attention to. The elements themselves. And elements I'll get
into and describe, those elements can change radically.
We can manipulate those things all over the place. But if you
maintain the relationships that occur in nature in some way or
give truth or unity to those things even within your
stylized shapes or value structure or characteristic
marks. Even though you put those down that way it will
ring true and you'll be able to define for your imagery
like a completeness, a fullness, a credibility, and the same type
believable depth and quality that you might find in a very
So let me start with just a little bit of a breakdown
starting with our visual language as our
standard and where we go from there.
Our visual components.
Our visual components, these are the elements that we use in
our language, our visual language. And I've put these
together based on researching different books and
artists that talk about components making art and how
art comes together for them. And I found that their
terminology was a little bit different. My terminology
the way I might call I might call something one thing, you
might look at it and call it something else. But we have
to look beyond that and see what we're actually talking
about. So I'll try to be as clear as possible about the
aspects of that condition because often times we're just
talking using different terminology if we're talking about
the same thing. So I'll try to break that down and I found
that being a bit of a source of confusion between the reading
and the writings of one artist to another and really when
they're talking about very similar things. So our visual
components as kind of put together through
these different sources are line,
or value. You might consider this value or tone.
Okay. These are all three aspects of color, hue value,
saturation. And again, I could say hue value, saturation, I
could say chroma lightness and brightness.
Excuse me. I could call them intensity, color,
and tone. There's many terms talking about the same thing.
So big source of confusion. I'll try to keep it all on one
level here so that we or one one
source of origin of vocabulary. So line, tone, color, shape,
Okay and movement
Okay, where we might think about, you know in some
training some teaching and stuff that might talk about no,
it's about value and edges and marks and things like that.
Well, those are all exist in here and how you you work with
these this just subgroups of this, but they all fit within
Shapes, space, the way you handle space, the way something falls off
in space, the way it's shaped falls off in space that might
change the edge and the quality edge our values or tones, the
way your value structure is it may change and so it may change
the shape endured it under different conditions. It may
change the edges in different conditions, but these are like
the root basics of our visual language. Now
within this construct of our visual language, we do have a
symmetry. We have a way that we actually put things together
and communicate and converse with these. What we
don't have in this type of a language is a grammar. We don't
have a prescribed way to put components together in a
certain manner that will will always carry the same meaning.
you know if you put two lines and a circle together it Lines and a circle together. It
doesn't mean you're always going to get a certain thing.
So without a grammar we can't look to define these in any
grammatical way and I think that's one of the
things as I go back to like our language and describing things,
we have a tendency because we understand our verbal language,
we have a tendency to impose that on these and it doesn't
exist. So that's where we kind of run into and butt up against
obstacles as we're working with these. But like mathematics,
there are relationships and there are greater and lesser
than relationships. So in art we have greater and lesser than
relationships as well as components. So those are
measured in major key and minor key.
Major key and minor key.
So this is our measuring system. These are the
components we use and deal with and this is our methods of
measure for this. Okay. Now when we're talking about style
and depiction of style and creating images that might have
differing techniques, differing mediums,
any kind of personal direction. If you're moving away from very
realistic and you want to go impose a certain characteristic
or style on an image, the one thing that will bring unity to
that image and it won't be just discordant mess is that you dis discordant mess is that you
have to have some element of the common truths and those
common truths are like, I just mentioned before, the glue or
the relationships that occur in nature. And if you try
to stay true to some of those
relationships you can alter these components and you can
even alter some of the way you you measure and you can keep
some of those common truths. That will bring a unity and a
believability to any broad style.
And when I say believability, I don't mean it will circumvent a
realistic representation. These aren't necessarily realistic
and it's a case of difference rather than building a
hierarchy. I'm not really stating that there is realism or
stylized images. There's a hierarchy to these things. But
there is a way to work and create a style for yourself or
invent a style or just work through a style and build, let
it just evolve, you can do that as well. Or you can also concoct
a style. But the key to the whole thing is you have to
retain some of those believable
and credible truths that occur in nature and when that
happens then you have unity and when you build unity within
those you build a credibility and you have a completeness to
your work. Okay, so components, a way to measure, and now we're
going to look at a delivery system and I'm going to call
this style spectrum.
