The difference in quality between two instances of an art element, or using opposing qualities next to each other. For example, black and white (contrasting values), organic/curvy and geometric/angular (contrasting lines/shapes/forms), and rough and smooth (contrasting textures).

The greater the contrast, the more something will stand out and call attention to itself. This applies to whole works of art as well as areas within an artwork. Areas with greater contrast in value (stronger darks and lights) will tend to appear more forward in space, as over distance atmospheric haze lessens contrast (atmospheric perspective). Contrast can also be used to set the mood or tone of the work. High contrast makes a work more vibrant, vigorous, brash, lively - it "pops" more. Low-contrast work is more quiet, calm, subtle, reflective, soothing.

Sharpie Lamborghini by Jona Cerwinske

Jona Cerwinske - Sharpie Lamborghini, 2007?, sharpie marker on Lamborghini Galladro

The Migration of the Negro, Panel no. 11 by Jacob Lawrence

Jacob Lawrence - The Migration of the Negro, Panel no. 11, 1940-1941, casein tempera on hardboard, 18 x 12 in. The red of the figure stands out against the complementary green colored background: the contrast, along with the pose, gives the figure energy and emotion.

Nympheas by Claude Monet

Claude Monet - Nympheas, 1908, oil on canvas, 36 x 37 in. The limited contrast of colors, values and shapes creates a calm, soothing feeling (unless you have a phobia of water lilies).

time well spent

closeup view Jack Troy cup, links to Jack Troy artist page

time to explore

link to newest page of ceramic artist links, including link to Scott Parady, pictured

time flies

Link to monthly image blog