Elements of Art
Form is an element of art that is three-dimensional and encloses volume. Cubes ,spheres,and cylinders are examples of various forms. Line is an element of art which refers to the continuos mark made on some surface by a moving point. It may be two dimensional, like a pencil mark on a paper or it may be three dimensional(wire) or implied( the edge of a shape or form) often it is a outline,contour or silhouette. Shape is an enclosed space defined by other elements of art. shapes may take on the appearance of two-d or three- objects. Color Is an element of art with three properties1) Hue, the name of the color, e.g. red, yellow, etc. 2) Intensity or the purity and strength of the color such as bright ness or dullness. And 3) value, or the lightness or darkness of the color. Texture refers to the surface quality or "feel" of an object, such as roughness, smoothness, or softness. Actual texture can be felt while simulated textures are implied by the way the artist renders areas of the picture. Space refers to the distance or area between, around, above or within things. It can be a description for both 2 and 3 dimensional portrayals. Value describes the lightness or darkness of a color. Value is needed to express Volume.
Principles of Art
Emphasis in a composition refers to developing points of interest to pull the viewer's eye to important parts of the body of the work. Balance is a sense of stability in the body of work. Balance can be created by repeating same shapes and by creating a feeling of equal weight. Harmony is achieved in a body of work by using similar elements throughout the work, harmony gives an uncomplicated look to your work. Variety refers to the differences in the work, You can achieve variety by using difference shapes, textures, colors and values in your work. Movement adds excitement to your work by showing action and directing the viewers eye throughout the picture plane. Rhythm is a type of movement in drawing and painting. It is seen in repeating of shapes and colors. Alternating lights and darks also give a sense of rhythm. Proportion or scale refers to the relationships of the size of objects in a body of work. Proportions gives a sense of size seen as a relationship of objects. such as smallness or largeness. Unity is seen in a painting or drawing when all the parts equal a whole. Your work should not appear disjointed or confusing.
The skills of art criticism
Examine any object we are willing to call art. In order for it to exist someone had to produce it. Skills of observation, representation and interpretation had to be joined with skills of rendering and creation to bring this work into existence. These are the skills associated with art production. In order to fully understand the symbols, subjects and themes affiliated with this work and how the work relates to the culture and times in which it was produced, one must be familiar with its heritage; seeking answers to the who, when, what and why questions. These are issues associated with art history. But in order to appreciate the significance of this work, one must be able to identify, describe and interpret what is actually in the work in terms of its expressive properties, and to assess, or make judgments about, the work's personal and social values. This is, of course, within the realm of art criticism.
Identifying and describing -- if one is to respond to a work of art as fully as possible, it is essential that effort be invested in carefully examining every aspect of the work. Specific shapes, colors, values and textures, and where these visual qualities are located need to be identified. Illusions of form, space and gesture must be observed. One should look for what is obvious as well as nuances and subtleties. In addition, what is observed needs to be articulated. This can be done intuitively and/or analytically, silently with oneself or in discussion with others. The key point is the necessity to elucidate what has been experienced in order to verify the validity of one's observations; e.g., describing the range of colors, variations in dark and light qualities, the width of lines, and tactile and visual textures, as well as the extent to which organic and/or geometric shapes and illusions of deep and shallow space exist. If qualities within the art work are not observed, than one's response will be stunted and appreciation will be limited. If qualities are ascribed to the work that do not actually exist within it, than one's response will be invalid.
Analyzing -- another objective activity is to contemplate how the characteristics of the work that have been identified and described are organized. Are visual qualities arranged primarily symmetrically or asymmetrically? Are there colors, textures or shapes that are clearly dominant because of their relative size or repeated use? What kind of implied or actual movements can be identified? Are their large sinuous curves or staccato-like gradations or transitions? Are contrasts among and between visual qualities very obvious and conflicting, or subtle and harmonious? It is essential to analyze as carefully as possible how visual qualities are arranged because the nature of these qualities and their distribution are the best and most legitimate indicators of what is being expressed both overtly and covertly.
Interpreting -- making an accurate assessment of the formal "objective" qualities in works of art is critical to discerning what the work expresses. The emotions and thoughts evoked by our contemplation of the work should be based upon what can actually be observed. If we say we are saddened by the work or that we experience a sense of tranquillity, we ought to be able to identify the sources in the work for these responses. What we must not succumb to is allowing our predisposition's to bias our reactions. For instance, we may believe that weakness and resignation are associated with old age. When we observe a painting by Van Gogh of an old peasant we assume that he is a frail old man, even though he is painted in very vibrant and forceful and conflicting colors. Weakness and resignation are not associated with these colors, therefore, such a response would be invalid. Biased response do not allow the work to speak for itself.
Making judgments -- all of the foregoing types of responses are necessary prerequisites to making informed judgments about the value of visual phenomena including works of art. Judgments, however, do not exist in isolation; they are relative to a variety of criteria, which also need to be clarified. If one declares that a particular painting is an extraordinary masterpiece, what is the basis for this judgment? Is the work being compared to other works that are similar in style and/or theme? Or, does the work evoke such profound personal reactions that one is moved to call it great?
Making comparative judgments requires that one possess a background that is relative to what is being evaluated. For example, questioning whether a work is an ordinary or an extraordinary example of a particular artistic style requires some acquaintance with other works in the same style. Styles can vary in terms of time and/or place (Song Dynasty ceramic vessels from China), the character of a work's formal organization (baroque forms from various times and places), or the unique approach of a particular artist (Modigliani, for example).
The visual arts are art forms that create works which are primarily visual in nature, such as ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, architecture, printmaking, modern visual arts (photography, video, and filmmaking), design and crafts. These definitions should not be taken too strictly as many artistic disciplines (performing arts, conceptual art, textile arts) involve aspects of the visual arts as well as arts of other types. Also included within the visual arts are the applied arts such as industrial design, graphic design, fashion design, interior design and decorative art.