Color As Subject

For pre-Renaissance artists, color was used to ascribe spiritual value to a subject; prized pigments, such as ultramarine, vermillion, and gold were used not for decorative effect, but to directly reflect God's glory. This highly symbolic use of color created its own order within the work. Many recent artists too have focused on color as the subject of their work; a notable example is the American artist Mark Rothko, whose non-representational color compositions are charged with emotion.

Background figures are the same size as those in the foreground.

Abstract Verticals

Blue appears recessive, even In abstract composition.

Red verticals appear to push forward from the plane of the paper.

Color in space | 29

Blue appears recessive, even In abstract composition.

Red verticals appear to push forward from the plane of the paper.

Layers of colored pastel give depth to this abstract composition; textures implying solidity contribute to the reality of this invented space.

Background figures are the same size as those in the foreground.

Layers of colored pastel give depth to this abstract composition; textures implying solidity contribute to the reality of this invented space.

Recessive Skin Color

The absence of linear perspective is no barrier to creating an illusion of depth. A hierarchy is conjured up in this medieval work by the use of warm red and skin tones against recessive blues and violets.

The importance of figures in medieval art was reflected in the cost of the pigments used to depict them.

Clear Iconic images send a direct religious message.

The absence of linear perspective is no barrier to creating an illusion of depth. A hierarchy is conjured up in this medieval work by the use of warm red and skin tones against recessive blues and violets.

The importance of figures in medieval art was reflected in the cost of the pigments used to depict them.

Clear Iconic images send a direct religious message.

30 | landscape

Composition and illusion

The illusion of depth created by linear perspective and reinforced through the use of color can be further enhanced by compositional sleight of hand. The frame that a drawing sits within is not just an embellishment, but presents another plane to the viewer and defines the positive and negative spaces within the piece. Frames created within the drawing will similarly influence the perception of depth.

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Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

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