- Slides: 57
Also called, dominance • Used by artists to create dominance and focus in their work. Artists can emphasize color, value, shapes, or other art elements to achieve dominance. Various kinds of contrast can be used to emphasize a center of interest.
• When something in your life is exciting, you will tell others – and emphasize the most important facts. In works of art, visual emphasis is placed on the most important parts of the work – the focal area. Other things in the artwork may be important, but we look in the focal area to see what the artists emphasized.
Emphasis is the stressing of a particular area of focus rather than the presentation of a maze of details of equal importance. When a composition has no emphasis nothing stands out. However the effective use of emphasis calls attention to important areas of the artwork. By placing emphasis on certain areas of the composition, an artist creates elements of interest which causes the eye to return to again and again.
One way of achieving emphasis is by creating center of interest, a. k. a. a focal point. A focal point is an area where the eye tends to center. It is the focus of the viewer's attention.
Examples of the effective use of Emphasis • In this painting it is easy to see how the artist used light to emphasize the chef. He stands out as the main focal point of the entire the painting
Effective use of Emphasis • The artist created emphasis in this painting through the use of color. By painting the cowboy's shirt red he was able to create a center of interest.
• A focal area is often a place of contrast, where something different is featured. • A person amid stone buildings is different, and therefore is the focus, or emphasis in this photograph by Georgia Brommer.
• Most of this dock scene is painted in cool colors, so the warm-colored boat and house become the focus of the work. Temperature contrast is a way to show emphasis or the focal area.
• It is easy to find focus in this painting. It is where the value contrast is strongest. The shape of the towers is also different from anything else in the painting. Contrasting shapes become focal areas.
• This might simply look like a painting of a cabbage, but it is actually a carefully designed painting. Light and dark value paths create movement to the focus – the most complex part of the work. The focal area is also a contrasting warm shape in a cool painting.
• The focus of this carved and painted wood sculpture is the face. It is emphasized by movement on forms and edges toward the face. See the body, arms and wings. The face is a lighter value, the wings and red sleeves are a darker value and which frame the face. • Also, the lines in the aprons pattern lead upwards towards the face.
• The focal area in a radial design is at the center. Lines and shapes lead us there. The warm sun image is the focus in a cool stained glass window (temperature contrast).
• Focal areas are often much more detailed and more complex that other areas of the work. This is true in both realistic and nonobjective, or abstract works.
A focal point is created by making one area or element of the painting dominant, or most important visually with all other areas contributing but subordinate. Claude Monet The Red Kerchief: Portrait of Camille Monet 1873
The focal point may be the largest, brightest, darkest, or most complex part of the whole, or it may get special attention because it stands out for some other reason.
No more than one component should vie for primary attention. Where several components get equal billing, emphasis is canceled out and confusion is developed. M. C. Escher's "Relativity" (c) 2006
The second way to create emphasis is by contrasting the primary element with its subordinates, or emphasis can be created by a sudden change in direction, size, shape, texture, color, tone or line. In this painting by Gustav Klimt, he used swirls in the background which contrast with the solid brown ovals. The hair on the individuals is also darker in value, and therefore, different. Gustav Klimt - Fulfilment
No matter what element is chosen for emphasis it should never demand all the attention. Emphasis is necessary, but a good composition is one in which all the elements work together for a unifying effect.
The center of interest is the placement of the most important conceptual and visual portion of the image. The focal area does not have to be located in the center of the image, as a matter of fact, placing it off center to the left or right and either above or below the center line adds to the interest of the piece by giving the viewer introductory or supporting information Edvard Munch The Scream
• Claude Monet - Impressions: soleil levant [Impressions] • Monet places the dark valued boat below the horizon line, and it easily becomes the focal point.
• Andy Goldsworthy • In this photograph by Goldsworthy, the center darker circle becomes the focal point. The flowers get closer together and become more dense. Placement is creating a focal point.
Color Dominance Georgia O'Keefee - Red Canna • The overall use of a color or color family is often used to set a tone or mood, as context. Color is usually the first thing we see. Don't confuse color domination with strong composition. The composition should work in gray scale or black and white and come to life when you add color. Most of us love a picture of a beautiful flower. We fall in love with the color. Show me a flower that has been powerfully composed and then we have something in which to sink our eyes, mind, and heart.
