Simple yet Effective Art

Note: I am not and never will be a “great” artist, but I do like to mess around in MS Paint and see what kind of little visual creations I can come up with.

While playing around in Paint the other day, I started toying with shapes, colors, and random line shapes, just musing rather than trying to create a real picture. Along the way, I came up with 4 images that astounded me–they weren’t necessarily “great” art, but they were striking pictures nonetheless. It reminded me of logos for businesses, website headers, and other iconic pictures; the art was simple but effective.

The following simple tricks, like using various shades of one color and basic shapes, can sometimes make a bigger impact on your viewer than a complicated line drawing. Not to mention that it is MUCH easier to draw and color these shapes, especially with a laptop mouse. 😛 Read on to see examples of this kind of art!

Work with varying shades of the same color.

Sometimes, all you need is just one color, with various lighter and darker tones making up all the visual interest in the image. This sophisticated layered effect is created with just four squares of slightly different blues on a very deeply-hued background, which creates a soft picture perfect for some sort of logo or even just contemplative art.

Make your art look 3D with color shading.

With only four colors–bright yellow, black, and two shades of green–I created this simple image, which seems to be in 3D. The yellow “layer” of the picture pops up from the green “layer”, because of the line of darker green I put just below the zigzagging black edge. I seriously surprised myself with this picture…I had no idea the addition of the darker green could make the picture suddenly become dimensional!
This ribbon looks more realistic than not, with just a hint of darker lavender shading in strategic places. Curving shapes are a little harder to do than straight-sided shapes, but just add a little bit of shading at a time. (In this picture, I don’t think I got the shading QUITE right, but as with most of my art, I was afraid to try to do it over for fear I’d mess it all up…which is usually the result. LOL)

In both cases, all it comes down to is choosing a “believable” shadow shade and figuring out which “side” the light is coming from, and you’ve got it made!

Play with using the same shape in different sizes and colors.

By using various sizes and shapes of circles, as well as various colors, you can make a quirky and cool art piece. Layering shapes together in playful ways, experimenting with color combinations, and even putting in a bit of transparency here and there, can create an image you’d be glad to showcase as a logo, a print on a pillow, a piece of art in your bedroom–anything you can think of. This particular design would look nifty decorating a notebook or a pencil cup, I think. ^_^

The Big Secret? This Art Took Minutes

I kid you not; all this art took moments to make but doesn’t look it. Since I’m a very impatient artist, I needed art that didn’t take me hours and hours of sketching, erasing, drawing, coloring, erasing (and crumpling up of paper, eventually).

This kind of simple digital art can be easily used anywhere you want them to be, even in non-digital places–all you need is a printer and an appropriate medium for your project, and you’re set. Try it for yourself; open your simplest image-creation program, and start playing around… 🙂

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