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  • Leonardo DaVinci’s last supper is a good example of a work that can be described by these terms. In describing what you see, it is sometimes best to start with the big picture. To do this, you can start with the 3 terms: Shape, Space, and Composition.
  • Leonardo DaVinci’s last supper is a good example of a work that can be described by these terms. In describing what you see, it is sometimes best to start with the big picture. To do this, you can start with the 3 terms: Shape, Space, and Composition.
  • Leonardo DaVinci’s last supper is a good example of a work that can be described by these terms. In describing what you see, it is sometimes best to start with the big picture. To do this, you can start with the 3 terms: Shape, Space, and Composition.
  • Learning to look at and write about what you see is a key component to visual literacy. Not only does this allow you to effectively communicate what you see to others, but it also helps you gather more sophisticated observations, developing a greater understanding of a work of art. The result of this is called visual analysis.
  • There are many ways to describe an image. In Western art history, there are 8 key terms that are major components to most visual analyses: Composition, Shape, Form, Space, Line, Light, Color, Texture. These terms are particularly useful in analyses of works that are representational and two dimensional.
  • Leonardo DaVinci’s last supper is a good example of a work that can be described by these terms. In describing what you see, it is sometimes best to start with the big picture. To do this, you can start with the 3 terms: Shape, Space, and Composition.
  • Leonardo DaVinci’s last supper is a good example of a work that can be described by these terms. In describing what you see, it is sometimes best to start with the big picture. To do this, you can start with the 3 terms: Shape, Space, and Composition.
  • Leonardo DaVinci’s last supper is a good example of a work that can be described by these terms. In describing what you see, it is sometimes best to start with the big picture. To do this, you can start with the 3 terms: Shape, Space, and Composition.
  • Shape is defined as an element of art that creates an enclosed space. Most shapes can be considered either geometric—like this window—or organic—like Christ and his disciples.
  • Space can be referred to as the area—implied or actual—around shapes. Because this is a two-dimensional work, the space is considered implied. In this painting, notice how there is a lot of space around the figures of Christ and his disciples. Related to space is the notion of depth. A lot of space usually means there is greater depth. Here depth is largely implied by the use of linear perspective and the overlapping of figures.
  • Composition is how shapes are arranged in space. In a way, shape plus space equals composition. Let’s look at the composition of this painting. The main group of figures—Christ and his disciples are arranged along a horizontal axis behind the table. An equal amount of disciples are placed on either side of Christ. While this give the composition a sense of balance, the balance is asymmetrical. None of the disciples are identical in appearance or placement. They overlap in a haphazard (and naturalistic) manner. This contributes to a sense of chaos appropriate to the moment in this narrative—Christ has just revealed that one among their numbers will betray him—but the asymmetry does not undermine the overall sense of formal balance and harmony of the composition. The placement of the disciples also emphases Christ position in the center of the composition. Furthermore, Christ is framed by the central window and the lines of the room point to Christ. All of these elements of the composition make the eye travel directly to Christ. This makes him the focal point of this painting.
  • Composition is how shapes are arranged in space. In a way, shape plus space equals composition. Let’s look at the composition of this painting. The main group of figures—Christ and his disciples are arranged along a horizontal axis behind the table. An equal amount of disciples are placed on either side of Christ. While this give the composition a sense of balance, the balance is asymmetrical. None of the disciples are identical in appearance or placement. They overlap in a haphazard (and naturalistic) manner. This contributes to a sense of chaos appropriate to the moment in this narrative—Christ has just revealed that one among their numbers will betray him—but the asymmetry does not undermine the overall sense of formal balance and harmony of the composition. The placement of the disciples also emphases Christ position in the center of the composition. Furthermore, Christ is framed by the central window and the lines of the room point to Christ. All of these elements of the composition make the eye travel directly to Christ. This makes him the focal point of this painting.
  • Composition is how shapes are arranged in space. In a way, shape plus space equals composition. Let’s look at the composition of this painting. The main group of figures—Christ and his disciples are arranged along a horizontal axis behind the table. An equal amount of disciples are placed on either side of Christ. While this give the composition a sense of balance, the balance is asymmetrical. None of the disciples are identical in appearance or placement. They overlap in a haphazard (and naturalistic) manner. This contributes to a sense of chaos appropriate to the moment in this narrative—Christ has just revealed that one among their numbers will betray him—but the asymmetry does not undermine the overall sense of formal balance and harmony of the composition. The placement of the disciples also emphases Christ position in the center of the composition. Furthermore, Christ is framed by the central window and the lines of the room point to Christ. All of these elements of the composition make the eye travel directly to Christ. This makes him the focal point of this painting.
