Category Archives: Terms & Concepts

Scale & Proportion

Scale and proportion in art are both concerned with size.

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Scale refers to the size of an object (a whole) in relationship to another object (another whole). In art the size relationship between an object and the human body is significant. In experiencing the scale of an artwork we tend to compare its size to the size of our own bodies.

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Proportion refers to the relative size of parts of a whole (elements within an object). We often think of proportions in terms of size relationships within the human body.

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Scale

Scale in art

An artwork has a physical size; when referring to an artwork’s size, we use the term scale. Scale is more than simply the object’s size, however. It is the size of the art object in relation to another object. The relative size of the artwork is always compared to the size of the human body–life-sized, miniature, enormous–are all terms that use the human body as a size reference.

Larger-than-life scale

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Chuck Close is a photorealist painter. Photorealism, a movement that began as a reaction to minimalism and abstract expressionism–both of which eschewed realism as high art–involves the use of photography to create an image so realistic in detail that it can be mistaken for a photograph. Close revolutionized photorealism by expanding the scale of his work to an enormous size.

Close’s approach to portraiture was to not only make his subjects massive in size, but to represent them in an extremely realistic and forthright manner, including their flaws.

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Artists as quoted on Minneapolis Sculpture Garden website:

Claes Oldenburg: “Very often I am sitting at dinner and I take out my notebook. I get very inspired when I eat, for some reason.”

Coosje van Bruggen: “One of the things that sculptors who work in an urban surrounding think of is scale, the object in comparison to the other things in the surroundings–buildings, the highway, the Cathedral, lantern posts, anything.”–Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen

Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen create sculptures of ordinary objects–a clothespin and a tube of lipstick, for example–in a monumental scale, which causes us to see these ordinary objects in a completely different way. The sculptures also become iconic representations of the specific cities they were designed for. Consider how the enormous scale of both the Close portraits and the Oldenburg/van Bruggen sculptures changes the meaning of and our relationship to ordinary objects and people.

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Joseph Cornell combined and placed his objects in small scale box constructions. The effect is that of a miniature world full of magic and possibilities. Although the scale of the boxes is small, the world within the box is as large as the imagination makes it. In Cassiopeia 1, for example, one can imagine an entire solar system. Within the boxes the objects relate in some way but remain suggestions rather than narratives. Cornell leaves it to the viewer to fill in the gaps.

 

Proportion

Proportion in Art

Proportion is the relative size of parts within a whole. The human body is an effective example of the design principle.

Proportions of the human body as a reflection of cultural ideology

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Da_Vinci_Vitruve_Luc_Viatour.jpg

This famous drawing is based on the geometrically calculated ideal human proportions described by the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius in Book III of his treatise De Architectura. According to Vitruvius the human figure was the primary source of proportion used in Classical orders of architecture.

Hannah Hoch in Weimar Germany:

purposeful alteration of human proportion to make a political statement

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Within this period Hannah Hoch created numerous artworks and developed the art of photomontage. Using this method she was able to piece together elements from different sources and alter the scale of objects in the composition as well as proportions within the human body. Consider how this alteration in proportion related to the historical period in which she was working.

Perfect Proportion: The Golden Ratio, the Golden Mean, or Fibonacci’s Spiral

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A Fibonacci spiral which approximates the golden spiral, using Fibonacci sequence square sizes up to 34. Image by user Dicklyon 17 March 2008

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Woodcut from the Divina Proportione, Luca Pacioli 1509, Venice, depicting the golden proportion as it applies to the human face.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Divina_proportione.png

The golden ratio is a mathematical proportion based on pi (1.618033988749895…) and is used to define aesthetically pleasing proportions in art and architecture.

It can be derived with a number of geometric constructions, each of which divides a line segment at the unique point where the ratio of the whole line to the large segment is the same as the ratio of the large segment to the small segment.

The ratio is found in within all of the natural world; and is clearly illustrated in the spiral of a chambered nautilus.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NautilusCutawayLogarithmicSpiral.jpg

The ratio is found in all proportions of the human body, from the hands and feet, to the face, to the body as a whole. The ratio has been analyzed in terms of what is considered beautiful in human faces and found that the more closely proportions of the face follow this ratio, the more beautiful it is considered to be.

