Set II Beginners Lesson 1: Contrast

Supplies: Pencil, eraser, two pieces of drawing paper

In Set I for Beginners, the very first lesson was about “seeing”. Sometimes we look around us and don’t really SEE what is there. “Seeing” is a very importat part of being an artist. Look at something more than once and focus upon what is “really there”.

We may becoe philosophical and experence a “Zen” moment, but that’s something that can be discussed in Karen’s Blog.

For this lesson, take a piece of paper and fold it into fourths. Draw a square on your paper. Draw a diagonal line from one corner to the opposite corner. Or, draw a straight line down the center of the square. You are dividing the square in half.

Fill one half of the square with dark pencil shading. Rub the side of the pencil to make it even darker. You can protect the rest of the paper from being smudged, by putting a clean sheet of paper under the heel of your “drawing hand”. Keep filling in the dark side until it is nearly “shiny”.

Open your paper to another section. Draw a circle. Divide it in half with a straight line and shade half of it.

You are making a drawing that represents “light and dark”. Think about what you have created and how this concept of “light and dark” links with understanding our Universe!

Draw other shapes on the remaining sections of your paper. You may choose to draw a rectangle or a triangle.

Look around to see if you can find objects that show “contrast” (light/dark). Contrast can be a “push-pull” of light against dark or dark against light. Contrast has energy. You will feel this energy as you learn how to use contrast in your art work.

This lesson does not stop here. Take what you have learned about contrast into your daily life. Look for and witness contrast. Where is it? CONTRAST! What is it?CONTRAST!

You may hear someone say, “It isn’t all black and white” and you can say, “Oh, my! It lacks CONTRAST”!