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Old 07-01-2005, 12:15 AM
3dgame 3dgame is offline
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What component compliments a subject?

Exact line, color or value? Some things look perfect to me just drawn in pen and ink with tightly controled lines. On the other hand, somethings would would seem lacking to me if the work didn't emphasize color. And, sometimes I can find perfection in a piece of charcol guided by a loose hand and blackend fingertips.

Here's my list of art components paired with some subjects they compliment. Of course these are just my opinions, but I want to know everyone else's. Some may feel that when painting or drawing a building that more attention should go to the color other than the line? Or, perhaps there are those out there who believe color is the most important component in depicting a human being.

Did I miss any components? What would you put on your list?



exact line- architechture, automobiles, planes, and most other things man made.


color - rainbows, plant life, blue skys


value sketch- ??? lots of stuff


exact line+ value - hands, people in general, cloth


exact line+ clolor - traffic sign, flags, and most types of symbols


value + color - fur, rock, dirt, complex skys with clouds, and textures in general


exact line+ color + value - just about anything that reflects and refracts light




I know the use of my terminology and grammer is not completly acurate. I also know when color is used that it creates line and value, and when using pen and ink the color of the paper will show through, and depending on the lighting blah blah blah blah blah. Please don't respond with a full blown essay on how I screwed up all the teminology. If you find a better word let me know and I'll try to edit my post.

This is what I mean when I say...

...exact line: tightly controled, one line one stroke, very clean, no shading whatsoever, not even cross hatching. The kind of stuff you might see in a CAD lab or draftsmans studio.

...color: red, green, blue, etc.

...value sketch: minimal emphasis on lines, emphasis on light and dark
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Old 07-04-2005, 04:25 PM
Keith2 Keith2 is offline
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Re: What component compliments a subject?

3dgame, it's an interesting theory you are proposing.

I suggest that your components for colour could be enlarged - the Fauves painted objects, often man made, in violent colours . I'm thinking of a painting of Tower Bridge London (quite a gloomy scene) done by one of the Fauves in harsh reds, blues and oranges.
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Old 07-07-2005, 02:18 AM
3dgame 3dgame is offline
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Re: What component compliments a subject?

It's a theory in the works (infant stage), sort of a personal mission statement on art.

Considering Fauvism, I now recognize abstract ideas such as mood and emotion as they relate to color. Communicating a comprehensive range of abstract ideas such as moods, feelings, emotions, etc. is next to impossible without color.

I will also modify my opinion in believing that exact line compliments architechture best. Since I can't imagineTower Bridge painted with extremem adherance to line expressing much warmth, I will say... ...In a picture of a bridge adherance to line is key and color is subtle, if any. When emphasizing an abstract idea (mood)then the tightly rendered line of the tangible (bridge, for example) is subdued and color dominant.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 07-30-2005, 05:03 AM
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jackiesimmonds jackiesimmonds is offline
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Re: What component compliments a subject?

In my opinion, it matters now whether you match technique to subject. What matters is what you are trying to convey. I have some wonderful images of architecture which were handled with a loose, impressionistic, NONline approach, but they are solid, believable structures nevertheless. What interested the artist more than anything else was the atmosphere of the piece. I have also seen water rendered beautifully with line, with wash, with loose oil colour, with chunky pastel impressionism, with the tightest of watercolour approaches. I have seen flowers, wonderfully brilliantly coloured flowers, rendered in monochrome washes, in linear pen and ink, in washy watercolour, and in think squishy oil. In fact, I reckon almost every subject I can think of, I could probably find equally strong renderings in every type of medium.

I believe it limits the artist, if he or she feels that the subject can "best" be rendered with a particular approach.

I believe it's best to decide what it is about the subject that you want to emphasise. Then choose a medium which will give you the best chance of showing exactly what you want to emphasise.
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Old 08-03-2005, 03:09 AM
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Katherine T Katherine T is offline
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Re: What component compliments a subject?

Thank you Jackie for saving my typing fingers - well said!
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Old 08-09-2005, 10:04 PM
3dgame 3dgame is offline
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Re: What component compliments a subject?

“I believe it's best to decide what it is about the subject that you want to emphasize. Then choose a medium which will give you the best chance of showing exactly what you want to emphasize.”

That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Once you find out what you want to emphasize then how do you emphasize it? If there is not a single way that somebody always emphasizes something then perhaps they could share a story about how they approached one particular piece.

Lists and rules can limit artists if they treat them as gospel. But, considering the probability of validity within those rules can afford useful tools in which to convey a subject. I feel my first post could be too easily interpreted as an attempt to write the ten commandment of art. Please, allow me to elaborate

If I wanted to paint a rainbow and wanted emphasize the fact that it’s a rainbow. Then I would pay more attention to the colors I use instead of how strait I make the arcs, or how accurate the value shifts are from one band to the other. Same thing goes for plants. If I want people to recognize a piece as a garden then I would better serve my purpose by choosing proper colors for leaves and the blossoms than I would by trying to perfectly render every pedal and every leaf by pen.

As far as man made devices (machinery, cars, architecture, etc.) are concerned, a prominent feature that these subjects have in common (for the most part) are solid and clean lines. Again, if I want people to look at a painting or drawing and say “That’s a car,” or “That’s a building” then I want to make sure the lines are done with care and accuracy. If I use yellow instead of red then they will just say “that’s a yellow car” and not a red one.

Brush/pen strokes and color choices really dictate the emotion or feeling of a piece. If an emotion is to be emphasized I would pay particular attention to color and stroke. For example, a cold gloomy day is hard to communicate with only red, yellow, and thick bold strokes. Funny thing about these components (I know there’s a better word out there besides “components”) is that they can make just about any subject look good IMO.

In no way do I consider the list I made all inclusive and iron clad. If I did I wouldn’t be posting. Do some of you have a favorite subjects or elements in some of your works that you like to emphasize? If so, how do you emphasize them?
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Old 09-07-2005, 05:47 PM
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WRoget WRoget is offline
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Re: What component compliments a subject?

"That’s exactly what I’m talking about."

Well, yes and no, and not quite. You seem to be writing of subject in terms of the objects, things, physical conglomerations of matter being portrayed

but that is only the surface. Subject is also, often mostly, the emotional or historical or spiritual or sensual or other implications of the physical conglomeration of matter, as experienced and interpretted by the artist.

Consider a conglomeration of matter - like Notre Dame Cathedral. It has been rendered in just about every conceivable technique and style, from extraordinarily precise line drawings, to Monet's impressionist dabs of raw color.

If one says - buildings - should be a 'pure line drawing' - Monet's atmospheric interpretations of Notre Dame destroy the premise completely.

On the other hand, if subject is 'the technical mastery of architectural principles as demonstrated by Notre Dame cathedral' - a pure line drawing could very consistently be the most effective way to communicate that. But if the subject is 'the presence of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris' - Monet's daubs of color is extraordinarily effective.

The real answer, I suspect, is that the question of what technique and style goes with which subject (in the fullest meaning) and which conglomeration of matter - is going to have a different set of answers for every artist.
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Old 09-07-2005, 05:53 PM
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WRoget WRoget is offline
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Re: What component compliments a subject?

You know what could be an valuable exploration?

Pick a conglomeration of mass, heck, even a specific subject "my emotional reaction to x" - and rendered in as many different styles and techniques as you can think of.

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