The ratio has been used for centuries, by the ancient Egyptians in the pyramids, ancient civilizations in the construction of temples, Renaissance artists (who called it the Divine Proportion), and is still used to create a sense of beauty, harmony and balance in art.

Movement

Movement uses art elements to direct a viewer’s eye along a path through the artwork, and/or to show movement, action and direction. Also, giving some elements the ability to be moved or move on their own, via internal or external power.

In a still picture such as a painting, photograph, or print where nothing is actually moving, various strategies can be used to give the viewer a sense of movement and speed, or to move the viewer’s eye through the work. These include lines, diagonals and unbalanced elements; blurring; placement; direction; and motion lines and after images.

  • Lines pointing in one direction and spirals can create movement; diagonals, tilted elements, and things out of balance or unsupported will all give the feeling that movement is or is about to occur.

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  • Fast-moving objects can be made to appear blurred, a little at the trailing edge or all over, depending on the speed and direction of motion (linear or rotational). Or, the subject may be relatively frozen in an instant while the background around it is blurred – in photography this is done by panning the camera to follow the subject while the exposure is made.

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  • Placement can help show or frame motion. A moving subject placed in the first third of an image will have room to run. A moving subject placed in the last third may look like it’s about ready to hit the edge of the image: this placement is used if distance already traveled is of interest and could be emphasized to advantage. A moving subject that has already partially or mostly left the frame can show extreme speed, and/or the moment left in the wake of its passage.

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  • Direction can influence the perception of speed. Objects moving from left to right may have a sense of moving faster to those whose language is read from left to right (e.g. English). Likewise, objects moving down or at a downward slant can seem speedier than those moving up, as in nature it is more work and usually slower to climb.

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(www.bengrasso.com)

  • Motion lines and afterimages can also be used to indicate motion – these techniques are common in graphic narrative works. Motion lines trail from near the back of the moving element in the direction of the path it has just traveled: the longer the lines, the more the motion and speed are emphasized. Afterimages are the remembered or left-behind glimpses of something as it moves. A subject can be depicted in several places within the same picture, showing moments along the path of its passage as well as the passage of time. The afterimages can fade as they get further away from the present subject, and may only be the outlines of the front half of the subject in various poses it has gone through in moving: they can also get farther apart as they go back in time, and closer together as they approach the current instant. Afterimages can be used in conjunction with motion lines or on their own.

Giacomo Balla

Giacomo Balla

Videos and animations can show actual movement. Jewelry, ceramics and other three-dimensional work can have parts that are meant to be opened or otherwise moved, creating a physical engagement between the viewer and the work, and giving the viewer something to explore and discover. Artwork that moves by itself in part or in whole, powered by natural forces (wind, tide, light, etc.) or self-propelled, and in which the motion itself is used as an artistic element, is called kinetic art (see many great examples here). Other works that change and move over time, growing, eroding or decaying, are more ephemeral in nature.

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Rhythm

Rhythm is the repetition or alternation of motifs (art elements such as lines/shapes/colors/textures) often with defined intervals between them. Rhythm can create a sense of movement, and can establish pattern and texture. There are many different kinds of rhythm, often defined by the feeling it evokes when looking at it.

  • Regular: A regular rhythm occurs when the intervals between the elements, and often the elements themselves, are similar in size or length.

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  • Flowing: A flowing rhythm gives a sense of movement, and is often more organic in nature.

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  • Progressive: A progressive rhythm shows a sequence of forms through a progression of steps.

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  • Alternating: An alternating rhythm consists of successive motifs, which continue to appear in a regular distinct order.

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Balance

Balance in art refers to the sense of distribution of perceived visual weights that offset one another. We feel more comfortable–and therefore find it more pleasing–when the parts of an artwork seem to balance each other. Imbalance gives us an unsettled feeling, and that is something that for most artists is not the desired effect. Some artists, however, deliberately disturb our sense of balance.

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This portrait of a Zen master is solid and balanced, with a strong presence and sense of permanence. Zen practice places a strong emphasis on one’s teacher. This sculpture accentuates the value of the Zen priest in the strength of its balance.

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In contrast, this sculpture almost appears off balance, as if it might tip over at any moment because of the twist of the body and backward leaning stance. This gives it a heightened sense of movement and suggests a dancing motion. Indian art reflects the value of prana, or the breath of life, which can be seen in the animated quality of its sculptures.