  • Composition is how shapes are arranged in space. In a way, shape plus space equals composition. Let’s look at the composition of this painting. The main group of figures—Christ and his disciples are arranged along a horizontal axis behind the table. An equal amount of disciples are placed on either side of Christ. While this give the composition a sense of balance, the balance is asymmetrical. None of the disciples are identical in appearance or placement. They overlap in a haphazard (and naturalistic) manner. This contributes to a sense of chaos appropriate to the moment in this narrative—Christ has just revealed that one among their numbers will betray him—but the asymmetry does not undermine the overall sense of formal balance and harmony of the composition. The placement of the disciples also emphases Christ position in the center of the composition. Furthermore, Christ is framed by the central window and the lines of the room point to Christ. All of these elements of the composition make the eye travel directly to Christ. This makes him the focal point of this painting.
  • Once you have laid out the basic components of the “big picture,” you can move to how those components are rendered. This rendering can be analyzed by the remaining terms of visual analysis: line, light, color, form, and texture.
  • Line is a continuous mark made between two points. Line can either be contour or implied. Here the line is implied through subtle gradations between different colors and shades. In other words, the shapes in the Last Supper are not defined by a harsh contours as they are in this Roy Lichtenstein painting. Implied line can be used to different effects. Some can be sharp and precise, like those around the entry ways, or they can be more fluid and soft, like the lines of the garments. In your analysis, be sure to describe the quality of the line. It can greatly affect your overall interpretation of a work’s mood. The element of line is closely related to following terms.
  • Line is a continuous mark made between two points. Line can either be contour or implied. Here the line is implied through subtle gradations between different colors and shades. In other words, the shapes in the Last Supper are not defined by a harsh contours as they are in this Roy Lichtenstein painting. Implied line can be used to different effects. Some can be sharp and precise, like those around the entry ways, or they can be more fluid and soft, like the lines of the garments. In your analysis, be sure to describe the quality of the line. It can greatly affect your overall interpretation of a work’s mood. The element of line is closely related to following terms.
  • Line is a continuous mark made between two points. Line can either be contour or implied. Here the line is implied through subtle gradations between different colors and shades. In other words, the shapes in the Last Supper are not defined by a harsh contours as they are in this Roy Lichtenstein painting. Implied line can be used to different effects. Some can be sharp and precise, like those around the entry ways, or they can be more fluid and soft, like the lines of the garments. In your analysis, be sure to describe the quality of the line. It can greatly affect your overall interpretation of a work’s mood. The element of line is closely related to following terms.
  • Line is a continuous mark made between two points. Line can either be contour or implied. Here the line is implied through subtle gradations between different colors and shades. In other words, the shapes in the Last Supper are not defined by a harsh contours as they are in this Roy Lichtenstein painting. Implied line can be used to different effects. Some can be sharp and precise, like those around the entry ways, or they can be more fluid and soft, like the lines of the garments. In your analysis, be sure to describe the quality of the line. It can greatly affect your overall interpretation of a work’s mood. The element of line is closely related to following terms.
  • Line is a continuous mark made between two points. Line can either be contour or implied. Here the line is implied through subtle gradations between different colors and shades. In other words, the shapes in the Last Supper are not defined by a harsh contours as they are in this Roy Lichtenstein painting. Implied line can be used to different effects. Some can be sharp and precise, like those around the entry ways, or they can be more fluid and soft, like the lines of the garments. In your analysis, be sure to describe the quality of the line. It can greatly affect your overall interpretation of a work’s mood. The element of line is closely related to following terms.
  • Line is a continuous mark made between two points. Line can either be contour or implied. Here the line is implied through subtle gradations between different colors and shades. In other words, the shapes in the Last Supper are not defined by a harsh contours as they are in this Roy Lichtenstein painting. Implied line can be used to different effects. Some can be sharp and precise, like those around the entry ways, or they can be more fluid and soft, like the lines of the garments. In your analysis, be sure to describe the quality of the line. It can greatly affect your overall interpretation of a work’s mood. The element of line is closely related to following terms.
