Klimt's painting above is a good example of how figure and ground can compete for attention. One merging into the other.
Frame and Surface
Two versions of a photograph by Arnold Newman, titled "Stravinsky." The image on top is original and the bottom is the final work.
The final image on the bottom (a photo of Igor Stravinsky) by the photographer Arnold Newman evokes a very different feeling than that of the uncropped image on the top. There is a dramatic shift in focus due to cropping and framing. The spiral image you see overlaying the set of images on the right is a often called the “Golden Mean” or the “Fibonacci Spiral.” It’s a mathematical pattern found in nature and many art critics have observed that the shape can be found in most successful artworks. In the uncropped image on top the viewers eye travels to the face of Stravinsky, whereas in the cropped image the eye travels from his face to the enormous black void of the piano lid and back again. Our emotional response is thus very different in the second image than it is in the first. Understanding this concept is fundamental to asserting your unique vision in an artwork.
Surface, like frame, is often a factor in art that is chosen before the artist gets started, and the surface you choose will exert pressure on any art you create. Painting on heavy canvas creates a much different work than creating one on polished aluminum or plexiglass. The concept of surface still exists in the digital world, either through mimicry or through the choice of vector versus raster graphics or choosing textured brushes versus smooth brushes.
Mark and Line