Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Vignette ? ...

Question: "Hi Susie, I am searching for a definition of the term "vignette". I was told by a former art teacher that it is a painting that has color touching all sides (in some irregular fashion) and leaving a lot of white. The dictionary does not support this. I googled for meanings. Photos fade to white in a planned pattern. Is there an art definition that matches what I stated above? Or is there another definition for art work? Thanks " GA/Arkansas

Susie's Reply: This is my interpretation for the term "vignette" as it relates to art and painting. Technically, in a complete vignette the subject is totally surrounded by white paper. In partial vignettes the painted area is touching the edge on the sides and the top and/or bottom. When I think of a vignette I think of a painting that doesn't cover the corners but does randomly touch at least 3 out of the four edges. In other words the corners (and possibly the bottom) are left unpainted.

Guidelines for good composition should be followed when "vignetting". The configuration of the corners (the part left unpainted) should be different but still interesting from each other. Transitional areas for movement from positive to negative spaces within the painting should incorporated. Even though vignettes are often thought of a quick studies they have great potential to generate interest and excitement.

Thanks for your question! If I find a better answer somewhere in my notes I'll post an update.


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