Virtual Art Academy

Make Your Paintings Sing: Add Near Music

Portrait of Moerai Matuanui,by Kehinde Wiley
Portrait of Moerai Matuanui,by Kehinde Wiley

In workshops F,G, and H in the Virtual Art Academy Apprentice Program we go into some detail on how to create Near Music in your painting. This is an approach to using brushwork to make your painting much more interesting to look at when viewed up close.

This contemporary work is a very interesting example of an alternative approach to using brushwork in achieving near music in your work. Instead of using brushwork, the artist is using pattern in one of the major shape divisions of the painting. The technique is different, but the artistic principle is the same.

By limiting the pattern to just a few shapes, you do not destroy the overall structure of the design. But at the same time you make it much more interesting for the viewer to look at your painting up close.

If you look at the painting in monochrome, you can see how the artist created the pattern in the middle value range. Although there are two colors and values in the pattern, the values are so close that the overall shape reads like a middle value from a distance.

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Happy Painting!

Barry John Raybould

P.S. You can read more about the interaction of Near and Far Music in your painting in the eBook: The Visual Music and Poetry Model. This eBook is included in the eLibrary that accompanies the Virtual Art Academy online painting classes.

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