Symetrical and Asymmetrical Balance

There are two types of balance: symmetrical and asymmetrical. In symmetrical balance, if an imaginary line is drawn through the center of the work, both sides are exactly the same, and balanced in that way. In asymmetrical balance, the two sides are not identical, but differ from one another. However, the elements are arranged so that there is a sense of balance.

In the illustrations below, both examples use the exact same objects. The one on the left, however, is symmetrical, identical or nearly identical on each side. The one on the right balances the objects asymmetrically. Both sides are different, yet arranged in such a way that they feel balanced.

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Examples of symmetrical balance

Symmetrical balance is used to convey a sense of formality, order, rationality, and permanence. Consider for each of the examples below, why would the artist want to use symmetrical balance?

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Asymmetrical Balance

Asymmetrical balance often has more variety, visual interest, and liveliness.

Asymmetrical balance can be achieved by using some of the following principles:

Visually–

  • a large form is heavier than a smaller form
  • dark values are heavier than light values
  • a textured form is heavier than a smooth form
  • a complex form is heavier than a simple form
  • two or more smaller forms balance one large form
  • a smaller darker form balances a larger lighter form
  • objects toward the edge or corner of the composition appear heavier
  • intense colors are heavier than muted colors

Examples of asymmetrical balance in art


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Japanese art is known for elegant asymmetry that is perfectly balanced. Here, the mountain on the right is balanced on the left by empty space, the close proximity of the travelers, and their movement away from the mountain.

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Mary Cassatt was an Impressionist painter and printmaker. She was strongly influenced by Japanese art and was a master at creating asymmetrically balanced compositions. Notice how she balances strong forms with space and placement of elements in the composition.

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The building is placed off center, to the left, but is balanced by the dramatic angle of the diving board, and its projection into the viewer’s space.

 

Variety

Variety means “to change the character” of an element, to make it different.

Variety is the complement to unity and is needed to create visual interest. Without unity, an image is chaotic and “unreadable;” without variety it is dull and uninteresting. Good design is achieved through the balance of unity and variety; the elements need to be alike enough so we perceive them as belonging together and different enough to be interesting.

Varying the elements creates variety. Ways to vary elements include:

  • Line – thinness, thickness, value, color, angle, length
  • Shape – size, color, orientation and texture, type
  • Color – hue, value, saturation
  • Value – darkness, lightness, high-key, low-key, value contrast
  • Texture – rough, smooth

An effective way to integrate unity and variety is by creating variations on a theme. Just as a composer can repeat and vary a musical theme throughout a composition, a designer can repeat and vary an element throughout a design.

Enclosed are some examples of variety through the use of line, shape, color, and texture in ceramics:

Color

-COLOR FOR EXPRESSION

COLOR IS THE ELEMENT THAT WE ARE MOST SENSITIVE TO. IT IS THE MOST EXPRESSIVE OF THE ART ELEMENTS BECAUSE IT AFFECTS OUR EMOTIONS DIRECTLY AND IMMEDIATELY.

THE ARTIST MAY USE COLOR TO EXPRESS PERSONAL EMOTIONS. FOR EXAMPLE, THE EXPRESSIONIST ARTISTS OF THE 1900’S CREATED PICTURES THAT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH OBJECTIVE REALITY. THEIR PAINTINGS WERE GIVEN A SUBJECTIVE TREATMENT.

SUBJECTIVE COLORS ARE INVENTED TO REPRESENT THE EXPRESSION OF THE INDIVIDUAL ARTIST. THE ARTIST” MAY PAINT PURPLE COWS, GREEN FACES, OR RED TREES. DARK, DULL COLORS ARE GENERALLY SAD AND DEPRESSING. EACH COLOR HAS A DIFFERENT EMOTIONAL FEELING ABOUT IT. RED IS HAPPY AND EXCITING. AND BLUE IS SAD OR DIGNIFIED.

WARM COLORS AND COOL COLORS ARE TWO GROUPS OF COLORS THAT SYMBOLIZE DEGREES OF HOT AND COLD. RED, ORANGE, AND YELLOW ARE USUALLY ASSOCIATED WITH THE SUN OR FIRE, AND ARE CALLED WARM COLORS. ANY COLOR CONTAINING BLUE, SUCH AS GREEN, VIOLET, AND BLUE GREEN, ARE ASSOCIATED WITH AIR, SKY, AND WATER, AND ARE CALLED COOL COLORS.