Okay, just like color has three primaries, okay, these primary
elements of design, which I'll
call these individual ones, these primary elements would be
Okay, and I'll explain these a little more because I found in
the interpretations in the different books, mass was the
one element that was really described in so many different
ways that it was real confusing until you start putting
together and looking for what it is that makes each of these
three things distinct. And once you find the distinction within
these, then you can apply it in a way that makes more sense and
you can communicate it a little more clearly. So line is the physical
mark. Okay. It's the texture, the surface, anything
that brings your eye to the surface. So a line in this
could be a pencil line, could be a brushstroke. Any mark that
calls attention to the surface or sits on a surface like a
texture, it could sit on the surface of your image or
it could sit on the surfaces of the elements within
your image. That could be a texture as well. And so line
and texture work the same.
either line and texture they both can work the same. They
have the same effect. They call attention to the surface. Okay,
meaning surface versus illusion. So that's how
that would work. Form is the depiction of objects
through the effect of light versus shadow. So - and we might
call that during the Renaissance chiaroscuro.
Okay, and that is light
Okay, and that might appear something like this.
Something that gives us a strong directional
light source, anything if I divide
this up into just two values, this ball, if I divide it in two
values, light versus shadow, that's what I would
get. That's what it would depict. Now
mass on the other hand
different, than line, different from form. Mass is local value.
It is the flat shape. Okay, it's the shapes of things that
are not determined by any differentiation of light versus shadow. Okay.
Now I've looked at and I heard people talk about and I've read
about mass being - using the word mass to describe volumetric
mass like a part of a
body mass. Okay, and at the same time they would talk
about form or massing a shadow shape. So they might mass a
shape, but if you start looking at it now you're crossing
over the terminology. A mass could be in this scenario, mass
is the effect of a local value or a local color. So every
object is going to have its own local color and whether it's
light, whether it's dark, whether it's red, whether it's green\,
it's going to have its own local color. That would be its
mass. Okay now
the Japanese block prints
were designed based on mass and some line because they don't
have a strong directional light source. We see mass as an
ambient light but where everything is flat or flatly
the way that we can look at this is as form was light
versus shadow, mass is light versus dark and that was coined
in a Japanese term called notan.
Okay, and that's light
And these are very different. Okay in this scenario,
now this maybe being a symbol for harmony it
also is a wonderful classic model for notan.
Because it's a balancing, a harmonizing of light versus
dark. So this might represent a local color. We might think
about it if we take the symbolic aspect out of it,
we might look at like
a silhouetted dark shape
against a light ground. Okay, but it's the local value. Now,
you can see the difference between these two things. It's
extremely different. Okay, where form is breaking any
object into two parts, whereas
mass is only defining where one value group or one value sits
next to another value. So that value arrangement by light dark
and what we might call ambient light context, that light dark
patterning is pretty dominant in one direction and
it also it kind of sits on one end of the spectrum. For
instance if - if you painted the whole world gray and a
light gray and you had the light, the sunlight and stuff
cast on this whole gray world, it would be void of local
values and if that was the case you could see the true form in
everything much clearer if you have things that have a
lot of contrast in them then the contrast here would be
dominant over or could be dominant over the light and
shadow effect. So in a strong light situation with no mass
represented you would get this. With a no light or excuse me,
an ambient light situation or flat light situation with high
contrast local values you would get this. So these are both
like the ends of the same spectrum of how light works.
Okay, and we see most of the time
most discussions and stuff are about form, form, form, everything
relating to form. And in this scenario form is one half of
the coin. Your local values is the other half. Now if you can
separate those two in your mind and understand them as two
separate parts that work
jointly then you'll start to understand more clearly how
light works. To just study form or light and shadow with objects
of various values or various breakup of values and only talk
about form, you're really missing the point that part of the
design there is affected by the contrast of mass values, of
these kinds of values. Okay, so there's a difference in there
and you want to know and understand and look for the
differences because then you'll understand how light works
we have three different types of depiction. I call these
style spectrum because as you're looking at the
real world and you're depicting it in some way, you could use
either of these three design primaries if we look at them as
design primaries, you can actually bias your work in any
manner now when I say bias your work what I mean is is you
might look to bend either your your line, your tone, your color,
your shapes, space, all of those components. You may tend to
bend them in a little different way, okay, than actual reality.
