Paint It Again Sam Repeating Yourself

Repetition is another principle of design . . . another principle of design . . . another principle of design.

Figure 6-10:

Repeated oval shapes with slight variations create a harmonious picture.

Figure 6-10:

Repeated oval shapes with slight variations create a harmonious picture.

Elements Design Repeated Lines

You can repeat any element in paintings: repeat colors in all areas of the painting; repeat values; repeat shapes; repeat lines or textures.

Repetition is visually pleasing, though you need to make use of some tricks to keep repetition from becoming boring. The next sections address variety and alternation, the two principles that work within repetition.

Providing Variety ft\ng/

You know the adage "Variety is the spice of life." Variety is the spice in art as well. Monotony or sameness can change a potentially good painting into a bedspread pattern and put the viewer to sleep. Of course, there's nothing wrong with pattern. It's just that to make a great painting, you need to add variety to keep the viewer's attention.

Figure 6-11 shows two paintings of trees. Figure 6-11a shows a pattern of some very nice trees. Figure 6-11b takes those nice trees, adds variety, and produces a better painting. Each tree is a different width and a different height, is on a different plane (trees on a plane! Not a good title for a movie, I guess), and is a different distance from its neighbors.

Repeating without variety is an easy mistake to make. Figure 6-12 shows two thumbnail paintings with sky, clouds, mountains, foothills, trees, and foreground. The repeating zigzag in every aspect of Figure 6-12a is too much the same. Variety to the rescue! By zigging where I zagged before, I created a better result in Figure 6-12b, which makes use of repetition and variety.

While Figure 6-12 is exaggerated, it's easier than you think to repeat horizon lines, as in the before picture. In the after picture, adding variety lets the horizon lines overlap and go in different directions. Overlapping layers creates depth, so don't be afraid to paint layers over one another. Make a conscious effort to add variety to horizon lines for interest.

Practice variety in a thumbnail sketch (turn to Chapter 7 for more on these itty-bitty paintings). The following are some suggestions to explore variety:

^ Make a painting repeating one type of shape (circle, square, whatever). Place a bunch of the same types of shape in your sketch area. Change sizes from very big to very small. You are using repetition of shape with variety of size.

^ Make horizontal, diagonal, and vertical lines. Add thickness to some of the lines for variety.

^ Use a variety of greens in your landscapes rather than one color. Refer to Chapter 5 for color formulas.

Figure 6-11:

Before and after variety is added to a forest of aspen trees.

Figure 6-11:

Before and after variety is added to a forest of aspen trees.

b

Figure 6-12:

Before and after adding variety to a landscape that makes use of repetition.

Figure 6-12:

Before and after adding variety to a landscape that makes use of repetition.

Alternation Watercolour Painting
b

Making alternations

Alternation — not to be confused with alteration, despite the clever heading — is a type of repetition used mostly in creating patterns. The idea is to take a couple of elements (or more) and create a pattern by alternating between them: long, short, long, short, long, short; or circle, square, circle, square. If you want to shake up the pattern, you can use alternation with variation. Short, long, short, long, long, short, short. Keep 'em guessing!

Alternation can be a handy principle to use in an abstract work. When combined with variety, it can be a handy principle in a realistic work too. For example, imagine a painting of a tall tree, short bush, taller tree, tallest tree, and short bush. This combines alternation with variation, which are both forms of repetition. Figure 6-13 shows a repeated design with alternation of circles, swirls, and lines.

Figure 6-13:

Circles, swirls, and lines show alternation in action.

Figure 6-13:

Circles, swirls, and lines show alternation in action.

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Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.

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