Art Reflections

Art Date 101: A Guide To Help You Mingle and Talk Art on a Date Part 4

By now, you’re probably at the dinner party of the artist you went to see with your date. You’re one month into this new relationship, and you feel like you can at least fudge a decent art conversation since you understand the art principles of balance, repetition, rhythm, and harmony. Then, some guy in a black turtleneck (the art dealer?) springs the words proportion, variety and contrast on you, and you wonder what you ever did to this guy for him to call your con like that.

The Art Date

Well, thanks to your trusty internet access and this blog, we’re going to show this guy up together. You’ll have the basic knowledge of the Principles of Art needed for this discussion with these definitions and examples of each principle:

  1. Proportion – The comparative relationship of one part to another with respect to size, quantity, or degree; Scale.
  2. Variety – The use of difference and change to increase the visual interest of the composition.
  3. Contrast – A large difference between at least two parts to create interest and tension.
  4. Unity – When all the principles and art techniques work together to create a pleasing image.


This concludes the four part series of Art Date 101. Practice your new art skills over at Remember that the heart of art is what a composition make you feel, and the principles of art are only terms that help to assist with clarifying why a piece works for you or doesn’t work for you.

About the Author

Tiffany Chaney is a freelance writer, artist and graphic designer residing in North Carolina. In 2012, her first poetry collection Between Blue and Grey was released. Find out more about her at