Adding Variety in Art — Shapes, Sizes, Colors and More
Any artist can get into a slump. When all the things you do seem to result in the same thing, over and over. The cure is remembering how to achieve variety in art, and taking the steps toward that variety with conscious attention as you pick up your brush, pencil or stick of color.
Let’s explore all the areas where variety can come into play in your art. Then be sure to get your copy of Mastering Composition by Ian Roberts. Ian covers all the tips and techniques you need to create strong and visually interesting paintings and drawings.
It’s All About Variety
Good design and, therefore, good art is all about variety. Variety in art means using different sizes, shapes and colors in your artwork to create visual diversity. Artists achieve visual variety with several elements treated in different ways.
All painters interested in realism are taught that step one of the painting process is to locate and sketch out the largest shapes. Then you do the same with the second tier of shapes. Finally, you mark out the surface details — highlights, variations in texture and finishing touches.
Start this process by making your positive and negative shapes more varied and dynamic. In other words, avoid perfect geometric shapes, straight lines and even edges. Push your shapes so that they do not look uniform. Harness what makes them unique and emphasize it.
Check the sizes of your shapes to ensure variety in this respect, too. Whatever you do, don’t copy your scene or subject exactly if it has boring, repetitive shapes. Use your creativity to make the shapes and the design more interesting.
Think of paintings from artists like Thomas Hart Benton or Grant Wood — iconic American painters who pictured the heartland of America. In many cases, the landscapes they captured are monotonous with repetitive elements. How did such artists play with size to make sure that monotony had no place on their surfaces?
It can be vivid or muted, warm or cool, straight out of the tube or mixed complicatedly. Color is one of the most inspiring and fun ways to add variety to art, and there are millions of color variations to choose from. You can paint in monochrome or use many colors in any given painting.
If you feel like the colors you use don’t excite you any more, add a few new tubes of color to shake up your process. Limit your palette or expand it. Mix your colors in a different way.
Color might be the easiest way to add variety to your art, but be sure you don’t get so varied that you create a painting that is (unintentionally) discordant or lacking visual harmony. A few colors with a few highlights are all you need to create a perfectly appealing work of art. It is just all in the way you use it.
Master Your Composition
Principles of art and design are an artist’s greatest ally! Each one can be used to create the look and feeling of action and movement, and help to guide the viewer’s eye throughout a work of art. If you want to discover more about how to use variety in art, get Mastering Composition by Ian Roberts now! Ian delves into all the tips and techniques you need to create memorable paintings and drawings that are entrancing to look at!