how to teach Contrast Emphasis: Video Series from Deep Space Sparkle


The fourth tutorial in our Series CONNECTING WITH THE ELEMENTS- How to teach the Elements & Principles of Art, is CONTRAST & EMPHASIS.

After students have been introduced to line, pattern, shape and color, teaching lessons that show how to use these elements together to achieve contrast and emphasis in an artwork is a logical sequence to follow.

To watch previous art tutorials and download the worksheets, click the links below:

Line & Pattern Art Tutorial & Worksheet

Shape Art Tutorial & Worksheet

Color Art Tutorial & Worksheet


Want to watch the Art Tutorial Video? Click HERE to view video on our Deep Space Sparkle Facebook Page

* This video is also available to you if you’re a Sparkler in the Sparkler’s Club. Click HERE for the link to the Contrast & Emphasis EPIC Curriculum Bundle.

how to teach Contrast Emphasis: Video Series from Deep Space Sparkle

How exactly do you describe CONTRAST & EMPHASIS and why is it important?

EMPHASIS is the part of the design that catches the viewer’s attention. Usually the artist will make one area stand out by contrasting it with other areas. The area could be different in size, color, texture, shape, etc. 

Using black paper as a background to the bright yellow and orange stamped flowers, allow the paint to POP, creating not only contrast but emphasis. The bright blue pot is brighter than the other colors which creates a focal point. This is the essence of emphasis.

Drawing the blue draw large and without any competing subjects in the background, emphasizes the dog’s importance to the artist.

The artworks below are great examples of both emphasis and contrast.

How to teach children the element of art Emphasis

CONTRAST is the arrangement of opposite elements: light vs dark, rough vs smooth, large vs small.  

While working closely with the features of Emphasis, contrast can be achieved by paying attention to opposites:

Complementary colors like blue and orange or red and green create contrasting colors

Mixing large items (the large vase) with small items (the various size flowers) creates contrast

Creating implied texture (peacock’s feathers) against a smooth background creates textural contrast.


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Head over to the private Sparklers’ Club website and click on EPIC Curriculum. You can watch the edited Art Tutorial Videos and download all of the lessons and resources to support the Contrast & Emphasis Bundle.

What do you think?

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  • renee

    Hey! Just wanted to say THANK YOU for these handouts and facebook videos walking through the elements/ principles of art. I’m just starting to homeschool our little ones (they’re 4 and 5). They love art and I want them to love art but i am NOT the cutesy art project mom. Your resources have honestly made it something I look forward to doing with them instead of dreading. Thanks again 🙂

    • Patty

      You are so welcome! Glad they are useful:)

  • Racheil Conner

    Great info to intro my students to contrast!!

  • Annie

    Hi! I’m not able to find the Shape Tutorial and Handout as well as the Emphasis and Contrast Tutorial and Handout. Each time I click on the links it says page not found.

    • Bethany

      Hi Annie! You’re right! I alerted tech support and they’ll fix it. Sorry for the trouble! The offices are closed until Monday so please check back later that day!

  • Alecia Cargile

    Thank you! These are wonderful!

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