But if you have some consciousness about how you're
going to put those down and keep them in context to where
you sit on this spectrum or I'll say this
color wheel if you will or style wheel,
if you say like this if we equate this to
color and we say, okay this is yellow, red, and blue and
everything from yellow to red we go through our orange here
and then red to blue we go in towards our violets and then we
come back up through our greens and go on this way. Well, we
can still deal with these same influences, but it's a case of
creating the bias for the those things that you choose to
and those things would be those visual components that I
just put up here of line and tone and color and so forth. So
we have a world of possibilities of what we could
do. And I think that's why there can be so many various
and intriguing and interesting styles and we can bias things
in many many different ways, but it all comes down to if you
look at images from cave paintings until today,
our images and what we see and produce over the years, over the
generations over, you know, over time have been just a shifting
of biases between these three primaries. Okay, there hasn't
been a fourth primary or another development or anything. It's
always been the range within these three, much like color. Now
if in color theory we have a
triadic situation too and subtractive color would tell us
that we have red, yellow, and blue primaries. Okay, and if
you mix those red, yellow, and blue primaries, if you mix these
two you get a secondary color, and you mix these two you get a
secondary color, and you mix these two you get a secondary
Now because like I said, our design doesn't - our art
language doesn't have a grammar it's not as easy as
just define this as a sole line, our line can be biased in many
different ways. It can be pushed towards form. It can
represent form, it can be combined with mass to could be combined with mass to
create the illusion of form, which is unique to this this
spectrum. You can use line and mass as their own design. You
can use and come together with something but what you come up
with could be very, very unique to the way that you manage your
seven components. So this is just a format for the way that
you might lay down those elements. Okay, but like color
there's many many different possibilities, but at the same
time there's one really good way to mess up and with color
if you mix - theoretically if you mix all three components
together you get a gray.
And out here you might have full chroma. So it's a the full
interesting concept of line or form or mass. But if you mix
these three equally and you're not discriminating about which
one is dominant, you'll get designed mud, and you'll get
something that is lacking in design. Okay, so you can design
something with any particular bias around here. But if you
make the mistake of not defining what is really the
bias and how that works, you're going to end up with something
that is a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and it won't
So the bottom line is if you choose to bias your components
in any way, pushing line or pushing form or pushing mass
or pushing a combination of two you could have clearly one
element dominant and the other support. Okay, you can have all
three in an image because your design bias can move or change
within the image. Okay, that is an element of contrast. Okay,
as I'm going to show you in a couple images of some really
well-known artists, you'll see how we might have looked at
their work as being kind of mystifying when you look at it
in terms of the stylistic bias that they use, you understand
the marks they put down actually created a contrast
that was a alluring, that draws you in. Our eyes will go to
contrast and it doesn't mean just black and white contrast.
Our eyes can go there and our ideas, our thoughts can be
drawn in, our imagination can get be drawn in by seeing these
variations of contrasts that maybe sit outside of just tonal
contrast or color contrast. Those are the most pedestrian
things that are the most common things that we might think
about in terms of contrast. We have contrast of shapes and all
seven components, but if if you want to push something and
keep some unity then you can have all of these aspects
of all of these in your image. But if you're undecided and I see
this in a lot of sketches because there's some line work
but those lines don't always depict a mass, they aren't
calligraphic or sit on the surface to design themselves as
a unique mark for line and they may start to describe or
crosshatch a little bit. It might just start to inform a
little bit about form, but neither fish nor fowl, a
little bit of each. They end up being scratchy marks that don't
tell you and don't communicate anything. And what ends up
happening is they aren't really compelling and it ends up being
kind of a muddy mess of lines. So what ends up happening like
color is if you are unclear about the dominant bias in any
part of your image, you're going to get mud. Okay now by
contrast contrast maybe you want to have some
indiscriminate area of your image, which you might do with
colors. Well, sometimes you want some discordant quality
somewhere or a gray quality somewhere so you put a real
strong contrast right next to it of really clear clean color.
In this case you could easily do that by combining some of
these to some degree and then put something next to it that
is really definitive of one of these primaries. That will
create contrast, which we'll see. So let's take a look
at some images and start working.
would be a Holbein. Now if we take a look at his work a lot
of people really associate with really fine rendering and
fine quality and also some line work in it and we find that his
use of line and depiction of line is a good amount of form.
He's creating a good amount of form in some of his depiction
he does identify some areas with mass and he also delivers
line, but how does he do that and how does he create contrast
in that that is unique to his particular style? We'll break
that down take a look at it here. So I'm going to work with
this one image here.
And I'm drawing it a little bit bigger.
So again, I might have line and line might be its own
characteristic thin, thick, whatever. This might be a
calligraphic kind of a mark. These marks sit on a surface,
whereas if I have something with a crosshatch, something like
this, this is line relative to form. Okay if I have something
like this and it's all filled in and I lose the sense of line
to some degree or if even if I have some of it minimize I get
the sense of mass in there. So in this image, I'm going to
show how this all might come at work together. Okay,
I'm just going to do a rough block in of of
of this image.
Okay, so I'm just getting placement of the just getting placement of the
elements and then I'll go back in and refine how we might make
some of these marks in his image.
I'm gonna go back here for a second.