SUBJECTIVE COLORS ARE INVENTED TO HELP EXPRESS THE FEELINGS THAT THE ARTIST HAS TOWARD THE SUBJECT.

 

-OBJECTIVE COLOR

REPRESENTATIONAL ARTISTS ARE THOSE ARTISTS THAT MAKE USE OF OBJECTIVE COLOR. OBJECTIVE COLORS ARE THE NATURALISTIC COLOR OF AN OBJECT AS SEEN BY THE EYE. FOR EXAMPLE, GRASS MAY BE COLORED GREEN, THE SKY COLORED BLUE, AND FIRE COLORED RED. THE SUCCESS OF HOW CLOSE A PAINTING RESEMBLES NATURE ALSO DEPENDS ON THE SPATIAL EFFECTS PRODUCED.

THE MAJORITY OF STUDIO PAINTINGS BEFORE THE END OF THE 19TH CENTURY, USED OBJECTIVE COLORS FOR STILL-LIFE AND LANDSCAPE SCENES.

 

-COLOR TO EXPRESS IDEAS

THE ARTIST MAY ALSO WANT TO USE COLOR TO SYMBOLIZE IDEAS. SUCH IDEAS AS VIRTUE, LOYALTY, HONESTY, EVIL, AND COWARDICE MAY BE SYMBOLIZED BY THE COLORS WHICH HAVE BEEN TRADITIONALLY ASSOCIATED WITH THEM. IN MANY CASES, WE DO NOT KNOW THE ORIGINS OF THESE COLOR ASSOCIATIONS. FOR EXAMPLE, BLUE IS ASSOCIATED WITH LOYALTY AND HONESTY (‘TRUE BLUE”), RED WITH DANGER, YELLOW WITH COWARDICE (” YELLOW STREAK”), BLACK WITH DEATH, GREEN WITH LIFE OR HOPE, WHITE WITH PURITY OR INNOCENCE, AND PURPLE WITH ROYALTY OR WEALTH. SOME COLORS HAVE MANY DIFFERENT IDEAS ASSOCIATED WITH THEM. FOR EXAMPLE, RED MAY MEAN FIRE, DANGER, BRAVERY, OR VIOLENT DEATH. THE ARTIST CAN STRESS THE IDEAS IN A PAINTING BY USING COLORS THAT HAVE TRADITIONAL MEANINGS.

 

-COLORS MAY ADVANCE OR RECEDE

COLOR HAS THE ABILITY TO MAKE THE VIEWER THINK THAT SOME COLORS ARE CLOSER THAN OTHER COLORS. FOR EXAMPLE, A SPOT OF RED IN A PAINTING SEEMS TO TAKE A POSITION IN FRONT OF THE SURFACE, WHILE A SPOT OF BLUE SEEMS TO SINK BACK INTO THE SURFACE. IN GENERAL, WARM COLORS SEEM TO ADVANCE, AND COOL COLORS SEEM TO RECEDE.

 

-INTENSITY OF COLORS

THE SATURATION OR STRENGTH OF A COLOR IS DETERMINED BY THE AMOUNT OF LIGHT REFLECTED FROM IT. A BRIGHT COLOR IS A PURE COLOR AND WILL HAVE HIGH INTENSITY. THE PURE COLORS RED AND BLUE, ARE BRIGHTER THAN THE IMPURE COLORS OF RED MIXED WITH BLACK, AND BLUE MIXED WITH ORANGE. PURE COLORS LOOK CLOSER THAN IMPURE COLORS.

 

-THE AESTHETIC APPEAL OF COLOR

WHEN WE LOOK AT WORKS OF ART, THERE IS AN IMMEDIATE REACTION TO THE COLOR. PLEASING RHYTHMS AND HARMONIES OF COLOR SATISFY OUR AESTHETIC NEED FOR BEAUTY. AN AESTHETIC REACTION MIGHT BE THAT WE WERE SOMETHING WE LIKE, AND WE BUY IT, OR THAT WE SEE SOMETHING WE DO NOT LIKE, AND DO NOT BUY IT. BOTH DECISIONS WERE MADE ON AN AESTHETIC LEVEL.

