Humanities (Abridged)

Humanities Study Guide Lines and Colors Line is a continuous marking made by making a point on a surface. Horizontal and vertical lines can help separate elements neatly in a picture providing a pleasing aesthetic. Diagonal lines, on the other hand, have a way of making the viewer feel tension or movement. If the painter desires to convey softness and flow, they will typically use curving lines. Shapes present in paintings can be linear, irregular, regular, or just meant to evoke emotions. Shapes create perspective or the illusion of depth. Piet Mondrian's Broadway Boogie Woogie is an example of a linear artwork. Painters and art critics often sight the imaginary line that determines the basic visual direction of the painting called the Axis line. Color and Light Colors are all around us; they can be used to evoke emotions, create depth, and emphasize features. In art, hue, saturation, and value are the three elements that compose color. Hue is the name of the color itself. Saturation is the pureness or vividness of the color, such as the redness of red. Value is the shading and definition in a painting. Paintings themselves have so many components to them, but something that artists enjoy in works of art is texture. Texture is how the painting itself feels. Brushes with paint on them leave brushstrokes as well as knives with paint on them. Patterns are often present in all types of art; we define patterns as the repetition of shapes, lines, or images. Compositions Another element of art that we need to discuss is composition. Composition refers to the organization and relationship of elements to one another. There are six principles for evaluating a painting's composition. The first is balance or the equilibrium of opposing visual forces in a painting. Leonardo's Last Supper is an excellent example of symmetry. He uses the shape of the individuals at the table to balance one another off of the verticals axis and main character. Gradation is the second of the six elements, and it refers to the changes in details and regions like the gradual variations of shapes, shadowing, and colors. Despite paintings being pictures on flat surfaces, they can still imply movement of their subjects. Movement and rhythm are the way that paintings control the viewer's vision. A great example of this is shown in The Creation of Adam because the audience can feel God moving from right to left to touch Adam's finger. These elements can lead your eye to see the scene as if it were a real clip into the past. Proportion is the term we use to describe the emphasis on items in the work due to their scaling. For example, consider a painting with a large donkey and small people in the background. The donkey is large, implying that it is closer than the tiny people who are presumably far away. When we look at all the elements in a painting and how cohesive it feels, we consider this the unity. Lastly, we have variety, or the contrast of details, colors, shapes, and regions within a work of art. All of these elements together create the composition of a painting. Abstract Paintings When we picture great paintings in our minds, we typically picture those with clearly defined subjects, like women, ducks, or ponds. When we lose sight of what we are looking at, it can be easy to dismiss the work for something childish or not worthy of prestige. This concept would break a lot of abstract artist's hearts. Abstract or non-representational paintings typically have no subject, but they emphasize lines, color, and texture. The goal of abstract art is to represent the qualities and elements that stimulate our vision or sensa. By appealing to our sensa, abstract art frees us from our human habit of only seeing past or present subjects and not diving into our emotions. Another aspect of abstract art is presentational immediacy or having an awareness of something all at once, not piece by piece. For example, this would be like looking at a painting and seeing the artwork while recalling a memory or dreaming of a new place. ©2020 Achieve Page 5 of 14

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