I'm going to move their eyes up. I had them a
little bit - I had their eyes a little bit low, so I'm going to
move them up so I can get a little bit more of a -
more of where they should appear.
Okay, so there's just the basic pattern that I've
laid in and then what I'm going to do
is I'm going to show you with the black pencil I will show
how we might have managed those design patterns or not just
the design patterns, but how we might manipulate the style in
terms of using his tool. Okay. This, her hat, is
obviously line. There's no hiding it. He's very clear
about this and he's using the line itself
not as a light and dark he's not using it as a thin and
thick in order to represent any type of form at all. He's doing
it as a line to describe a contour describing the mass of
her hat. Okay.
And that's what I'm doing with these marks is just describing
that mass of her hat.
So thickness here, fold in here, fold in here.
Some volume in there and a fold in here.
So we might see these kinds of marks in the
in this area of her hat.
Again, these are very deliberate lines. Very,
clear, succinct, deliberate lines.
Even to the point where he's putting the idea that there's a
lace along the edge here.
And along there.
Along the contour, the outside edge of her
neck and shoulder.
And again coming down. Now hese shapes are really smooth
and kind of simplified.
Now most of these shapes or everything up to this point has
really been about line and line defining the contour or mass
So this might be the way that he would create the line
influence part of the image. Okay. Now there's an area in
here in her hair area here that works more like a mass because
it's pretty much filled in.
So the way that this area is depicted is different than
anything else that I've done so far.
So by putting this dark shape in here, this alone
creates contrast. And the contrast not being not just the
tonal contrast within this area to the light
area but a contrast in the manner in which he puts the
marks down. So it's pretty much line dominant through here and
then he gives you a little bit of a mass in there. Okay,
besides the mass he's going to deliver a little bit of form as
well but in specific sipc places, in specific manner ,so
you don't mix it up all over. So what he's done as far as form,
he might have like the top of her hat here or this part that
goes in here, but he kind of gets a little bit of cross
hatching in there and this area back over here gives a little
bit of cross hatching here. Similar lines, but
they read as a darker side, we still read them as lines, but
their bias towards their intent is to deliver or create more of
a shadow shape. So they're line because we can see their lines,
but they're also delivering form. So they're giving you two
bits of information at same time or bias towards line form. Okay
in this situation.
So these might be the two and might give make this line
stronger to just darker. Okay, in order to kind of anchor that
and make that kind of come around like around this and
also I'll darken this just a little, put a couple marks in
there just to make that darker as it would be
in his image. Then he changes mode real drastically within
the features of her face he's going to minimize
the size and scale of the mark and the mark is going to reflect
form and mostly form. Okay now there is a flat ambient light
on the model so it's going to be a subtle form. So he goes
from these very bold distinct lines that are more contour
lines to these more delicate small marks with his pencil
that deliver a little bit more sensitive form. Okay, now to
make this huge jump is one thing that creates a lot
of contrast and that contrast is really what brings the
dimension out in her face. And so what he did is he
delivers this subtle quality in the way that he puts the marks
down on her face and then puts this very simplified
mass oriented line around her, okay, in order to build
contrast between the focal point in her face and the other
areas. Use the dark to help frame, this mass to help frame,
and even some form to tie in to help frame with that. So as he
goes into his
more delicate marks,
he might have -
I'll go in here with the -
we might lose the sense of line in here
for the sake of reading this form.
So I'm going to continue on now with a little bit more of the
rendition of the way that he would put the marks down to
depict a little bit more form in her face zone. Okay.
More manipulation of values and thicker and thinner lines.
And so as I go through this, I'm really thinking about
the manner of marks that I put down because I'm really
looking at form and I'm looking at how these light and dark
are created by the light and shadow shapes.
It's less about the line depiction and really more about
where these subtle shapes and values are
beginning and ending.
Okay, so I'm
again, I'm looking at the little subtle marks that he
might put in in order to depict these forms.
A little mark that might work subtle cross hatches and
But subtle enough that you don't see them as as really
strong individual lines. They're just kind of scratching
over the surface of the paper.
Okay, so I'm going to be putting more of the form in
here, the form handling on here a little bit on her
Defining a little bit of her lower lip.
you know as a lighter value in here and real subtle value.
And then up towards her
eye in here. Most of these are all just subtle little marks.
Really looking at the form and how he's
captured these little folds above her eyelid.
And I'm not getting into the anatomical structure of her.
I'm really looking at the way that his marks are put down on
the paper and how he's handled the marks.
Where some areas they offer a little bit more
information about anatomy and some don't.
Some are more contour.