  • Line is a continuous mark made between two points. Line can either be contour or implied. Here the line is implied through subtle gradations between different colors and shades. In other words, the shapes in the Last Supper are not defined by a harsh contours as they are in this Roy Lichtenstein painting. Implied line can be used to different effects. Some can be sharp and precise, like those around the entry ways, or they can be more fluid and soft, like the lines of the garments. In your analysis, be sure to describe the quality of the line. It can greatly affect your overall interpretation of a work’s mood. The element of line is closely related to following terms.
  • Line is a continuous mark made between two points. Line can either be contour or implied. Here the line is implied through subtle gradations between different colors and shades. In other words, the shapes in the Last Supper are not defined by a harsh contours as they are in this Roy Lichtenstein painting. Implied line can be used to different effects. Some can be sharp and precise, like those around the entry ways, or they can be more fluid and soft, like the lines of the garments. In your analysis, be sure to describe the quality of the line. It can greatly affect your overall interpretation of a work’s mood. The element of line is closely related to following terms.
  • Light is a term that is almost exclusive to representative art. It is the effect of light falling on the shapes represented in the painting. The source of the light can represented in the painting via lamps or windows, but often light comes from a source outside of the picture plane. Light can come from a single source, or it can come from multiple location. In this painting, you can see light coming from at least two locations on and off the picture plane. First, light seems to be coming from the left hitting the right wall. The second major source of light appears to be emanating from either the window behind Christ or from Christ himself. DaVinci’s Last Supper shows us how light can be used in both a practical and symbolic ways. In one sense, the use of light can be naturalistic providing a means of creating highlights, shadows, and varying degrees of contrast among shapes. Symbolically, the light coming from Christ can be seen as a manifestation of his holy nature, underscoring his position as the focal point of this composition.
  • Light is a term that is almost exclusive to representative art. It is the effect of light falling on the shapes represented in the painting. The source of the light can represented in the painting via lamps or windows, but often light comes from a source outside of the picture plane. Light can come from a single source, or it can come from multiple location. In this painting, you can see light coming from at least two locations on and off the picture plane. First, light seems to be coming from the left hitting the right wall. The second major source of light appears to be emanating from either the window behind Christ or from Christ himself. DaVinci’s Last Supper shows us how light can be used in both a practical and symbolic ways. In one sense, the use of light can be naturalistic providing a means of creating highlights, shadows, and varying degrees of contrast among shapes. Symbolically, the light coming from Christ can be seen as a manifestation of his holy nature, underscoring his position as the focal point of this composition.
  • Also called form or visual weight
  • Also called form or visual weight
  • Once you have laid out the basic components of the “big picture,” you can move to how those components are rendered. This rendering can be analyzed by the remaining terms of visual analysis: line, light, color, form, and texture.
  • Photoreceptors: Rods (no color, sensitive to light) and Cones (color, less sensitive to light) 6 to 7 million totalTypes of Cones: Red (64%), Green (32%), Blue (2%). Blue cones are more sensitive to light, but blue is perceived less vividly than Green or Red.
  • Photoreceptors: Rods (no color, sensitive to light) and Cones (color, less sensitive to light) 6 to 7 million totalTypes of Cones: Red (64%), Green (32%), Blue (2%). Blue cones are more sensitive to light, but blue is perceived less vividly than Green or Red.
  • Photoreceptors: Rods (no color, sensitive to light) and Cones (color, less sensitive to light) 6 to 7 million totalTypes of Cones: Red (64%), Green (32%), Blue (2%). Blue cones are more sensitive to light, but blue is perceived less vividly than Green or Red.
  • Photoreceptors: Rods (no color, sensitive to light) and Cones (color, less sensitive to light) 6 to 7 million totalTypes of Cones: Red (64%), Green (32%), Blue (2%). Blue cones are more sensitive to light, but blue is perceived less vividly than Green or Red.
  • Once you have laid out the basic components of the “big picture,” you can move to how those components are rendered. This rendering can be analyzed by the remaining terms of visual analysis: line, light, color, form, and texture.
  • Once you have laid out the basic components of the “big picture,” you can move to how those components are rendered. This rendering can be analyzed by the remaining terms of visual analysis: line, light, color, form, and texture.