Color Dominance • Jean-Michel Basquiat Election Day • In this painting by Basquiat, the cool color of blue in the background is different than the warm colors of red and yellow so the face and mouth become the focal point.
Color Dominance • Tamara de Lempicka • This painting by Lempicka uses cool colors in the dress and hat, and warm colors in the face and arms. The hat and arms create lines and shapes which make the face the focal area.
Color Dominance • Marc Chagall created paintings based on dreamlike states. In this painting, the dark red color of the background contrasts with the floating lovers. An eerie figure approaches with flowers, which are lighter in value and assist us in identifying the focal point. The lighter value of the dress also creates a line leading us to the faces, creating movement.
Color Dominance • Piet Mondrian • Mondrian created many paintings like this which use lines and blocks of pure color. The colored areas become focal points, and the largest becomes the most important.
Color Dominance • Henri de Toulouse. Lautrec - The Kiss • Latrec used the bold color of red in this painting to emphasize the passion in the moment. • His figures are made up mostly of cooler colors and lines from the blouse lead us to the lovers faces.
Value Contrasts Georgia O’Keeffe • Strong light and dark value contrasts highlight the focal point. Value shows dimension. Value draws the viewer through the subtle undulations and gradual changes in surface angles. Value creates the illusion of form - depth, height, and width. Value brings objects off the surface.
Value Contrasts • Wayne Thiebaud - Boston Creames • In this painting of pieces of boston cream pie, Wayne Thiebaud uses value contrasts of shape and shadow to lead our eye to the piece of pie at the center of his painting becoming the focal point. The dark values along with the light values create visual movement to lead our eye through the entire piece of art.
Value & Texture Contrasts • Andy Goldsworthy • Goldsworthy used value and texture contrasts in this photograph. • The raked sand creates light and dark value contrast and the soft sand rough rocks create texture contrasts.
Color Value Contrasts • Max Ernst – Aquis • In this painting, Ernst used a variety of color value contrasts with light, middle and dark values of the color red. • He also used tones of red by mixing with it’s complimentary color, green, muting some areas of the painting creating shadows. • The focal point becomes the moon and the lady in the pool because they are brighter in value, and the statue in the front because it is darker in value. The three organic shapes are similar to each other and different than the geometric hard edged shapes in the rest of the painting.
Visual Movement Georgia O'Keeffe • Elements of different color, value, or shape direct the viewer's eyes to a focal point. The smallest butterfly moving across an other wise still background grabs our attention. Elements, almost regardless of size, that are irregular, that create the illusion of movement stand out. The lines and shapes in this painting by O’Keeffe change shape and value and create visual movement.
Visual Movement • Joseph Mallord William Turner – Snowstorm • This painting creates a feeling of blowing and swirling snow with its swirling brushstrokes. The darker value towards the center becomes the focal point, as a vortex would in a tornado.
Visual Movement • Robert Indiana – Love • If this sculpture were horizontal and spelled LOVE it would not be as interesting. The tipping of the “O” creates visual movement in that it appears to have fallen over accidentally, when in fact it was very purposeful and leads our eye to the rest of the word.
• Japanese grocery store Visual Movement shelves In Advertising • Go to a grocery store and look at all of the packages lined up shelf after shelf. Your eye goes to the brightest colors, but also to designs on an angle. • You notice the blue and red cartons on the third shelf up on the right, because of this. • It's called a mnemonic device. You could also call it visual movement.
Visual Movement • Marc Chagall • Here is another painting by Chagall. The figures are floating through space, which is common in his works. The white colored gown and swirling background create that feeling of floating and flying. • The warm colors balance out in the shape of the sun, spots in the sky and the bouquet of flowers.
Visual Movement • Georgia O‘Keeffe • In this painting O'Keeffe used warm and cool colors, along with the long lines of the river to create visual movement to the focal point at the top of the painting, which has warm colors, which are different than the rest of the painting. • The lines create visual movement.