WE MAY DEVELOP THE ABILITY TO CREATE AESTHETICALLY PLEASING COLOR COMBINATIONS IN OUR HOUSES AND IN THE CLOTHES WE WEAR BY STUDYING AND ANALYZING THE COLOR COMBINATIONS THAT APPEAL TO US. IF WE GET A SENSE OF SATISFACTION FROM SEEING A WELL-DESIGNED CAR OR ROOM, WE ARE REACTING TO THE COLOR COMBINATIONS. WHEN WE LOOK AT DRAWINGS AND PAINTINGS, WE ALSO REACT TO THE COLOR COMBINATIONS, AND AESTHETICALLY LIKE OR DISLIKE IT.

 

-IMPRESSIONISTIC COLOR

DURING THE 1890’S, A NEW GROUP OF PAINTERS BECAME INTERESTED IN WHAT THE SCIENTISTS HAD DISCOVERED ABOUT THE LIGHT THEORY OF COLOR. THESE PAINTERS, CALLED IMPRESSIONISTS, WANTED TO USE A PAINTING TECHNIQUE THAT COULD PORTRAY THE ILLUSION OF VIBRATING LIGHT, AND BRILLIANT COLOR. TO ACHIEVE THE LOOK OF VIBRATING NATURAL SUNLIGHT, THEY PLACED DABS OF DIFFERENT COLORS SIDE BY SIDE. THIS TECHNIQUE IS CALLED JUXTAPOSITION OF COLORS. THEY REALIZED THAT THE EYE WOULD VISUALLY MIX OR BLEND THE DABS OF COLOR INTO THE DESIRED COLOR MIXTURES. SINCE LIGHT IS MADE UP OF DIFFERENT WAVELENGTHS FOR DIFFERENT COLORS, THE TECHNIQUE OF JUXTAPOSITION EMPHASIZES THE SHIMMERING, SPARKLING NATURE OF CERTAIN COLOR COMBINATIONS.

FOR EXAMPLE, COMPLEMENTARY COLORS, THOSE COLORS OPPOSITE EACH OTHER ON THE COLOR WHEEL (RED IS OPPOSITE GREEN, ORANGE IS OPPOSITE BLUE, AND VIOLET IS OPPOSITE YELLOW), ARE THE BEST COLOR COMBINATIONS FOR JUXTAPOSITION. THIS IS BECAUSE COMPLEMENTARY COLORS EXAGGERATE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LIGHT WAVE LENGTHS OF DIFFERENT COLORS. THE VIBRATING EFFECT IS A RESULT WHEN YOUR EYES AUTOMATICALLY JUMP BACK AND FORTH BETWEEN THE DABS OF COLOR AND TRIES TO BLEND THEM TOGETHER.

 

-COLOR LIGHT THEORY 

ALL COLOR IS DERIVED FROM LIGHT, EITHER NATURAL SUNLIGHT OR ARTIFICIAL LIGHTING FROM LAMPS. WHEN THE LIGHT IS STRONG, THE COLOR LOOKS BRIGHT, FOR EXAMPLE, AT DUSK WHEN NATURAL LIGHT IS WEAK, IT IS DIFFICULT TO DISTINGUISH ONE COLOR FROM ANOTHER. BUT UNDER STRONG SUNLIGHT, SUCH AS IN TROPICAL CLIMATES, COLORS SEEM TO BE BRIGHTER.

LIGHT THEORY OF COLOR TELLS US THAT EVERY RAY OF LIGHT COMING FROM THE SUN IS MADE UP OF DIFFERENT WAVES THAT VIBRATE AT DIFFERENT SPEEDS. THE SENSATION OF COLOR IS AROUSED IN THE HUMAN MIND BY THE WAY OUR SENSE OF VISION RESPONDS TO THE DIFFERENT WAVELENGTHS OF LIGHT.

IF A BEAM OF LIGHT WERE TO PASS THROUGH A PRISM (A TRIANGULAR PIECE OF GLASS), THE LIGHT WOULD BE BENT AND DIFFERENT COLORS WOULD APPEAR. THIS STRIPED BAND OF COLORS IS CALLED THE LIGHT SPECTRUM. THE MAJOR COLORS IN THE BAND ARE: RED, ORANGE, YELLOW, GREEN, BLUE, INDIGO, AND VIOLET. THESE COLORS ARE PURE AND REPRESENT THE GREATEST INTENSITY (BRILLIANCE) POSSIBLE. IF WE COULD COLLECT ALL THE SPECTRUM COLORS AND MIX THEM TOGETHER, WE WOULD HAVE WHITE LIGHT.

