Contrast in Art

Art Studio Guelph students working on their project.

I love the idea of contract in general. It makes life so much more interesting. I’m sure you are using contrast on a daily basis and you even don’t realize it. The way we decorate our homes, pick clothes to wear, decorate a birthday cake. Contrast in Art plays a very important role in composition, the building of emotions and adding that “special” element which brings everybody’s attention.

During this art class, children had an opportunity to practice contrast in art on different levels. There was the contrast of colours, the contrast of form and contrast of concept.

The contrast of colour is the easiest to explain and follow based on the colour wheel and simple memorization on which colours are on the opposite side of the wheel. Children as young as 4-5 years old can understand and follow the idea that the opposite of red is green, the opposite of blue is yellow and so on.

Artworks collection.

The contrast of form relates to opposite elements of the presented object or person or landscape, for example, a young person versus an old person, a beautifully flourished tree versus an old dry tree.

Last contrast we have also included in our small project was the contrast of concept which relates to the emotions and the atmosphere of the painting. Examples for the contract of concept can be day vs. night or winter vs. summer or use of warm colours vs. the use of cold colours.

Easy, right? Try to use any of these ideas and make your own project with your child. Feel free to copy the one my students did. The contrast in art is really great to develop a child’s imagination and encourage motor skills to transfer pictures created in their head to the pictures on paper. I wonder what your children would come up with?