  • Once you have laid out the basic components of the “big picture,” you can move to how those components are rendered. This rendering can be analyzed by the remaining terms of visual analysis: line, light, color, form, and texture.
  • Leonardo DaVinci’s last supper is a good example of a work that can be described by these terms. In describing what you see, it is sometimes best to start with the big picture. To do this, you can start with the 3 terms: Shape, Space, and Composition.

Transcript

  • 1. Learning to Look: Art in the 2nd Dimension
    Reading:
    Artforms, 19-77
    Terms/Concepts:
    Formal Analysis, Form, Content, Representative, Non-Representative, Elements of Design, Principles of Design, Picture Plane, Picture Frame, Contrast, Spectrum, Color Wheel, Primary Color, Secondary Color, Tertiary Color, Analogous, Complement, Split Complement, Triads, Tetrads, Tint, Shade, Tone, Saturation, Warm, Cool,
    Terms/Concepts:
    Composition, Shape, Line, Mass, Texture, Color, Emphasis/Subordination, Symmetrical Balance, Asymmetrical Balance, Axis, Repetition/Rhythm, Scale/Proportion, Unity/Variety, Geometric, Organic, Linear Perspective, Atmospheric Perspective, Implied Line, Contour Line, Sight Line, Light Source, Value, Achromatic, Chiaroscuro, Visual Weight,
  • 2. Form
    Content
    Leonardo da Vinci, The Last Supper, 1495-1498
  • 3. Form
    Content
    Form is the totality of the physical and visual aspects of a work of art.
  • 4. Form
    Content
    Content is the meaning of a work of art.
  • 5. A Short Guide to
    Formal Analysis
  • 6. What is Formal Analysis?
    Formal Analysis
    =
    Description
    +
    Analysis
    A description relates what you see.
    An analysis gives meaning or insight to that description.
  • 7. Physical Properties
    Dimensions: 14’5” x 28’¼”
  • 8. Physical Properties
    Medium: Experimental Fresco Technique
  • 9. Physical Properties
    Location: Refectory, Santa Maria della Grazie, Milan, Italy
  • 10. Representational vs. Non-Representational
    Helen Frankenthaler, Nature Abhors a Vacuum, 1973
    William Michael Harnett, After the Hunt, 1883.
  • 11. Composition
    Line
    Shape
    Light
    Mass
    Color
    Space
    Texture
    Elements of Design
  • 12. Balance
    Unity/Variety
    Scale/Proportion
    Repetition/Rhythm
    Emphasis/Subordination
    Principles of Design
  • 13. What are we looking at?
    Picture Frame
  • 14. What are we looking at?
    Picture Plane
  • 15. Composition
    Shape
    Space
  • 16. Composition
    Shape
    Space
    Geometric
    Organic
    an element of art that creates an enclosed space.
  • 17. Geometric
    Organic
  • 18. Composition
    Shape
    Space
    linear perspective
    Atmospheric Perspective
    overlapping
    the area—implied or actual—in or around shapes.
  • 19. Linear Perspective
    One-Point Perspective
    Vanishing Point
    Horizon Line
    Vanishing
    Point no. 2
    Vanishing
    Point no. 1
    Horizon Line
    Two-Point Perspective
  • 20. Atmospheric Perspective
  • 21. Composition
    Shape
    Space
    =
    +
    horizontal axis
    how shapes are arranged in space.
  • 22. Composition
    Shape
    Space
    =
    +
    Symmetrical Balance
  • 23. Composition
    Shape
    Space
    =
    +
    Asymmetrical Balance
  • 24. Composition
    Shape
    Space
    =
    +
    focal point
  • 25. Useful Questions
    Is the image representational or non-representational?
    Where does your eye travel first when you look at the painting? Is there a focal point? How is that focal point indicated?
    How is the space used? Is there a lot “empty space”?
    What types of shapes do you see? How are those shapes interacting?
    Is the composition balanced? If so, how is it balanced? Symmetrically? Asymmetrically?
  • 26. Mass
    Line
    Texture
    Color
    Light
  • 27. Mass
    Line
    Texture
    Color
    Light
    a continuous mark between two points.
  • 28. Line
    Texture
    Mass
    Color
    Light
    contour line
    Contour Line
    a line that defines the outermost limits of a shape.
  • 29. Line
    Texture
    Light
    Mass
    Color
    Implied Line
    a line that does not actually exist but rather is implied by the edges of shapes, gazes, gestures, broken lines, etc.
