Monday, April 25, 2011

Elements of Design - Gradation

A long time ago in Maine, I decided to concentrate on one or two elements and a couple of design principles when I went out to paint on location.  Then, when I returned home, I would set the painting up in a trial mat to evaluate how I had done.

Here's an example.  Gradation, the gradual proceeding from one thing to another in any shape, can be seen in the gradation of color in the sky and the gradation of value and texture in the buildings. 

If you don't have some elements and principles in mind when you set out to paint, you're doomed to fail.  Instead of thinking about painting things (i.e.trees, buildings, water and mountains), concentrate on the the elements and principles you want to use to portray those things. Get your check list out when you evaluate how your design  succeeded or not in each of your paintings.


  1. great post. love the lesson. Even though we all know it, we (I) don't always think it when painting! need more lesson/reminders like this. How about posting a full series on each point of elements of design???

  2. Thanks, Rosie. That was my plan as you'll see in the latest post. Let me know how your experiments turn out!