If you get darker and lighter or thicker and thinner
they're not as deliberate as the contour lines around her
hat and exterior.
So he's looking at how some of these planes turn, how some of
this form turns, and how the values shift just subtly
And the subtlety in this area in these delicate
are really the change-up from the more deliberate, heavier
handed lines and lines that we just reflect contour around the
outside. See these subtleties, these subtle little
tonal quality, the tonal quality along here is much
subtle than these heavy-handed contours around
He might even add in a couple of delicate lines that
merge that line and these smaller tonal marks.
I'll even just soften some of them just a little bit here,
I'm not handling these, I'm speeding through this so I'm
not getting the complete accuracy that Holbein may have
been getting on his model, but I'm really looking at the
application of his marks and how those marks differ and
change and shift and you can see in here you can start to
see the strong contrast between these subtle marks in here
defining a little bit more form in this area, handled in
contrast to these deliberate large marks and contour marks
out here. So again, we have line dominant out here and then
form dominant in this area with an introduction of mass in here
and some form in here. Also will bring a little bit of form
in terms of line along this side.
But it's not as delicate as on her face. So this works to
harmonize. If you think about color as well, color and line,
you think of very subtle delicate line as one color,
whereas these hard contour lines or maybe the complement
of that very very different than that. And then he has
lines that are intermediate colors that kind of they handle
form, they are about form, but they're subtle.
Okay, and the subtlety of this quality but deliberate merges
with the real subtlety in here. There's little areas in here,
they're little dark masses.
Okay, those help the harmonize with their hair up here and it
gives you a little dark element and some balance in here of
all in all we might look at, you know, this approach
as one being pretty dominant about line and then in contour
lines and then we have a strong handling of form in one area
and the contrast again is going to bring your focus into that
one area. So that's what is going to compel you to really
settle into her face in this particular drawing style and
Holbein's direction. He varies it up a little bit in different
images, but in general that's kind of the main direction of
his work, deliver something that's more line driven on the
outside and bring in more form oriented marks within the face
and the subtleties. The contrast gives you
something much more interesting, okay, then all
just straight lines or all rendered out like this, okay.
style. I'm going to draw it but it's kind of a painting style
of Ottavio Mazzonis, an Italian artist and this one is going to
be about mostly mass and form, but we don't have a lot of
little little marks or line work in it. It's just going to
be mass and form dominant, but you can see how we separate
things out clearly so that your eye moves through the image.
You want to have some eye movement in there and he also
has some areas that are really dominant of mass and line and
then - excuse me mass and form and then the subtlety in
between is the thing where that's your range. Okay, and
you can create the quality of a real existence with outside of
a real light situation, even though this is a form and mass
scenario, it sits right outside of a realistic
rendition, but it has a certain design quality. He pushes the
design quality just beyond the realism. So brings a little the realism so brings a little
hyper realism to it in a way. So let's do that.
This image, a woman, a figure.
Okay, and in this image
I'm going to start with a rough drawing of this.
Just kind of a block in.
Get to the other side over here, so I get to see what's
going on here.
From the ribs over here, tucking into here. to here.
Coming up here.
So I'm looking at just the large shapes. There's some
fabric down here. That she seems to be holding up.
Just generalizing these things to put these things in here.
Coming closer here.
Kind of a veil kind of a thing that kind of falls off the back
of her head against this dark background back here. I'll get
Now within this -
within this painting there is a strong shadow shape
that comes across the form
Okay, and then also there's a gradient across the bottom.
take these sections at a time to get the
effect of all of it, but all this is this
It's a shape that's in shadow.
So background again, this is shape that's in shadow back
So again, this is going to be mass versus form or mass with
so it's going to be these local values merging with the values
of light versus shadow.
So it's a little bit of a shadow there. Okay, let's
soften this up.
So there's just a basic gradient on the bottom just
And then across her face as well.
So I'm building this, the basic matrix of this image.
And the Matrix being the light, dark pattern. How they
interweave. But this is just the mass. I'm going to include the
form aspect now that he
puts in his image here. There's a little bit of form plate
where her arm
subtle tonal change there where arm meets with her rib cage
in here. A little darkness in here showing a little bit of the
form where that turns and then form on her arm just enough to
give you a little bit of a turn.
Okay, just enough to give you a little bit of a turn but not
really strong light in there.
Shadow goes over her rib cage,
so it follows that form.
Soft on the side of her breast and harder on the
cast side along her rib cage.
A little bit of
volume or form from her sternum down
across her abdomen.
Okay, I'm going to pull a little bit of this out to
really find a little bit more of the farm on her breast
that's coming out here.
