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What Is Harmony In Art

Definition Of Harmony In Art

Harmony In Art specifically concerns itself with how the formal elements of art are used. The principle of Harmony is easier to explain than Unity In Art as it is more quantifiable.

Elements such as line, shape, texture, and space in art are measurable. Likewise how these interact through consistency, frequency, and balance is what achieves Harmony In Art.

Primary Focus Of Harmony In Art

Typically artists will focus on specific elements to obtain Harmony In Art. These elements seem to be consistent through many different art media.

Among these will be found color, shape, and or form in art. The reason for these being the most used is due to how attention grabbing they can become by our eyes.

Harmony tends to use complimenting colors more often than using color for creating contrast. Color theory aids in achieving this.

Shape likewise will follow a similar idea. Rounder and softer edges will give greater aesthetic appeal. When art is based within realism from the world around us these contours help the art to feel natural.

Form can speak of two aspects. The first is art of a three dimensional nature. It can also speak to the sum of parts within a two dimensional work.

How Form is is applied in media such as painting will often reference the complimenting objects which work together. This is in of itself speaks to the Harmony of the objects.

Lesser Used Elements Which Create Harmony In Art

It is imperative to understand how other key elements aid in giving Harmony In Art. These elements play a critical role that is overlooked.

Some of these elements have been at the heart behind art movements of history. I wish to give a look at Space, Line, and Texture in how they relate to Harmony.

Creating Harmony In Art Through Space

Space in art can be overlooked when it pertains to creating Harmony. Often space is considered as an independent element which is part of the overall planning process or division for the work.

It should be doubly considered when seeing it through the eyes of Harmony. The use of space will be directly relevant to a principle called balance.

While other factors impact balance, it is through the use of space in relationship to the objects where Harmony In Art becomes important. Here weight can shift whether by design or by accident in unintended ways.

Negative space will need to hold a relational balance to the positive space of its objects. This will set the tone for the whole of the art as the work continues.

Creating Harmony In Art Through The Line

The Line is the most basic element by which Harmony can be created. The Line is used in the creation of any and all objects.

It is easy to overlook Line in favor of shape. Yet we need to look beyond the mere objects that lines create.

A Line can be used to create Rhythm In Art. If one uses repeating patterns it is an easy way to add Harmony by how objects relate to each other.

More notably we can look to the era of Impressionism to see the true power behind the Line. Artists such as Monet would paint their works with lines which were more obscure rather than defined.

This would be further enhanced by color transitions which were added by the paint as it was applied wet on wet. The short and more abrupt stroke of the brush would add to its influence giving a natural repetitive pattern.

Techniques such as these created Harmony In Art through the use of how the media was applied. It achieved its goal by using the elements of the Line and color within the painting process.

Creating Harmony In Art Through Texture

While we are all familiar with the idea of Texture through feel by touch, a new way of seeing this element is needed. As I described Monet’s techniques when using the Line, these same techniques created a natural texture.

How these techniques are used will give consistency across the whole of the work. Harmony In Art is achieved by this consistency across the canvas.

While this kind of Texture is implied within the overall Form of the art, it can also be used in the more traditional sense by touch within three dimensional pieces such as sculptures.

Again here we are looking at process rather than the feel of the media. Wood art for example will always feel like wood and its grain, this is natural.

Yet if one were to use chip carving of a specific design for a sculpture, the repetitive pattern will alter the texture into something new.

The process has dictated an alternate form of texture into a new meaning. Its relationship to the work can speak in ways which we often take for granted.

Principles Which Aid Harmony In Art

While Harmony In Art draws upon elements more than other aspects of art, there are key principles which are of a great influence. The principles which will hold influence will be related to how each principle impacts the individual element.

As I earlier mentioned the element of Space and how it interacts with Balance, this is one great example. Here a direct relationship is how it influences Harmony.

I wish to give several key principles which need to be recognized for what they offer to this concept by these kinds of relationships.

How Compliment And Contrast Impact Harmony In Art

While we are accustomed to using the ideas of compliment and contrast in art by color, there are other vehicles of influence. Compliment and contrast can be dictated by shape, form, line, and texture as well.

Art which is completely uniform by the use of compliment alone will become boring rather quickly. It is also unnatural for things to be perfectly balanced.

Some contrast is needed in order to maintain a degree of realism in art. Nature itself dictates this point if one looks at the many shapes, contours, colors, and variety it holds.

In taking Nature as our classroom for this lesson, we must use contrast in order to have variety. It is by having some variety that we break unnatural patterns.

Harmony In Art does not require that all things be in compliment. Rather when a natural feel or state is achieved then the elements were properly used in giving this realism.

The leafs of a tree, or the stones within the river, are seen within perfect Harmony of Nature while still being of different shapes and colors. The setting within which Nature creates is much like how the objects of our art should interact.

Compliment and contrast should always interact naturally. When high contrast is desired then most often a focal point of interest is in play to a purpose.

Composition Helps Create Harmony In Art

Composition is unique in that it relates to both Unity and Harmony In Art. Specifically Composition deals with how the sum of the parts come together.

Achieving Harmony through composition requires a focus on the elements which create it. This is merely half of what makes up composition.

By contrast other principles such as artistic expression relate more to bringing Unity through impression. While related these exist on two different sides of what makes composition what it is.

Harmony can be considered the structural portion of composition. Unity can be considered the expressive portion of the same.

It is important to match the Harmony In Art to the expressive qualities in order to bring about the desired impact. When done well this achieves Emphasis.

The Role Of Emphasis and Harmony In Art

Emphasis is where we wish to arrive. It is the overall message or impact of the work to the protagonist or desired objects.

If a composition has been achieved then the Harmony In Art should speak naturally to its emphasis. The balance will not only be natural but also becomes a vehicle by which the message is communicated.

Where the Harmony will be broken is where the audience is drawn more to the elements of the creation rather than the sum of its emphasis. An example can be improper color use by too great of a contrast.

If an element overpowers the art then it distracts and takes away from its impact and meaning. The audience will then begin to reflect on that element and wonder at its meaning rather than the message of the artist.

While artistic expression is a critical part of what emphasis is, the Harmony In Art must be maintained in order for that expression to be understood. These parts must work together in order to frame the composition.

How Important Is Harmony In Art?

I have seen some blogs throw their hands up in the air saying “its up to you” in how one uses Harmony In Art. It really is not that easy. Nor should it be that carefree.

While Harmony is not a part of the foundation, it is without a doubt a part of the overall structure of art. Would someone care if their home was built with three sides while leaving the fourth off? Certainly they would.

Harmony cannot be replaced or ignored when it comes to a completed composition. To shrug off this importance will do more harm than good and misleads artists down a wrong path.

At the same time over emphasizing its importance does not allow for natural creativity and expression. Variety is a natural break to the monotony of all being perfectly harmonious.

When in doubt return to what is natural. See things as one would through the real world. This benchmark has been used within Classical Art for ages.

How far we veer off from that course will depend upon the expression we seek to achieve. Nevertheless the degree of Harmony should exist to where our message is communicated clearly without distraction.

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