Sunday 23 July 2017

2017 Topic 10: Dark to Light and Contrasts {Introduction and Challenge}

 2017 Topic 10: Dark to Light, Contrasts

Well hello everyone, Darcy here, bringing you a new topic. This time we are exploring colours; how they layer and how they contrast. We would like you to contemplate building your artwork up on a dark background for a change, also layering dark and light colours, and perhaps using colours that contrast highly against each other. 

Before we start, let's see who won the Topic 9: AquaChallenge...

The winner of  the Aqua challenge is: Lucy from True Colours.  Lucy visited what sounds like an amazing art- supplies recycling place and used some found items to create her piece for the Aqua challenge with Tracy Scott stamps as a stunning contrast. Go check out the post here to read about it.

Email Darcy to claim your prize.

So for this topic we have various areas for you to look at, all utilising colours in different ways. To start with let's see how you can work from dark to light. This could mean working on a dark substrate, or a darkly painted background, perhaps dark fabric, or shading through to highlights.

What about this wow! piece to kick us off, how stunning are these vibrant pinks against the dark grey background. You could recreate this on a journal cover, Make use of the great selection of Fresco pinks over Slate or London Night. 

Jimmie Martin
Here we have a layered card, utilising black and kraft coloured backgrounds, this combination draws your eye forward. 

Carolyn King
Dark does not have to be black, grey or brown.. how about blue, this card starts with a lovely mid blue and works forward with lighter shades on the focal feathers. 

Nancy Hill
A really interesting dark to light here with these decorated chairs, the colourful stripes really pop against that dark wood background. 

This piece has  a complex background, look carefully, there are lots of shades of black and brown, possibly dark blues, drips and drops. A background does not have to be a solid colour, think about building your background in subtle layers. working in similar colours will support your focal image and not detract from it. 

Charlie Bowater
Speaking of layers, something else we want you to try is alternating your layers from dark to light and back again. Seth Apter is an expert at this technique, using light and dark in contrasting layers to great effect. 

Seth Apter 
Here is another set from Seth, look carefully, peer beneath the top layers, see how many light and dark layers you can spot. This clever alternating colour choice results in a natural blend between layers, resulting in backgrounds that resemble landscapes. 

Seth Apter
This journal spread is a great example of this technique, the background layers alternate beautifully culminating with the lightest layer of script. 

Ruth Beeley
When layering contrasting colours it is important to allow the paint to dry between layers to avoid mud, of course Fresco paints dry super quickly so you do not need to wait long. 

This technique of alternating light and dark works especially well on a gelli plate, here is a great video from Barbara Gray showing how these layers work. 

Another way of layering this time using collage items in dark and light , see how the layers are distinct but still compliment each other. 

Lynne Moncrieff
Another collage piece, this time using various colours rather than monochrome, but again we see the contrast of dark and light. This piece was done with newspaper and magazine pages, each piece carefully chosen to show the contrasts. 

Kim Thittichai
Layering dark and light does not mean using very dark or bright white, you can alternate any colours that have different values. This bright happy piece uses bold colours, but they still alternate and contrast. 

Kate Crane
This one is more autumnal colours but still makes great use of layers and contrasts. 

This piece has stunning jewel like colours, chosen to perfectly contrast and compliment. Light drips over dark backgrounds, with dark showing through the crackles, and lots of yummy texture too. See how they merge and blend towards the bottom, although blended the colours can still clearly be seen, no mud in sight. 

Maria Fondler-Grossbaum
Remember that colours have opposites that provide the best contrast, blues contrast with oranges, reds with greens and purples with yellows. This zingy page shows reds and greens working perfectly together, be careful to dry between layers though. Dry red and green are wonderful but wet red and green an make mud. 

Sandra Kaye
Here you can see how blue and orange are great companions, this time on fabric. 

Jenny Rolfe
A great way to contrast is to go big and bold, and what could be more bold than blocks of colour, especially when one block is metallic. This abstract piece is gorgeous with the slate blue and gold, what colours would you choose?

