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Learning to look 2 d

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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.