girl, red, bathroom @ Pixabay

Artists can create a sense of drama by using light and dark values. Whether in paintings or photographs, the use of color is an important tool to help evoke emotion. When composing a painting, an artist often uses the color wheel to find hues that complement one another.

club, effect, creative @ Pixabay

For example, in this painting by Henri Matisse, we see reds and yellows balanced with blues and greens. The light blue on the horizon unifies it all together into what feels like a peaceful scene of nature-in harmony with itself. This contrast creates drama both visually as well as emotionally: __ are more likely to notice dramatic changes in colors than they would be if everything were simply shades or dull browns. When looking at something beautiful–such as these roses below from Monet’s garden–the change in color is less jarring because there is still some natural variation within each hue (e.g., the reds are composed of both dark and light shades).

When composing a photograph, the photographer wants to make sure that they have enough contrast between __. If everything is too similar in tone, it can be hard to tell what’s happening within an image. They want to create as much visual interest as possible without sacrificing quality or detail by using complementary colors such as yellow and violet–or blue and orange. There are other ways for artists to evoke emotion through color: you can use thematic consistency; complementary colors (e.g., purple with yellow); notches on the color wheel (e.g., green adjacent to pink) ; or juxtaposition of different hues (e.g., a stormy sky


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