Rachel Furlough
Have you heard of 'Ombré' this is a French word meaning shadow or shaded, and means to gradually blend from one hue to another. While this is more of a gradual effect and not a contrast i thought it would be fun to show you how to get from the darkest hue to the lightest. 

Finally one more piece from Seth Apter, just look at the contrasts here, back and forth between light and dark. the colours on each layer are contrasting and then the layered die cuts themselves contrast from the ones below and above. 

I hope that has encouraged you to think more about the contrasts in the colours that you choose, whether you are going for dark to light changes or for contrasting hues. Use your colour wheels to check which colours are opposites. 

Play and layer and build up those contrasts. 

Don't forget to follow Darcy and Leandra's Pinterest boards if this topic pushes your buttons, you will see plenty more examples to whet your appetite there! I am really looking forward to seeing what you create over the next 2 weeks!

~ Darcy

We hope that you  learn something interesting from our blog. Our bloggers deeply appreciate your comments so much, so please take time to let them know you've been inspired! Why not join our challenge by blogging your interpretation of the current topic and link it here?

The current topic link will close 17:00 (London Time) Sunday, August 6th 2017, and the winner will be announced 2 hours later at 19:00.

All links go in the draw to win a £50 voucher to spend on products of your choice from the PaperArtsy online store.

Challenge Guidelines

  • The challenge is a for you to show how you are inspired by the current blog topic. We encourage you to play with us and explore your personal creative style.
  • Please mention which PA blog post inspired you and and why (link directly to that post). Please don't link to the home page of your blog because then no-one can track back to easily find the original post.
  • We prefer your challenge blog post is created exclusive to our challenge, but if our topic fits perfectly with another challenge, then you may link to both if appropriate.
  • You are most welcome to use stamps/ products/ substrates you have to hand from a variety of companies, we do not expect you to exclusively use PA products - it's lovely when you do though!
  • You can enter as many times as you like. We don't want to restrict your creativity! 
NB. Link closes at 17:00 Sunday August 6th (London Time)

Prize: The winner will receive a £50 credit voucher to be redeemed on the PaperArtsy Website. The credit voucher includes VAT and postage. We request that one of your purchases is an A5 rubber stamp. You can add any other items to your basket, but the final total should not exceed £50. It's your responsibility to claim your prize coupon from Darcy. 

NEW Challenge/ winner: Each fortnight on Sunday, the winner will be announced at 19:00 (London time). In the same post, the link for the next fortnight will be posted. 

Good Luck! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!


Helen said...

well done Lucy!! This is a fascinating topic (will try and remember to take part!).

gibonik said...

Wow this is a great challenge, so creative!

Lucy Edmondson said...

I am so thrilled and excited to win, thank you so much! If any of you get to the Tooting scrapstore do let me know if you had as much fun as I did!

Lucy x

rachel said...

brilliant theme - hope I get chance to join in! Well done Lucy x

Unknown said...

Well done Lucy! And some wonderful inspiration pictures for the new challenge!

Craftyfield said...

Fabulous theme, I love the artwork Darcy has collected here and maybe this time I'll get enough time to join in!

Etsuko said...

Congratulations Lucy. Very interesting theme and great samples Darcy. xx

Tracey@Hotchpotchcreations said...

Well done Lucy! What a fabulous new theme, so much interest and inspiration to look at xx

Mac Mable said...

Congratulations Lucy x Another fabulous challenge, lots to learn and looking forward to it x

Hazel Agnew said...

Great topic Darcy. Well done Lucy on your win. Having a think now! Xx

Kristiina said...

Have you forgotten to add the linkup, or is my tablet having an issue with this page?

Flo Langley said...

Great challenge. I can't see a linky thing to add projects and join in.
Flo x

Preeti D. (aka Dutt Preety) said...

awesome challenge :) thanks for the wonderful inspiration