Draw on the intensity of contrast in art

Figure out how to use contrast in art with this step-by-step guide.

Figuring out how to utilize contrast in art will change your project and the manner in which you work. My preferred viewpoint to work with in art is contrast. This generally happens when working with shading through tone, saturation, and worth. Since we’re working with pencils, we can’t harness contrast in relation to hue and saturation. Rather we’re compelled to work with esteem contrast and it’s vital aspect for making a drawing and illustration that is simple for the viewer to explore.

We can work inside as far as possible by focusing on the level of contrast in the drawing’s details, focus and edge control. This can be executed through something as straightforward as a dark to light degree. The human eye will in general be pulled in to significant levels of contrast: remember this when you include your light and dark values.

Ensure you have the correct apparatuses to draw contrast from the best pencils around.

01. Create a focal point

I try to create a focal point in most of my work, which relies heavily on high contrast, and then the rest of the drawing will be more subtle and have fewer value shifts. This will create a place of interest and a foundation for you to build your contrasting values. Note that having subtle contrast can be equally entrancing when used correctly. You’ll learn this as you experiment and this installment is meant to help understand the importance of contrast and how to harness its ability to create engaging and powerful work.

02. Understanding high and low contrast

It’s crucial to first know the difference between low and high contrast, and when to use them. Low contrast usually has similar surrounding values between subjects and may even blend together. High contrast has a stark difference in value and attracts the viewer’s eye as a point of interest.

03. Start lighter either way

Regardless of whether you want to add high or low contrast to your drawing, I recommend keeping it light at first either way. Having a better foundation laid out to then decide which direction to go throughout the composition will help keep your values in check.

04. Separate form with contrast

Having a dark value pushed up against a lighter value will separate the two forms to the viewing eye. This can be a tool in your work when attempting to better separate forms and distinguish subject matters. Having an effective use of contrast will create a piece that’s easier to read.

05. Direct the eye

Using contrast enables you to control how the viewer will see your drawing and where their eye will be directed. By creating a source of

well-placed high contrast, you’re also creating a source of interest that may be the focal point of the piece simply because of the contrast.

06. End boldly by pushing your dark values

After you’ve been building up your drawing with values, you should know where your highest points of contrast are. But if you want to create a bold finish, grab a pencil with a higher number on the B scale and punch up your dark values to drive that extra bit of contrast.

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