Have you ever wondered why some paintings seem to win all the prizes at art competitions while others do not? You can not seem to figure it out, but they are more pleasing to look at. Well..it’s not that they are more beautifully rendered or that they have the best color balance (although that helps..more on that in the future)…It has to instead to do with the harmonious use of lights and darks within the painting. But what does that really mean? You really need to be able to see any subject you plan on painting in two values: black and white and then determine whether the patterns are pleasing and not just noise. Let me give you an example:
Here we have a black and white abstract design. Looking at this image I can conclude that through the use of simple shapes the overall concept is pleasing to look at. Now once you have this foundation you can go back and start placing light and dark elements individually withing your work. Kind of like this:
Before commencing any painting project you need to analyze the subject matter and then communicate the way light flows across that form, creating a harmonious design of lights and darks.By doing so your work will resonate and not merely be superficially exciting.