|Manhattan 1, 30 x 48, Acrylic on Canvas|
It might be that in life we want to avoid tension as much as possible, but in successful art, tension is crucial.
Tension can be enhanced in every aspect of your work, whether it be line, shape, color, rhythm, value, or perspective - it can be visual, psychological, or both.
7 Effective Ways to Build Tension in Your Paintings
1. Push against Motion
Where there is motion in your work, find an element of the design that can fight to hold it back. Roads, fields, dark values and shape variation hold the eyes back from rushing toward the horizon.
2. Withhold ColorUse neutralized colors as much as possible to control tension in anticipation of the pures at the focal points.
Employ the key highlight colors sparingly, and pay close attention to the relationship of all tones of the focal color so there is a clear modulation.