the language of art Art is a visual “language,” practiced in every culture. It has a “vocabulary” and a “grammar,” and as with language, we can understand it if we know the words and the rules for arranging them. In art, the vocabulary is known as the Elements of Art, and the grammar as the Principles of Design. This PowerPoint presentation is a virtual gallery of artworks by different artists from different periods whose images will illustrate how the language of art is used. By visiting the links in this presentation, you’ll see artworks that demonstrate each of these elements and principles and how they work. You’ll also visit sites that describe the artists and their lives and work. By taking this “field trip”, you’ll become more fluent in the “language” of art.
the elements of art The Elements of Art are the words the artist uses, the basic vocabulary of art: Line, Shape, Form, Value, Color, Space and Texture.the principles of designThese are the grammar that governs art’s vocabulary: Balance, Movement, Rhythm, Contrast, Emphasis, Pattern, and Unity Nude Descending a Staircase, Marcel Duchamp Starry Night, Vincent Van Gogh
Line defines space, contours and outlines, or suggests mass and volume. It may be a continuous mark made or implied by the edges of shapes and forms.Shape is a contour, the outer boundaries of a two-dimensional form. It also conveys the nature of an object (i.e.: light, heavy, big, small, etc.) and how it interacts with its surroundings.Form appears three-dimensional and encloses volumes such as a cube, sphere, pyramid or cylinder. (This term may also refer to the characteristics of an artwork’s visual elements -- lines, color, textures, etc. -- as distinguished from its subject matter.) Sleeping Woman, Andrew Stevovich
Use these links to explore how line has been used by different artists in history. Download, print and paste one image into your sketchbook and copy just the main lines of the composition. Write a paragraph explaining how the line creates shape or form. List any similarities you see with the other images. Bus Stop, Andrew Stevovich Death of Socrates, Jacques Louis David Madonna and Child with Saints, DucciodiBuoninsegna
Color is the response of vision to wavelengths of reflected light. It has three properties, hue, value, and intensity. It is the most subjective of all the elements. Value is the degree of lightness or darkness within an artwork. Because distant objects appear lighter in nature, value can create the illusion of depth.Space indicates the area between, around or within shapes and forms. (The areas containing the subject or the objects depicted are called positive space, as opposed to the background in an artwork which is known as negative space.)Texture is an artwork’s actual or implied surface quality: rough or smooth, hard or soft. It conveys the impression of three-dimensional realism by suggesting the feel and depth of an object. Death of Socrates, Jacques Louis David
Woman with Green Stripe, Henri Matisse Portrait of Young Man, Titian Use these links to explore how color has been used in different ways through art history. Download, print and paste one into your sketchbook and write a paragraph about the differences in how the artists used color (expressive, symbolic or naturalistic?). What can you tell about the use of value in your image? How did the artist use light and dark? Write about the artist’s use of space also. Can you identify the positive and negative space? Is it deep space or is it shallow? How does that effect the image? Finally, what can you write about the use of texture? Does the artist rely on actual or implied texture? How do you think this affects the impact of the image on the viewer? .
Contrast is extreme differences between elements such as colors, values, textures, and shapes. Contrast creates visual excitement and adds interest.Movement refers to the arrangement of parts in an artwork to create a sense of motion or to direct the viewer’s eye through the work.Rhythm is the repetition of visual movement.Pattern is the repetition of elements or combinations of elements in a recognizable organization. Pattern often occurs in nature. Pattern increases visual excitement by enriching surface interest. Jazmine, Eduard Vuillard
Use these links to explore the work of three very different artists. Download, print and paste one into your sketchbook. Explain the use of contrast in your image. Describe what the artist has done to create movement. How did the artist create rhythm? Which of these three images uses pattern? Finally, what is the difference between rhythm and pattern? Starry Night, Vincent Van Gogh Jazmine, Eduard Vuillard Nude Descending a Staircase, Marcel Duchamp
Emphasis is used by artists to create dominance and focus in their work. Artists can emphasize color, value, shapes, or other art elements to achieve dominance. Various kinds of contrast can be used to emphasize a center of interest.Balance refers to the arrangement of visual elements to create an equal distribution of visual weight. There are three kinds of balance: symmetrical, asymmetrical and radial (circular).Unity is related to the sense of wholeness resulting from the successful combination of the component elements of an artwork. Portrait of the Artist’s Mother, George Seurat
Use these links to explore the drawings of George Seurat (1859-1891). Download, print and paste one into your sketchbook. Write a paragraph about how the artist uses contrast to create emphasis, balance and unity in the image. Eden Concert, Echo, Concert, George Seurat
Use these links to further explore the Elements of Art and Principles of Design. The Elements and Principles http://www.guidancecom.com/alphabet/alphabet.htm http://psych.hanover.edu/Krantz/art/ Color http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/tl/20th/fauvism.html http://www.poynterextra.org/cp/index.html Art and Artists http://www.artic.edu/aic/exhibitions/vangogh/slide_intro.html http://www.andrewstevovich.com/ http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2007/seurat/