Lower that just a little bit.
Now one thing Mazzonis would do is he did push contrast, tonal
and, you know, push a little bit farther. So that's where
like in here where her bracelets are.
So he had a little bit more a little stronger contrast in an
area like that.
And then also
darkening the material down a little bit
so that her figure remained fairly light.
Between her fingers.
Her hand was kind of defined a little bit like this.
Her two fingers
holding a garment.
So there's real subtlety within the area of her skin. So it
unique, okay, in here because it's different than everything
else. Everything has like a tonal wash setting it down and
then you get this shadow shape. This is defined by the effect
of light is creating this shape and then on here, then on here,
then on here. So those are those are the areas that are
actually creating some
form edges. Other than that this is all in shadow. Okay,
everything out here is in shadow and
with this kind of an ambient light it gets a second read in
here and because it's all mass with a little bit of shadow
I'm going to put a kind of a another subtle value in here so
you can see what he's done with some of these things in here.
Where it might be her hair.
And I'm going to just put these in really quick. I'm not going
try to get an actual likeness. I think the importance here
is looking at the method in which he works.
have the earring -
keeping this all about the form. So where it looks like I
have a stronger line it's really defining an edge. So I go back
in and I darken behind here to lose that quality of line and
get it back to form where one form is darker than another
form as they butt up to one another.
Okay, and the subtleties
play out where there's reflected light bouncing up
from her chest, larger area here, pushing in the
shadow areas we're going to see that we get
areas here we get the the planes on the frontal
planes on her cheeks that are aiming up, get a little bit
darker. Those on the under her brow ridge and stuff are going
to be a little bit lighter.
Bridge of her nose,
Might get a little bit more form darkness in there.
Again, this area in here is going to be lighter.
Above her upper lip
and below her nose in there.
Her upper lip is going to read a little lighter as it comes.
It's going to be a little lighter than her lower lip.
And then we have under on the top of her chin.
So it's really kind of playing off of this reflected light
So I'm working on this the secondary area. This is the
area of higher contrast and that's how Mazzonis would
orchestrate his work. He'd have areas that are - he'd group things
by their values and whether they be mass or form he would
take one set and this case both mass and form, mass being the
background and form being the light shape on her. Everything
else is in shadow, take advantage of the local
values of her hair. And the background back here, the
background is like black. It's really dark back here.
And these are all stylistic changes that this artist was
was doing but the thing that I find significant, is that the
choices that you make, if if you make choices to find if you make choices to
deliberately move away from a realistic situation, if you set
up those choices so that they all can work and have a
harmonious relationship, then they'll feel like they have a
real reality of their own. Stylistically if you want to
push a particular style or if you want to invent something
great, something it has to kind of live on its own so you have
to maintain some of those relationships that exist, you
know, in nature, but you can change things up, in this
case changing up some of the value structure by pushing some
areas darker and keeping some areas lighter while maintaining
this form mass dominant situation, okay.
And if I go in here and
I can deliberately pull out just a little bit more in here
You see the secondary amount of form, this secondary it creates some
interest because all within this subtle kind of, I'll
draw it back a little bit and then I can pull it out just a
little bit more subtly on here.
Okay, so you can kind of build that up and then I'm going to
eliminate some of these lines, the quality of line in here so
it can be more form, feel more form.
Now he did - this is from a painting but at the same time
if I can eliminate some of my some of my marks I'll get to the
same kind of a quality. This is really subtle.
And subtle as it comes out here too.
Smaller forms going to reflect less light and in this quality
of light that he's established we get a little bit of handling
and as her arm comes down and gets smaller down here, it's
going to get a little bit darker
relative to her her body down here. Her body in here is going
turn on her tummy there,
but other than that,
it's a larger mass, reflects more light and will stand out a
little bit more.
So that's the difference of how Mazzonis the difference of how amazonas
might approach something.
I'll get the other background down in here.
The background being dark and kind of closing your -closing
these areas off in the corners
and bringing your eye in, these little shapes here break
this hard edge
and lead your eye in and across the form a little bit.
So again, you have these dark
areas and he has place to focus and lead has placed a focus and lead
your eye in.
Again, lead your eye in
with some of these and
make some subtle subtle changes back in here and the subtlety
is always in the secondary light. So we have, in this
situation we have a strong dominant light source in this
zone only and then it gets into this more
shadowed area. So our focus is here, but we're getting
recognition on the whole figure through here.
You know, even if we get we get more
of her eyes in here we can we can actually get in as
much as we really want as long as it stays in this secondary
degree of contrast.
If you want to play up a little bit more stronger cheek.
