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  • Writer's picturelaraspadetto

What is Harmony in Art?

In life, harmony means consistency, orderliness, or a pleasing arrangement of parts.

In music, harmony takes place when a beautiful musical sound is created by playing or singing different notes simultaneously.

In painting, harmony is the visually pleasant practice of combining elements that work together. It’s a sort of peaceful coexisting that makes unique parts feel like a whole.

It all sounds lovely, right? We could use a bit more harmony in the world today.

Harmony as a Principle of Art

Harmony is often confused with unity.

Unity occurs when the same elements are repeated over and over. But that can get boring and a bit monotonous. Contrast occurs when opposites, whether in color, shape, or texture, juxtapose.

Harmony is where we find the balance between the two.

It’s taking all of our elements –– paints, colors, brushes, shapes, lines, and more –– and making them all work together in a way that makes sense and is aesthetic to the eye. It’s one of the first steps in creating art that speaks to us. You know, the ones we want to stare at all day and hang up in our homes.

How Do You Achieve Harmony?

I may not have the answer to achieving harmony in life (don’t we all wish!), but there are a few technical strategies to achieving this magical balance of unity and chaos in an abstract or portrait painting:

  • Choose complementary colors or colors associated with each other.

  • Be mindful of your brush marks, and use textures that relate together.

  • Try to balance the kinds of shapes you use.

  • Be conscious of your proportions.

Again, it’s not always pairing what’s the same, but it’s finding the harmony between unity and contrast. Just as in life, it’s finding the beauty in being both different yet knowing we’re all somewhat the same.

The Harmony Between a Painting & its Environment

A painting, in theory, has a simple ornamental function. It does not contain anything. You do not sit on it. It does not support other objects. It solely serves "only" to embellish.

So, what turns this “simple” combination of paint and canvas into art that speaks to us?

Its display!

A painting can harmoniously blend with the environment in which it is displayed, transmitting its energy into the room.

This nature is what gives life to the environment, creating its identity and personality.

When curating your own at-home art collection, ask yourself: What kind of harmony and energy does my space have, and what kind do I want it to have?

In the end, the true harmony is in the eye of the beholder. Think about if the piece is harmonious with your values, inspirations, or even your home decor style.

For me, creating abstract paintings and portrait paintings is harmonious with all my passions. It brings together my fire for creating art and mission to empower women. Together, it creates a harmony that sings through my veins and feels like music in my soul.

Take some time to browse my paintings at

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