Visual Movement • Alexander Calder • Calder was known for his mobiles and stabiles, which move with the wind. • He also specifically placed his wires and shapes to create lines which will lead you mobile through his works. • This creates visual and actual movement in his works. stabile
Difference Henri Matisse You can also create emphasis by emphasizing an element that is different. You can use color, shape, line, texture, value, space, and or form in a way that distinguishes one element or area from the whole to focus the viewer through the piece. Think about how we notice things that do not "fit in" to it's environment. When we see one dead tree in a healthy forest, it stands out from all the rest. In this work by Matisse, the figure is different than the rest of the work, creating emphasis.
Difference • Edward Hooper – Nighthawks • In Nighthawks, by Hopper, the darker values contrast with the lighter value in the coffee shop, which is different and becomes the focal point.
Difference • Wassily Kandinsky • In Kandinsky’s work, the organic circles are different than the geometric straight edges and lines, and therefore become the focal point. • This is considered an abstract work of art. It does not represent anything real.
Differenc e • Frida Kahlo was a very odd and depressed woman after having lost several babies and her twin sister had an affair with her husband. Her work showed this depression and personal pain. • In many of her works she shows her face on animals which are being tortured. Because this looks so odd, the focal point is her face and is different than what we are used to seeing.
Shape • Emphasize an element that has a different shape. Again, we are focusing on difference based primarily on shape • What is different in this work that makes it the focal point? Eliezer Lissitzky - Proun G 7
Shape • Paul Klee - March to the Summit • Klee used a teal color triangle to show us the story in this painting, although to be honest, I don’t get it!
Shape • Milton Glaser - Bob Dylan • How are shapes used to show emphasis in this painting by Milton Glaser? • Did the artist use any other elements to create emphasis?
Shape • Wassily Kandinsky • Where is the focal point in this painting by Kandinsky? • How does this shape or shapes lead us to a particular area of the painting?
Emphasis by Contrast • In realistic art the focal point is usually quite easy to spot. Larger figures, usually found in the foreground, provide a focal point. Even in non-realistic art, it is usually easy to spot the focal point. If most of the figures are horizontal, a vertical element will stand out as a focal point.
• If the rest of the elements are irregular, a geometric shape will stand out.
• If most of the elements are dark, a splash of light color will catch the eye.
Emphasis by Isolation • If most of the elements in a work of art are grouped closely together, an object by itself stands out as a focal point.
Emphasis by Placement or Isolation This painting by John Trumbull, entitled The Surrender of Lord Cornwallis, shows how a focal point can be emphasized both by placement or isolation and by eye direction. • An object placed in the center will often be perceived as a focal point. If all eyes in the painting look at one object, or if an object is placed at the center of the lines of perspective, that object will be perceived as the focus of the work.
The point, emphasis shows that you have a point to your piece. You have something to say, literally or figuratively. You know what you want to communicate and you have the technical acumen (keen insight), skills, to direct the viewer through the work in a way that provides visual interest, multiple levels of information, and ultimately, leaves the viewer with a sense of awe.
You want to create a feeling that they have spent their time wisely. Certainly emphasis does not make a work appealing to everyone, but without a focal point or emphasis you might as well be looking at a big pot of stew.
What we have learned about Emphasis • Used by artists to create dominance and focus in their work. • Also called, dominance • One way of achieving emphasis is by creating center of interest, a. k. a. a focal point. • A focal point is an area where the eye tends to center. • A focal Point may be the largest, brightest, darkest, or most complex part of the whole • Emphasis may be achieved with the use of art elements such as line, texture, color, value, form, space, shapes, to achieve dominance.
• Movement is a way to lead the viewer to the focal point of artwork. • When a composition has no emphasis nothing stands out. • A focal area is often a place of contrast, where something different is featured • Temperature contrast is a way to show emphasis or the focal area • Value contrast is a way to show emphasis or the focal area
• The focal area in a radial design is at the center • Focal areas are often much more detailed and more complex than other areas of the work • No matter what element is chosen for emphasis it should never demand all the attention. • The focal area does not have to be located in the center of the image
• Elements of different color, value, line, texture, space, forms or shape direct the viewer's eyes to a focal point • Emphasis by Isolation - If most of the elements in a work of art are grouped closely together, an object by itself stands out as a focal point • Where several components get equal billing, emphasis is canceled out and confusion is developed.