Push that plane just a little bit.
You'll knock it back down in there.
Again, always keeping it to that second degree of contrast
not this major contrast here and like we said before or
like I said before if you're dealing with your tonal
structure, okay, and I'll just write this on here. If this is
okay, it doesn't have a lot of line in it and is defined by
these forms shapes and then these simple masses in these
groupings. Okay, if that's what we have is dominant and we
minimize the line quality then 0 and as we go through this and
we can look at okay, how are we comparing things, if you're
saying your major key,
okay, the major key is medium to low because most of this
is this is the exception, this area in here. This is lighter
than everything else. Okay, but this might be all the rest of
them might be medium to low.
So your major key proportionally is mostly most
of this surface is medium to low value. There's a smaller
proportion of light value. Okay, and your minor key,
in tonal contrast, you major key, your minor key is going to
be a situation where he's clearly defined the amount of
contrast. So the area and light here has a certain
degree of contrast. Okay, or let's say overall has a certain
degree of contrast. Overall.
So the minor key in this case, the minor key would be a good
amount of contrast. You have your lightest light and your
darkest dark, then you can look into subgroups. You can look in
the light area
here and then the dark area
now the light area goes from light to this kind of a middle
And that's where we see the strong form in there. In the
shadow here it goes from
this middle value,
the same as this,
So this is our
secondary group. This is the overall and then if we can say
okay, it's the area in light versus the area in shadow.
And the mass of the local mass is in shadow and then the area
in light in here, what's the contrast range in there? It's
going to be something like this from the white to a medium
value and in this zone around that's all within shadow across
here he set up another group of values, another value
group which sets - which the lightest is the same as the
darkest in the overall. So that helps set up this type of
lighting condition where group is really a design group
because it's not true to any true lighting.
So and even getting - I could even get a little darker in
to show the
the real range.
So with your major and minor keys setup, it's easy to kind of
diagram this whole thing out and keep this in
a nice set up so that your values are all structured.
I'll even bring this down just a little
to accentuate her just a little bit more.
And what this is doing, this is reducing the contrast in the
secondary group so that it makes this area you see as I do
this, it's going to make that area more dynamic because I'm
reducing the contrast in the dark zone.
the difference between the dark zone and the light zone.
so that pushes the difference in here, in these
By keeping this a little bit darker it'll keep that
separation. So again, this will might be what you get in the
skin but then this might be what you get in this zone
around here. Okay, so it's changing and controlling the
your value your tonal values and that's what characterizes
and stylizes is that this is artist's work.
kind of look at the style of Van Gogh, Van Gogh's drawings.
His paintings and his drawings were really line dominant, okay,
and mass secondary. He laid things in with simple values.
When I say simple values I mean not modeled or rendered
values, but he put any of the modeling and handling of
nuances within the strokes. So he kept that within the strokes.
Now his drawing and drawing style is really reminiscent of
like Hokusai and he was very influenced by Japanese block
prints, not necessarily the real gradient washes, but some
of the drawings and stuff of some of these artists you can
really see a direct connection to what he was doing in his
drawings. And then like I said, like some Hokusai drawings
and so on. So I'm going to do a little demonstration just
his approach so that you can see how he - the
direction he was going why while he was stylizing this,
okay. This is a drawing of his bedroom.
And managing the lines within these, within this bedroom, you
know the shapes in there just to kind of rough it in. There
was a - his bed is in here,
goes towards the middle. There's a little chair in this
area. I'm just blocking in the
simple masses in here first so that I can see, fit everything
in there where it
seems to be sitting.
And his door outside here.
There's another chair.
So in his drawing situation, it was really more
about the density of the lines and stuff that would make the
difference in here. Like he might have some stronger - these
kinds of lines that would that would sit within this zone.
And then like this,
these kinds of lines would have this density within this zone.
Or he might keep something in here a little bit more open
so that the line quality in this area and this area were
different. Okay where he might have a painting on the wall
in here, you might have this line quality a little
So it's looking at the line quality in each zone. So it's
line and mass is looking at these these different shapes in
here as masses
because the character and the quality of the line within
these little images or within these rectangles here are
different this little the width of the frame in here. So it's
really less about the accuracy of getting that actual frame
and looking at the comparative density of line and the quality
of line within those different zones. So again, the his
blanket on his bed like this has a really dense
network of lines that are all striped going in here like
So it makes this area a little darker in general.
