Monday, November 7, 2016

A Revolutionary Approach To Painting And Design

"Invite the viewers into the picture
and entertain them everywhere." 
~ Edgar Whitney

Ed Whitney 1979 - discussing the Three Bears
(Momma, Poppa, Baby Formula) photo by Shirley Landgraf


Edgar Whitney was a brilliant artist, writer and watercolor instructor. His Seven Elements and Eight Principles Of Design can be applied to any art medium and truly revolutionized my own artistic journey. Ed's students benefit from an accelerated understanding of art and visual design, leading to a broader scope of exploration and creativity.

Edgar A. Whitney spent twenty-five years in commercial art before devoting himself full time to painting and teaching. He taught at Pratt Institute in NYC and lectured regularly at New York University. Twenty years after his death, his book, Complete Guide to Watercolor Painting, continues to be one of the foremost and extensive manuals on philosophy, design, and watercolor painting. In his golden years, Ed demonstrated and taught workshops from Maine to Florida, producing many extraordinary modern day watercolor masters while establishing himself as a legend in the Art World Hall of Fame.

THE SEVEN ELEMENTS OF DESIGN

THESE ARE THE PARTS OF A PAINTING

* SHAPE - Anything with height and width - They can be . . .
* Curved
* Angular
* Rectangular

* SIZE - The relationship of objects to each other - think 3 bears - Momma, Poppa, Baby
* Small
* Medium
* Large

* LINE - There are two main types
* Curved
* Angular

* DIRECTION - The overall dominant direction of an art piece can be
* Horizontal
* Vertical
* Oblique

* TEXTURE - There are three basic textures
* Soft
* Hard
* Rough

* COLOR - Warm or cool, one should dominate

* VALUE - The lightness or darkness of a color
* Light
* Medium
* Dark


THE EIGHT PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN

These are the building blocks OF ALL ART!
This is what we should strive to do with the SEVEN ELEMENTS, listed above.
For better understanding; read each principle and then apply it to each element, one at a time.

* UNITY - The painting must be consistent throughout. Each part must look like it belongs to the rest.

* CONFLICT - or Contrast - Must be present in all of the elements.

* DOMINANCE - The most important principle because without it, there will be too much variation and no unity of the elements. In each of the listed SEVEN ELEMENTS, one should dominate in a painting.

* REPETITION - Elements should repeat.

* ALTERNATION - Repetition with variation.

* GRADATION - Gradual change from one element to another.

* HARMONY - Similar elements.

* BALANCE - Most noticeable with shapes and should generally be informal (asymmetrical) vs. formal (symmetrical)

Come Create Online With Me in January 2017!

More of Edgar A. Whitney's Teaching and Philosophy Woven into 

Click the link to see a short video of student work from the September 2016 ECourse.