H1 Advancing/Receding

Monet sunsetVignelli-BienalleHiroshige landscapeDutch fragThink Big

Advancing/Receding qualities add depth and feed the illusion of three-dimension.

Advancing/Receding qualities add depth and feed the illusion of three-dimension. There exists a variety of modes for expressing this quality, include color temperature and saturation; atmospheric perspective; fore-, middle- and background delineation; size and location; physical perspective; overlapping; 3D vs. flat; and transparency.

Beginning in the first image, top row, ■ Claude Monet’s rapidly visualized sunset reinforces the notion that warm and brighter colors advance while cooler and muted colors recede. ■ Massimo Vignelli’s poster plays with contradiction as the only spot of color is printed and flat, while the white cut-out letters are dimensional. Color truly advances and subtlety truly recedes. ■ Hiroshige’s landscape reverses the scale of objects while using the atmospheric perspective of a faded mountain to reinforce a greater distance. ■ Katherine Bush’s poster expresses three planes of depth through overlapping a white foreground, with a black middle ground, upon a gray background. ■ Michael Bierut/Pentagram’s symposium poster expresses depth through diminishing sizes of text in hierarchical positions. ■ Laszlo Maholy-Nagy’s iconic Pneumatik poster expresses depth by mimicking the curved, single-point perspective line of a race track.

Below, ■  Jared Millar’s image of a fish-on-a-bike is overlapped by a white tear of paper as if the medium of print is attempting to reclaim its very soul. ■ A pint of Truman’s brew advances toward the thirsty viewer by color and value contrast and a glowing gradient of beverage. ■ The Flatiron building advances behind an in-your-face but modestly apparent title. Ambiguity is nicely expressed by the foreground continually alternating with the background for hierarchy.

Now it’s your turn! Create an applied example of advancing and receding through the vehicle of your choosing: photography, painting, drawing, digital tools, mixed media, etc. It could be something you’ve already created, just newly realized!

When you’re done, post to the Exercise Blog and share: Facebook, Pinterest, Flickr, or Instagram.

ex4-0-jared-millarTruman'sFlatiron Building

Click here to again view the definitions for Advancing/Receding. Click below to view specific examples on Pinterest and YouTube:

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