They're all paralleled
on there. I'm moving through this kind of quickly, but then
his coat or his shirt up here, his painting shirt, striped with is painting shirt striped with
broader stripes than the stripes on here. So it's a
little bit different. It's not quite - doesn't end up as dark or
doesn't group together as tight. The pillows
on his bed
and then behind his bed, there's other little designs or
patterns that he has in here. He has his hat
running across the headboard here.
Up in here
heavy line in here
and then the chair.
Again these lines
are all different depending on the density within
these zones and the character of some of these lines. They
work a little bit differently, you know, depending on the area.
His bed being back here. He does give a little bit of form
in here by putting a difference of value from this
wall to that wall and then within the ,
it's dealt with as darker value in here.
Here and here, here.
But then within this too
he gives a little bit darker value.
Keeping those marks the same or the same density within that.
Within this there's a clear
change in the density of line work in this frame and
that which is in here, very regular, almost looks like a
rules of the house, probably.
Okay then we have
a robe or something hanging up and then items on the table.
They're all unique little shapes. So there's some great
little shapes on here, but they're all unique.
And this is the zone where you see all these,
you know, pretty unique shapes. There's a picture. as a picture.
My picture isn't very good there, but like
I said I'm kind of rushing through this so we can see the
sitting on the table and what appears to be a book.
one bottle has a label, one is darker on the inside.
And these are all important because the positive,
negative shapes in here create this patterning that moves
throughout this image.
And the little areas have
different amounts of line and line density within them.
Again that's what kind of makes them interesting.
This little wicker chair, we can tell it's wicker by the
It has two
supports on the side.
The other chair, again two supports on the side of this.
He even gives us some information about this one, how
Just because of the direction of that middle section it's woven
down the middle.
So that line quality in there's a little different.
And so in this image, he's really looking at the
difference between all these different zones, the areas
between the density of these vertical lines and the
Table top of this hangs down here and the back of the table
Now that the floor, the the whole floor, is set up like a
Again, this is a situation where he can set up the
to have kind of a similar density or a gradient of a
I'll make them a little - get a little bit smaller as they go
This would be a texture gradient.
in the floor again, I'm what I'm doing is I'm just drawing
this parquet quality. But what I'm doing is
I'm really looking at the
the density, making sure that the density reads as unique in
So it creates the whole floor is being unique
to anything else.
Kinda like watching paint dry here I know but
the end result, when we get to the end result you'll see
that it's really about these these patterns and areas of
density of line. So that's why I talk about it in terms of
line and bass. Because these areas of line or the texture
quality of the line in these areas
are really determined by the boundaries of those little
zones. So those would be the masses.
Okay, so that's why you'd be a line, mass.
so you see this area, this area, this area, these areas, you know
and this area, this area by their shape, this area by the
density and direction, this being the density in the
direction here. They all give a little uniqueness to the
different zones around here. So even with a line and mass you
can get some full range of subtle variations within their
so that's what I'm talking about. Talk about building a
real world, a real relationship oriented kind of an image.
It's not just hacking out some lines. It's a case of
thinking more deeply about how you use them. And in his case,
he used them in order to create these different zones with each
having its own distinctive character within those zones
and having their nuances. So there's big groups, small
groups. So the greater contrast in here, I mean, it's really
about line and mass and the greater contrast would be
It is line. It could be something like this from these
open areas to something like this or in a case where the
greatest thing is this little tiny area of the bed which
would be these
lines that go over like that. So there's
different types of line and line density, line weight, and
line styles that create this whole spectrum of line just
within this line drawing or line mastering. Okay, and in
all of the areas around here, the closest thing to form is
just as indication where instead of having the corner of
the room being just a wall, he does give you a little bit of
indications, crosshatch that there's a darker wall and a
lighter wall coming. So there's a little bit of an angle in
there. But other than that, he's managed all the values
based on the density of line in each zone.
So there you have it. It's line dominant and mass second.
Free to try
1. Lesson Overview1m 9sNow playing...
1. The Big Picture, Point of View12m 58sNow playing...
1. The Visual Components, Our Visual Tools12m 58sNow playing...
Watch the whole lesson with a subscription
2. Aspects of Line8m 49s
3. Rhythm, direction of axis13m 22s
4. Rhythm, direction of axis (Continued)12m 35s
5. Eye Line, Closure, and Axis16m 5s
6. Multiple Focal Points Creates Context20m 17s
7. Technique and Personal Styling11m 50s
8. Style Spectrum16m 4s
9. Holbein Demonstration14m 59s
10. Holbein Demonstration (Continued)12m 46s
11. Mass to Form Dominant Ottavio Mezzonis12m 58s
12. Mass to Form Dominant Ottavio Mezzonis (Continued)15m 40s
13. Line dominant Van Gough15m 19s