  • 30. Qualities of Line
  • 31. Qualities of Line
  • 32. Useful Questions
    Is line an important aspect of this composition?
    Are the lines contour or implied?
    Where do the lines in the composition direct your eyes?
    What is the quality of the lines used? Are they thick? Thin? Broken? Straight? Jagged?
    What “mood” or “feeling” do the lines create? Do they create a mood?
  • 33. Line
    Texture
    Light
    Mass
    Color
  • 34. Line
    Texture
    Light
    Mass
    Color
  • 35. Line
    Texture
    Light
    Mass
    Color
  • 36. Line
    Texture
    Light
    Mass
    Color
  • 37. Line
    Texture
    Light
    Mass
    Color
  • 38. Mass
    Color
    Line
    Texture
    Light
    the effect of light falling on an on the shapes represented in the painting.
  • 39. How Vision Works
  • 40. Value
  • 41. Chiaroscuro
  • 42. Effects of Light
  • 43. Effects of Light
  • 44. Effects of Light
  • 45. Useful Questions
    Does the image have a light source? If so is the light source on the picture plane or beyond the picture frame?
    Is the light source conventional (i.e. a lamp, the sun, etc.)?
    Is the quality of the light direct or indirect? Is the light harsh or soft? Is there a high contrast between light and dark?
    Could the light have some kind of symbolic component?
    What is the overall impact of the light in this composition?
  • 46. Mass
    Color
    Line
    Texture
    Light
  • 47. Mass
    Line
    Texture
    Color
    Light
    the illusion of 3-dimensional or physical weight on a 2-demensional surface.
  • 48.
  • 49.
  • 50. Visual Weight
  • 51. Useful Questions
    Do the shapes in this composition appear to have a three-dimensional quality?
    Do some shapes appear to be “heavier” than others?
    Do areas of the painting attract your attention more than others?
  • 52. Mass
    Line
    Texture
    Color
    Light
  • 53. Mass
    Line
    Texture
    Color
    Light
    The property possessed by an object of producing different sensations on the eye as a result of the way the object reflects or emits light
  • 54. How Color Works
    Hue
  • 55. How Color Works
  • 56. How Color Works
  • 57. How Color Works
  • 58. Primary
  • 59. Secondary
  • 60. Tertiary
  • 61. Color Schemes: Complement
  • 62. Color Schemes: Split Complement
  • 63. Color Schemes: Primary Triad
  • 64. Color Schemes: Secondary Triad
  • 65. Color Schemes: Tetrads
  • 66. Color Schemes: Analogous
  • 67. Color Schemes: Monochromatic
  • 68. Talking about Color: Warm vs. Cool
    Warm
    Cool
  • 69. Talking about Color: Neutrals
  • 70. Talking about Color: Value
  • 71. Talking about Color: Saturation
  • 72. Talking about Color: Hues, Tints, Shades and Tones
    Hue
  • 73. Useful Questions
    What colors do you see in this image?
    Do these colors appear to fit it into a specific color scheme?
    Are the colors light or dark? Dull or bright? Warm or cool?
    Does the placement of color group any figures together? Does it draw your attention to any place on the picture plane?
    What mood do the colors seem to promote? Does this contradict or echo the mood promoted by other elements?
  • 74. Mass
    Line
    Texture
    Color
    Light
  • 75. Mass
    Line
    Texture
    Color
    Light
    Actual Texture
    Simulated Texture
    the presence of surface—either actual or simulated.
  • 76. Useful Adjectives
    Does the medium of this work create a distinctive, tactility? Is their actual texture?
    Is there an effort to create the illusion of texture?
    What textures to you see? Are the rough? Smooth? Wet? Dry? Soft? Hard? Hot? Cold? Strong? Fragile?
    How does texture interact with the other elements in this composition?
    What is the overall impact of texture in this image?
  • 77. Mass
    Line
    Texture
    Color
    Light
  • 78. Final Observations
    Leonardo da Vinci, The Last Supper, 1495-1498
  • 79. Fun with the Elements
  • 80. In the Flower Garage, at the corner of Delgany and 14th Streets, across from MCA Denver
    MOVEMENTS: CAM @ MCA Denver
    6:00 – 8:00 PM on Tuesday, August 30
    5¢ for students and artists. 10¢ for everyone else.