Boy, I’ve really neglected this blog! I think about it a lot, but never quite get to it…. So, It’s a New Year, and here’s hoping I get a little better at it!

I recently wrote out some of my favorite ways Yahoo Group for Calligraphers. I thought that since I had taken the time to write it out, I might as well take advantage and post it here.

My design quotes for students.

When explaining to people about how to choose colors to START painting with, I tell them: “If you wouldn’t put it on your body together, don’t put it on your canvas together”.

START painting with somewhat analogous colors. Try to stay with colors that are within one quadrant of the color wheel. DO NOT cross
the color wheel until you are ready to define a focal point”.

When building a collage: Start with your 3 main pieces. small medium
and large. Get them placed and then build around them.

I define “Ephemera, strings, beads, metal pieces, even small gilded
areas as jewelry”. When outfitting ourselves for a special occasion,
the jewelry is usually the last thing we buy. So, I tell students, get
the dress first , the dress being the largest piece of the collage.
Then add the shoes, scarf, etc. The jewelry is the last thing we do.
Add the Ephemera (jewelry) last, and keep it small and focused.

How to decide if something belongs on a collage or not: Put it where
you think you want it. Study it for a moment. Take it away and study
the piece without it. IF you feel a “sense of loss” when the piece is not there, it should be there”. If you don’t “feel” like something is missing, it should not have been there to begin with.”

These thoughts may not apply in all aspects of art, but I find them
helpful to speak to students in trying to teach design. People are often
more visual than they often realize and these phrases, I hope, help
people to “tap into” their own visual sense. When I start talking
about principles and elements of design, people start yawning, so I
try to tell them in a way that is, perhaps a bit more humorous but
helps people realize that they are designing everyday in many ways.

My other phrase, when talking about “direction” which I feel is VERY
important in calligraphic works is “Draw a roadmap for the eye of the
viewer”, send them where you want them to go (focal point, next page
in a book, etc.) Lines of written words, flourishes, ascenders,
descenders, etc, are all very directional. When you are making
decisions about extending ascenders, descenders,etc. or making a
flourish at the end of a paragraph, etc, they can become arrows for
your viewer and it is important to be aware of how they are placed in
a work.

So, those are my favorite design “Quotes”, hopefully they will help others to make good design decisions.