WHEN THE ARTIST USES COLORS IN A PIGMENT FORM (PAINT, CHALK, ETC.), THESE COLORS ARE NOT PURE SO THEY WILL NEVER BE AS BRILLIANT AS SPECTRUM COLORS. FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU WERE TO TAKE ALL YOUR PAINT COLORS AND MIX THEM TOGETHER, YOU COULD ONLY GET GRAY, THE IMPURE FORM OF WHITE.

WHEN YOU LOOK AT A LEAF AND SEE THAT IT IS GREEN, THE LEAF IS ACTUALLY ABSORBING EVERY COLOR IN THE BEAM OF LIGHT EXCEPT GREEN. THE LEAF APPEARS TO BE GREEN TO YOUR EYES BECAUSE IT REFLECTS THE GREEN WAVES IN THE RAY OF LIGHT WHILE ABSORBING ALL THE OTHERS.

THE COLOR INTENSITY OF A PIGMENT, SUCH AS COLORED PENCILS, CAN NEVER MATCH THE HIGH DEGREE OF INTENSITY THAT YOUR EYES RESPOND TO IN NATURE. THE IMPRESSIONIST PAINTERS COULD NOT DUPLICATE THE INTENSITY OF THE SPECTRUM COLORS, BUT WERE ABLE TO ACHIEVE MORE COLOR VIBRATION THAN OTHER PAINTERS.

Composition

Composition can be defined as a means of selecting appropriate elements and arranging them within the picture space to communicate the artist’s ideas, and feelings effectively to the viewer. Placing elements you have selected within your painting is very important. Composition can create either a strong and interesting piece of work, or a weak and confused piece.

You want to have your composition to combine *forms and space to produce a harmonious whole and meaningful statement.

When you see a really great piece of art…it didn’t just happen. It was not the result of throwing together objects, or filling the background with detail. It is the result of careful planning, without that, the viewer could be left feeling confused and unsatisfied. A well-composed picture will leave the viewer feeling satisfied, and create an urge to see more.

Every artist approaches any given subject differently. One may like the more romantic approach, while another may want to portray it *realistically. Another may choose to work with different *textures to create a *mood or atmosphere with *contrast for the viewer. Composition allows you to say what you want to say.

In composing your picture, you decide what you want your main point of focus to be. Each artist may see the same thing, and each could choose a different point of interest. These forms that will be your point of interest could be made larger, clearer, stronger, brighter then they may actually appear in real life. Less important forms will be smaller or less distinct. *Perspective is very important!

Through composition, and having a main focal point, the artist can actually control which part of his picture the viewer will linger over. Once a definite focal point is established, the viewer can be lead either directly or indirectly through the art. The use of light and dark contrasts will also emphasize the center of interest.

Before painting, the artist needs an idea. They must determine subject matter, and compose the subject manner in a way that is going to be the most effective. What kind of mood is going to be created? What emotions are going to be evoked? What content should be in the picture to capture the viewer, allowing them to grasp what the artist has envisioned? Will anything in the picture distract the viewer, and should it be moved, or removed? Is this the very best composition for this subject? Is the*proportion correct?

Once the artist has thought through various questions such as these, it is time to put the ideas to paper. Rough sketches are used to ensure composition is correct, and that the picture captures the feeling the artist is trying to convey. Sketches should be kept simple, broad, and not contain a lot of detail. Once the artist feels they have captured the effect, focal point,*rhythm and design and feeling they want to create for the viewer, the sketches can then be transferred to the final work of art.

The 4 main elements of composition are:

*Picture area: This is the surface within the four borders of your picture that is used for the drawing or painting. The picture area will help you determine placement of objects, and how big they should be.

*Depth: This is the illusion of distance or a third dimension. Depth creates a three dimensional effect, making objects feel closer, or further away. The finished result will not appear flat on the paper or canvas if depth is created.

*Line: The line or direction the viewer’s eye takes to go through the picture. The objects or forms within the picture should lead the eye to the focal point. When art is viewed, most people will begin in the bottom left corner, and continue through the picture to the right. A good composition will not allow the viewer to keep going right, all the way off the page. The viewer should be lead back into the painting in a flowing motion.

*Value: This is the lightness, or darkness of an area, or a shape within the picture. It is also used to create the overall feel of the picture.