Lens-Artists Challenge #44 – Harmony
“There is no true greatness in art or science without a sense of harmony.”
One of the most helpful ways to improve our photography skills is to study some favorite images – both our own and those of others. Examining what draws us into an image helps us understand what is important to us and why. For me, one aspect of that study is the artist’s approach to color harmony. Colors and their relationships to one another within an image can have a definite effect on viewer reactions – often subconscious, but there just the same.
“Art is a harmony of the spiritual being with the human being.”
Back in the 1600s, Sir Isaac Newton discovered that when pure white light passes through a prism, it separates into all of the visible colors. The 12 colors of his resulting wheel included primary colors red, blue and yellow, secondary colors orange, green and violet (made by combining 2 primary colors), and six tertiary colors.
THE COLOR WHEEL TODAY
Color harmony is achieved when a piece of art includes complimentary colors, typically two or three colors side-by-side on the wheel, two colors directly opposite each other on the wheel, or any color combination found in nature. It can also be used to incite different emotions in our art. Monochromatic or analogous colors (side-by-side on the wheel) create a more soothing feeling, while complementary colors (directly opposite each other on the wheel) can create drama. Allowing a single color to dominate, especially a primary color, can create a very powerful image.
“He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.”
Beyond color harmony, there is an entire field of study dedicated to color psychology – the belief that different colors drive specific emotional responses. Interior designers and marketing companies use it extensively. If you google “color psychology”, you’ll see many exhaustive treatises on the subject.
“Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions.”
Of course there are several other types of harmony, for example, musical, spiritual and inter-personal harmonies are all commonly known and well-studied. This is your opportunity to share your favorite harmonies. Give us your best yoga pose, or your favorite musician at work, or perhaps a happy couple arm in arm – whatever floats your boat (especially if it’s on a warm yellow/orange sunset or a cool blue sunrise 😊). Whatever you choose, please link your post to this one. Please note – we’ve had some issues with WP Pingbacks, so it’s more important than ever for you to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you.
“Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me.”
Vincent Van Gogh
Last week Amy presented us with a wonderfully interesting challenge to illustrate the concept of Less is More.
HAVE YOU SEEN THESE ?
- David showed us some true minimalism in his response here
- Laura of Poetry Pix offered several examples of Less is More here
Hope you’ll join us next week for Challenge #45 on Patti’s Pilotfish blog.
Note: My image “Complimentary Colors” is a photograph of of a painting in Sfat, Israel. The original artist was S.Ilyayev.