Mondrian carried the paintings through various stages in which, at first, he turned the elements into uniform planes colored in muted versions of the primaries.
He separated the planes so that they seemed to float against a white background, but concluding that this effect was still too "natural," he then connected the planes in a regular grid covering either a rectangular or a diamond format.
While the planes were still connected, in the next phase the artist made them larger and unequal in size and colored them in primaries or in values of black, white and gray.
He attenuated the black planes to make them extend alongside the colored and non-colored planes.
The blacks then served as structural bars holding the other planes together while at the same time making them more discrete. Like the canvas, the smaller rectangles or planes represented both form and space.
The colors of these planes stood for the intensities and values of nature, cleansed and rendered to their primal color states - red, yellow, and blue - and primal noncolor states - black, white, and gray.
Black planes performed multiple roles. In addition to their noncolor function, they were structural, determinate, and active. By creating paths of movement for the eye, black planes also added a sense of energy.
Although the parts were important, the artist wanted always to emphasize their subordination to the harmony of the whole. Different in size and color, they had equal value, or equivalence because of their similar nature