Monday, June 27, 2011

Tutorial: Creating Depth and Space pt3 Color and Value

The Beautiful Smoky Mountains

I've been talking to you a little bit about how to create the illusion of depth and space in a work of art. It's a very useful tool to have in your belt when thinking about literal pathways. You can find my tutorial about using size and overlap here, and perspective here. Another simple device to use when creating the illusion of depth is to change color and value.

sketch by Lyric Kinard
Value is how much dark or light is in any given color. If you look carefully at the landscape around you you will see a difference in color and value as objects get farther away. Things closer to you will have sharper contrasts in value and brighter colors. Objects that are farther away become more blue and gray in color and the value contrasts lessen. 

Night Life by Jane Sassaman
Colors can also be used to create depth and space. Warm colors such as red and orange appear to come forward while cool colors seem to move away. Objects seen far away will appear grayer and bluer, as in the smoky purple of distant mountains. Volume and depth can also be created with the shading of one color from dark to light. The change in value alone turns a flat circle into a sphere.

Notice also that complementary (colors across from each other on the color wheel) appear to vibrate - to POP! Again, the warmer colors come forward and cool colors recede. The orange circle above seems to float a bit on the surface of the blue. If you add dark and light highlights you create the illusion of volume and depth as well.

Hope you've enjoyed these quick and easy tips. I'd love to hear any other tips you have.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


The Mad Hatter
Crazy things can happen when my sisters and I get together.
The Duchess

Dark Alice

The Dodo Bird???

It has been a crazy week.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Tutorial: Creating Depth and Space pt2 Perspective

Photo by Lyric Kinard

Last week I talked a little bit about using the placement and sizes of shapes to create the illusion depth and space on a flat surface. Next week I'll talk about value and detail.

Church of Le Sacré-Coeur by Maruice Utrillo

PERSPECTIVE is another device that is used to create the illusion of depth and space in a two dimensional plane. Parallel lines in the artwork will appear to converge at a vanishing point. The basic technique involves choosing a point, usually at the horizon line, sometimes within the frame of the work, sometimes outside of it... and drawing your lines  to meet at that point.

Photo by Lyric Kinard

The lines of perspective are most easily seen in architectural landscapes.  Take a piece of tracing paper or even just your finger and trace the lines of the walkways, the streets, the buildings. They will all converge at a vanishing point.

This perspective study by Leonardo DaVinci shows how complex and technical perspective drawing can be. I spent quite a bit of time back in school learning to draft architectural perspectives.

Leonardo DaVinci

Remember too, that it can also be VERY simple! Simply draw a horizon line, choose a vanishing point, create some lines going towards that point and add your shapes within it. I'd love to see your perspective sketches in the flickr group!

I highly recommend looking up “perspective” in your library's subject database and studying a few books on the techniques used to create it. They range from simple to complex and the technique will be a valuable tool to have at your disposal.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Faces on Friday (late again)

I think I need to take time and work on a few faces this week instead of scribbling them down super fast.
I'm feeling like I'm going backwards, looking worse.

Ya know, I think I get this feeling halfway through any project or artwork. There always comes a point where I hate the thing I've done. Sometimes I can move forward to a good place. Sometimes I need to back up and rework something. Sometimes it needs to be put away and given a rest for a while. Sometimes it's just ME who needs to be put away and rest for a while.

Given a little time and space things look better. These two actually DO look like the people I drew (and apologies for the skewed page.)

Anything worth doing is worth struggling for.  
How do you keep going when you hit that rough spot?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

Tutorial: Creating Depth and Space pt1

I love to look down a path. I wonder about the mystery of what lies just beyond my view. Creating that illusion of depth, the feeling of walking into another world through a sketch or painting or any two dimensional artwork is not as hard as it might appear.

Photo by Julia Wade

Think for a moment about the three dimensional world we live in. Every day we look out a window into the distance or move through the space of our home. As we try to interpret what we see and experience in a piece of art, there are many techniques that help us to create the illusion of depth in space on a flat surface.
Pathways by Lyric Kinard
Take a look at this tiny quilt.  Even though each piece of fabric representing a tree becomes smaller, our mind interprets it as a line of similarly sized trees receding into the distant landscape. The tree shapes also overlap one another and as the path recedes the trees are placed farther up within the frame of the work.  

The simplest devices to show depth are SIZE, OVERLAP and VERTICAL PLACEMENT. The closer an object is to us the larger it appears so it stands to reason that if you have similar elements and you increase their size, the larger ones will appear to come forward. 

See? Not so hard. Check back here next week for a little tutorial on perspective and vanishing points.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Faces on Friday - back on the bandwagon

I'll bet it's happened to you before.
faces sketched during a graduation ceremony
You make a goal, do really well for a while, then things get crazy and you can't keep up?
faces drawn from one of James Christensen's books
It happens to the best of us. And it's OK.
from imagination - but modeled after James Christensen's work
It does NOT mean you are a failure.
both from a James Christensen book
It means it might take a little longer than planned.
doodles by Lyric Montgomery Kinard
In the larger scheme of things what does that matter? 
doodled during a meeting by Lyric Montgomery Kinard
(matter, that is.)
more from James Christensen's books
Just get back to it when you can.
Pick up your determination and continue to progress.
playing with profiles, J.C. style
It's all about progress.
from Jame's Christensen's books
Any step towards your goal puts you closer to attaining it.
doodles by Lyric Mongtomery Kinard
How do you motivate yourself to pick back up where you left off?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Free Ebook from Quilting Arts

If you make small textile pieces and would like a few ideas for how to mount them

you might like this FREE ebook from Quilting Arts.
Lots of fun articles including one of mine called
"Picture it Framed"

You do need to register on the Quilting Arts site to get it - but its worth it!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Family Time

Malachi's Promise by Lyric Kinard
75" x 57"
There is a time and season for everything and these past weeks have been focused on family. Balance between art and the rest of life is not daily - sometimes one end of the see-saw is up and the other end down for weeks at a time.  I talked about finding balance here if you want to pop back and read that bit of ruminating.

My wonderful parents are here visiting for our first high school graduation. They've recently spent almost two years in Western Samoa teaching at a boarding school there so we haven't seen them for a very long time. Add in all the end of the school year stuff for the other four kids plus lecturing at the North Carolina Quilt Symposium - and time for blogging and art has been limited. I'll be back soon!