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6 Advanced Design Tips For Exciting Art

Excerpt from my, How to Think like an Artist Lecture.

You’re artistic, crafty, gifted, talented, whatever title you favor, like me, you’re a hands-on creative who loves making exciting art. Being a veteran member of this inspired group, it’s likely you already apply some of these design concepts in your work and in your everyday life. My intention here is to bring to light the increased value of purposefully incorporating these ideas in all of your artistic endeavors. 

Stand-out glass art is the result of careful planning and mindful execution. Yes, it takes forethought. But once you see the incredible benefits a little preparation can bring, you’ll actually enjoy the process as much as I do.  

Elements of good design that’ll take your glass artwork to the next level.

1. Rule of thirds.

This rule refers to the way the artistic composition of a piece of art is planned and laid out. Begin by dividing the project shape into three even pieces vertically and horizontally. Think of it like the lines of an imaginary tic-tact-toe board are superimposed over the project. Then place design elements along the imaginary lines, or better yet where two lines intersect. This placement creates desirable tension that engages the viewer and therefore holds their attention much longer.

Unless the design is geometric, avoid placing design elements in the center of the artwork. This type of symmetry creates a calming setting that’s easily ignored.

Rule of thirds.

2. Work in odd numbers.

When designing your pattern include an odd number of design elements. If you’re drawing flowers, have 3, 5 or 7 blossoms. This pleasing setup meets the viewer’s expectation, plus it amps up the tension and the repeat adds continuity to the overall design. 

Work in odd numbers.

3. Include a focal point.

Every design can benefit from having a focal point. The focal point can be literal and pictorial like a bird or tree. Or it can be abstract like a specific design element, an unexpected shape, a field of contrasting color or an unusual texture. Focal points anchor the viewer to the art. They lure them in and invite them to stay awhile and look around to see how the focal point relates to the remainder of the artwork. 

Include a focal point.

4. Place design elements in a triangular fashion.

Placing design elements in a triangular pattern creates a visual flow that encourages the viewer’s eyes to move around the design. Your artist guidance, in the form of strategically placed design elements, is a personal invitation to interact and communicate with the viewer. That’s powerful stuff!  

Place elements in a triangle.

5. Repeat shapes, elements, and patterns.

If you use a shape, design element or pattern in one place consider repeating it two more times. For example, if a circle appears in one place, add two more. This level of planning shows your commitment to your design and the confidence you have in your work. Plus, it adds continuity that raises the sophistication level of the work as a whole.

6. Repeat colors.

Repeat colors.

Color plays an important role in the visual impact of art. It sets the tone and mood for the work. It also unifies the piece. You can increase the dramatic impact of your work by repeating colors at least three times. This adds continuity and shows the artist’s higher level of seriousness and commitment to the art.

When selecting colors plan to use multiple shades of the same color, like yellow, sunflower yellow, light amber, medium amber and dark amber in combination to create shading and add contrast.

Small changes have a BIG impact!  

When you stop to think about it, it’s likely you’re using many of these concepts every day. When you decorate the coffee table you arrange three candles in a corner, not in the middle. The candles are likely three different heights that visually forms a triangle. You selected candle colors that are repeated in your decor.

Now, put it all together. Purposely apply these simple design tips when making your glass art and you’ll see a wonderful increase in the beauty and desirability of your finished artwork.

Want to learn more? Join me for my live How to Think Like an Artist Lecture

Carnival by Lisa Vogt

Peacock by Lisa Vogt

Happy Fusing!


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NEW Live Lecture

How to Think Like an Artist

September 29, 2022

Essential Design and Color Theory for Every Artist 

Exceptional art is no accident. It is the product of a strategic plan that employs thoughtful design and color decisions, made by a skilled artist. Outstanding art is the result of informed choices applied to a work of art from its conception and then carried out through to its completion. 

In this comprehensive lecture, I’ll show you how to lay out your design to establish impactful compositions. I’ll explain how and why you should use color to create a light source, add visual depth, and create a sense of mood. You’ll learn how to use high-contrast colors to influence the viewers engagement with your art. You’ll see the importance of including recognizable subject matter and a focal point. 

No matter where you are in your journey, your artistic approach will benefit significantly from the easy-to-develop practices outlined in this in-depth presentation with one of today’s most prolific and respected artists. 

Don’t miss this fast-track opportunity to learn the age-old, hidden secrets employed by the great masters. Enjoy renewed artistic freedom with an understanding of the proven methods they used to create unforgettable original works of art. 

Join me for this intimate, conversational live event to ignite your dormant creativity and experience a renewed awakening of your personal artistic strengths. 

Sculptural Fused Glass, 4-Day, Hands-on Workshop, February 21-24, 2023

Register now. Class is limited to 3 students and held in my private studio in Wesley Chapel, Florida. All class materials are included.

Sculptural fused glass is the creation of three-dimensional forms that rise above a flat plane. Artists create 3-D works by using multiple methods and techniques with complete freedom of materials and process.

You’re invited to join me for this intense workshop held in my private studio in Wesley Chapel, Florida.

In this comprehensive class you’ll learn how to design, build and creatively display multiple stunning pieces of art that reflect your personal style.

You’ll push the boundaries glass imposes. You’ll use innovative approaches to design and combine multiple advanced techniques to construct original sculptural art. You’ll enjoy: the one-on-one instruction, making large scale projects, the well-equipped classroom, and the intimate class size.

Its hard-core fusing in a nurturing, relaxed environment. You’ll love the concentrated, in-depth study and creative momentum you’ll gain while actively producing nonstop, for four consecutive days. You’ll also learn how to design and build custom art glass displays that enhance your original work.

You’ll leave class with several completed sculptures, a working knowledge of kiln operation and custom project-specific firing guides. You’ll have the design confidence and hands-on experience to rise above and take your work to the next level.

This is the turning point workshop you’ve been waiting for! Let’s get fired up!

Art wear Designed for Artists by Artists Tell them how you really feel with bold T-shirts, Eco-conscience tote bags and sassy mugs.

Artwear T’s by Lisa Vogt
Artwear Eco-totes by Lisa Vogt

Artwear Mugs by Lisa Vogt

Downloadable instructional videos for every skill level.

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