Tonal contrast is created when light tones and dark tones are positioned next to each other. The greater the difference between the two, in terms of brightness, the greater the tonal contrast. When viewing an architectural rendering, the eye tends to go to the brightest parts first. But, as the architectural illustrator, you want to direct the viewer’s eye to the part of the architectural rendering that you believe is the most important. A hallmark of the poorly composed architectural rendering is a conflict between where the architectural illustrator wants the viewer to look, and where visual elements within the architectural rendering (such as bright highlights) are pulling the viewer’s eye. A characteristic of the well-composed architectural rendering is that everything works in harmony. Visual elements pull the eye towards where the architectural illustrator wants it to go. All the elements work together, instead of fighting each other.

A little trick of mine is to squint while viewing your architectural rendering. By squinting, you'll remove detail and your architectural renderings contrast will really become evident.

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