1.03_ Proportion: Contrast

Contrast is about as dynamic as proportion gets. Contrast takes no prisoners and provides no quarter. Contrast can be a confrontation, a precipice, or a life-saver.

FYI, the following exercises have a legacy: the Bauhaus. Joost Schmidt’s intro course included two exercises in contrasts. The first one involves a symbol. The second one involves imagery.


Exercise #1: Contrasts abound. Your task is to create nine types of contrasts using a plus sign (+) as your basis. Can be digital or hand drawn or any combo. Nine individual studies.










Exercise #2: Your task is to create nine individual studies. Each study must contain an optical and thematic contrast. Imagery must be involved. Concept or narrative (story) is involved here as well. Can be digital, found, hand drawn or in any combo. Images can be used in whole, cropped, modified or outlined as desired.











For additional inspiration: Bauhaus founding director, influential Swiss painter, designer, writer and theorist Johannes Itten identified a range of contrasting conditions in his basic course at the Bauhaus school of post-WW1 Germany. The types of visual contrasts he suggested were inspiring and varied:

Rigid vs Fluid

Flat vs Textured

Color vs Gray

Stable vs Random

Thick vs Thin

Large vs Small

Long vs short

Much vs Little

Straight vs Bent

Pointed vs Blunt

Horizontal vs Vertical

Circular vs Diagonal

High vs Low

Plane vs Line

Plane vs Volume

Smooth vs Rough

Hard vs Soft

Still vs Moving

Light vs Heavy

Transparent vs Opaque

Steady vs Intermittent

Sweet vs Sour

Strong vs Weak

Loud vs Soft

(and in any combination)

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