The Dominance In Design, is present in Shibui Found Image Art.

An example of dominance in design. Once things are found in a Shibui Foundation the problem solving part of creating a Shibui feels very much like design work because your work the foundation as a whole to create its illusion.

Making the connection between design and Shibui, and the role dominance is important. First if all Shibui is design work because you are marrying various components that have develop relationships with one another together within the foundation. Design work begins with finding what is there. It involves the lines you use; if they are to be simple lines, curly lines, thick or thin, and of course the color you choose. These are choices of design. The colors we choose are often our favorites, but what they really are is according to types of color___well, that brings them into a better focus. They are primary colors, secondary color, complimentary colors_____ There are tools to help us like the color wheel.

Learning the names of what you use gives us as artist an understandable and useful language which brings all of us on to the same page where we can discuss art. Regarding Shibui Found Image Art and its foundations I have had to develop terms and definitions which often evolve and refine themselves as I move forward teaching Shibui.

Instructors may also develop their own terminologies and definitions depending on their own developing Shibui. The foundation is only the beginning. This said the Shibui foundation seems to have consistent rules of procedure. Some times referred to as the rules of the creative process. The reason for this is that once the action art part is done and the finding part begins, The rules of procedure start. After studying the foundation, we begin making choices. Often this means turning the foundation on all four sides to see what is best. Once committed, then its off to the races, and we look for commonalities in those islands of watercolor or other wet mediums. Once something is found we remain true to it and build on it by using design work. This is where outlining is done using a micron pen or Lamy Fountain Pen. Other ink These are the choices I have made. Other Shibuiest may choose differently of course!

Once, the outlining is done in an area you may move around the foundation or build your Shibui in that area, this does give you time to study the other islands of watercolor or other wet medium. Once I focus on these other islands, I stay true to what they are because doing so creates the Shibui foundation’s story. The answer to the puzzle or problem is the story in the end.

Those islands of watercolor, pulled together as what is found are the events of the Shibui. The smaller splatters, drips, drops, etc if not used what makes the field. The events have dominance in the field. They are what has been designed. They have primary relationships, secondary relationships, and peripheral relationships with what is in the field.

Phil Paratore writes in his book, Art And Design. “A field is made up of a set of characteristics or properties__ Such things to consider are light, warmth, and transparency. Phil explains that an event consist of an opposing differing set of characteristics. Such as dark, cool and opaque. A field event relationship then consist of two sets of opposing characteristics. If one of these sets gets more attention that the other this is considered to be dominant, The dominant set is the event and the subdominant is the field.” It isn’t hard to find the event in a Shibui it does become a focal point. There may be more than one event. “Events are naturally dominant. They tend to stand out in their fields, attract attention and become focal points. In music, the idea of a dominant chord is meaningless without tonality to base it upon. Like tonality, a field is a ground that is build upon or reacted to.” In the case of Shibui, it is the surface of the paper we use, that is the ground. The color and texture contribute to the outcome. We may even color it with a wash of color, or several before we create action art upon it.

Polarity comes into play. Phil defines this by saying, “We postulated a design continuum with a field polarity at one end and an event polarity at the other. (This is what we call a gray scale which goes from white to the blackest black we can create.) Note that Phil explained that an event consist of an opposing differing set of characteristics. Such as dark, cool and opaque. The white of the gray scale is always the white color of the paper, and then each rectangle is shaded until you get to the blackest black. The darker the color the more cool, and opaque they become. Where the lighter side of the gray scale is light, warmth, and has transparency.

As you work your foundation by using the pastel pencils and other mediums you will be using a chromatic scale that works the same way as the grayscale mentioned, the only difference it the colors application meaning the range of tints you can create to have the shading as you need it to be.

To define the latter information, “a field-event relationship is a hierarchical system of organization. It consists of a dominant and subdominant set of characteristics, providing a natural model for dominance in design. In a design, there may be one, several, or many field-event relationships. They may design into three general classes. The primary, secondary and peripheral relationships.

A primary relationship in a Shibui is what is central to the conception of what is there. It is the first thing we work to design. It has an immediate impact for the the artist and secondarily the viewer who recreates where the artist has been. Their mind seeks out how it was done! It also involves what we refer to as the viewing distance. If we see something that sticks with us, impresses us from a distance or at a glance it will be locked into memory for a period of time or perhaps forever.

Primary relationships are dominant because they stand out! They typically have one or more of the features of dominance, as well as high contrast. The primary role in a Shibui foundation means that there is a organizational hierarchy or leadership modality going on.

Secondary relationships are subdominant in the hierarchy of design. A hierarchy simply means there is an order of importance given to what is done when creating a Shibui or other type of art. What is secondary is “seen next”, worked on “next”. It is not as important as the primary event. What is secondary is “important without being central. In visual art we don’t see them first and in music we don’t hear them first, for they tend to be overshadowed by primary relationships. Although they are subordinate, their structural value is design is readily ascertained.”

Peripheral Relationships are subordinate to both primary and secondary relationships. Meaning that these are what makes up the field. They support what is primary and secondary. They would be considered as being of low importance. They are noticed the least. The events draw people in, then more is seen and last the remaining field of a Shibui is seen.

A List Of Primary Relationships To Think About.








Low Definition/High Definition


Informal/ Formal


Pejj Nunes

Copywrite 3/20/21

By Pejj Nunes

I live in Southern Maine. I am the owner of Anisette Studios. My website is Here you can view and purchase Shibui, sign up for my newsletters, blog, and read articles about Shibui Found Image Art. Patrons get great deals several times a year and special items at times. My site makes it easy to contact me. My primary art form is Shibui Found Image Art. Shibui begins with action art and stems from the imagination. It is like seeing something in the clouds or solving a puzzle. Its creative process has its own rules and requires what I call reverse engineering due to a lack of an understructure and purely out of the imagination. In addition to those who patron me, my target groups are those who use art therapy. I will soon be teaching live. Contact me if you would like to learn live. I use Zoom. I request that although my art, other images, and what I write is now published by me here on WordPress; I do ask you do not to use my artwork, poetry, or the information about Shibui Found Image Art without my permission. I am quite available to make such requests. I wish to share the following: The existentialist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir wrote a book called The Ethics of Ambiguity. In it, she lays out a guiding ethic in response to the philosophy of existentialism. It might be somewhat familiar to you already. She writes, “To will oneself free is also to will others free. This will is not an abstract formula. It points out to each person concrete action to be achieved.” Best wishes to all! Have good times and keep safe! Pejj

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