How light and dark color contrasts impact your home decor and art. A simple lesson in color value.

Part 4 of 4 in the comparison study of Charcuterie:

... the French technique of arranging an appetizer tray, to art and home décor. Texture, color, and shape, are the first three elements of this four-part series. In the culinary art of Charcuterie FLAVOR is the last element to consider in preparing an appetizer tray of smoky, salty, and spicy cured meats, all teasing your taste buds. Their flavors are a pleasing contrast to other Charcuterie partners, such as buttery cheeses, briny pickles, and juicy fruits. It's 'contrasts' that make the parallel between charcuterie and art.


Charcuterie has 'flavor' contrasts; art has 'value' contrast.


Art 'value contrast' refers to the contrast between light and dark colors.


Every color has an underlying level of lightness.


To clarify, compare the two photos below. Top is full color. Bottom shows the value contrast.


Value contrast illustrated in B&W

Value creates contrast and adds emphasis.

The human eye tends to be drawn to areas of high contrast.

High contrast occurs when lighter elements are placed directly next to much darker ones thereby creating a dramatic effect.


Rembrandt was a master of high contrast.


What about home decor?

Value change is what gives your home impact.

When correctly used, value adds a large dosage of visual interest to your space, giving you a “wow” factor due to contrast.


Value contrast shown in B&W

TIP: When you have a high-contrasting space and want to tone things down, add extra neutral colors in your room. Doing this gives the onlookers areas to rest their eyes. It also provides a serene background for your color contrast to take notice.

This is my favorite technique for making your art pop!



You may find it helpful to squint when trying to find the value changes within colors.

Squinting allows the contrast between lights and darks to become more prominent.


For more tips on color value, click this link: #1 Reason To Avoid the Perfect Color Match in your Home

RELATED ARTICLES

Part 1: How to get juxtaposition with texture in your home decor and art

Part 2: Learn how to savor calming colors. A culinary comparison to art and home decor

Part 3: Shapes will elevate your art and culinary skills. An intriguing comparison