Design Elements and Principles: Dawson Bolen

This is page 40 from Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics.

I found page 40 of Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics very interesting and effective in terms of John Lovett’s design principles. John Lovett describes Value as the lightness or darkness of a caller. Value can also be described as tone. Page 40 of Understanding comics is all black and white; however, McCloud uses many different tones ranging from white to pitch black to effectively give his artwork a sense of contrast. On the bottom of the page, there is a boy wearing a hat across 4 different panels. In each panel the top hat the boy is wearing is shaded in with a different tone each time giving the hat a new look and texture as the value changes from darker to lighter. McCloud effectively uses value and colour to create contrast on this page as well. John Lovett describes contrast as the juxtaposition of opposing elements. Contrast can be used in many different ways but on page 40 the contrast is utilized in the tone of the colours. When a color is surrounded by it’s contrasting colors on the color wheel, the color appears brighter and more intense because the contrast is more intense. The boy is surrounded by a pitch black background which is why Scott McCloud chose to color in the boy as white. This makes the boy pop out because white is so contrasting from black. The top middle panel has a background of white with black lines streaking across. Every object in this panel is Black for the same reason the boy was white. He needs the main subjects of his artwork to contrast with the background. Another Design principle Implemented into McCloud’s artwork on page 40 is repetition. John Lovett explains that repetition without variation is very boring. On the contrary, repetition with variation can be very interesting. The bottom four panels have the same boy and same hat which is a perfect example of variation. However, it is interesting because the position and shading of the hat changes along with the movement of the boy. This makes the sequence interesting and not boring. 

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