7. Sonia and Robert Delaunay were early 20th Century artists known for pioneering a style of Cubism called Orphism, which focused on pure abstraction and vibrant, contrasting colors. Their paintings often consisted of interlocking and overlapping shapes and patches. Sonia, a Ukrainian-born Russian artist, got the inspiration for their famous painting style from a traditional Ukrainian patchwork blanket she was making for her son. She realized how the arrangements of material mirrored Cubist concepts. She applied the process of designing the quilt to other objects and paintings.
Try painting or drawing your own Delaunay-inspired piece using a ruler, circular object for tracing, pencil, eraser, colored pencils or paints. Decide on a few circle shapes for your composition and trace them lightly on your paper. They can be overlapping or side by side, different sizes or same size, half circles or full circles. Use the ruler or smaller circular objects to break up your shapes into smaller sections. For instance, you can create rings inside a circle or use the ruler to divide it into intersecting lines. If you feel like your paper is too busy, try eliminating or erasing parts of your design. A line cutting through the other shapes does not necessarily need to span across the paper.
Choosing colors: Pick a few neutral tones like shades of gray, and pair them with bright, contrasting color pairs. The Delaunays often used complimentary colors together for maximum visual effect, like blues and oranges, reds and greens, purples with yellows. Pick at least 5-6 shades in addition to neutral tones. Fill in your color patches! Make sure that touching shapes don’t repeat a color. You can decide which shades should stand out more in your picture by using brighter, contrasting tones. Use subtle or neutral shades for the parts of the composition you want to fade into the background.
Images (top to bottom) by Sonia Delaunay and Robert Delaunay