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PAINTING chapter 4 Humanities Through The Arts

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1 PAINTING chapter 4 Humanities Through The Arts
F. David Martin and Lee A. Jacobus 8th Edition

2 Your Visual Powers Because painting is the preeminent visual artistic medium, we need to think about our own daily patterns of visual perception. In a busy world, we tend to pick and choose what we pay attention to. Were we to be as intent in examining visual detail in everyday life as we are when we stand before a great painting, we would never get very far in our travels. Even if we are usually sensitive to light, color, shape, and patterns, we cannot live our lives at the same pitch … when we experience art.

3 Your Visual Powers continued
Those such as Goya or a Van Gogh painting demand our attention. However, sensitive through we maybe, daily life tends to make demands on our attention such that we block out much of the visual world in which we live and work. Test your visual powers for yourself by answering the questions in the Perception Key.

4 The Media of Painting The basic materials and media in each of the arts, is what the artist uses. A clear understanding of their properties will aid us in understanding what artists do and how they work. The most prominent media in Western painting – and most painting in the rest of the world – are tempera, fresco, oil, watercolor, and acrylic.

5 The Media of Painting In early paintings the pigment – the actual color – required a binder such as egg yolk, glue, or casein to keep it in solution and permit it to be applied to canvas, wood plaster, and other substances. Tempera is pigment bound by egg yolk and applied to carefully prepared surface like the wood panels of Cimabue’s 13th-century Madonna and Child Enthroned with Angels.

6 The Media of Painting The colors of tempera sometimes look slightly flat and are difficult to change as the artist works, but the marvelous precision of detail and the subtlety of linear shaping are extraordinary. In the 14th century Giotto’s Madonna Enthroned (fig.4-2) achieves an astonishing level of detail in the gold ornamentation below and around the Madonna. His control of the medium permitted him to represent figures with a high degree of individuality and realism, representing a profound change in the history of art.

7 The Media of Painting Fresco – because many churches and other buildings required paintings, directly on plaster walls, artists perfected the use of fresco, pigment dissolved in lime water applied to wet plaster as it is drying. The color penetrates to about one-eighth of an inch and it bound into the plaster. There is little room for error because the plaster dries relatively quickly, the artist must understand how the colors will look when embedded in plaster and no longer wet.

8 The Media of Painting Fresco - One advantage of this medium is that it will last as long as the wall itself. One of the greatest examples of the fresco is Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, on the ceiling of which is the famous Creation of Adam (fig 4-3). Oil Oil painting uses a mixture of pigment, linseed oil, varnish, and turpentine to produce either a thin or thick consistency, depending on the artist’s desired effect.

9 The Media of Painting Oil – In the 15th century, oil painting dominated because of its flexibility, the richness of its colors, and the extraordinary durability and long-lasting qualities. Because oil paint dries slowly and because it can be put on in thin layers, it offers the artist remarkable control over the final product. No medium in painting offers a more flexible blending of colors or subtle portrayal of light and textures, as in Parmigianino’s The Madonna with The long Neck (fig 4-4).

10 The Media of Painting Oil - oil paint can be messy, and it takes sometimes months or years to dry completely, but it has been the dominant medium in easel painting since the Renaissance. Watercolor – The pigments of watercolor are bound in a water-soluble adhesive, such as gum-arabic, a gummy plant substance. Usually, watercolor is slightly translucent so that the whiteness of the paper shows through.

11 The Media of Painting Watercolor – The color resources of the medium are limited in range, but often striking in effect. Unlike tempera, watercolor usually does not lend itself to precise details. Compare Winslow Homer’s Hound and Hunter (fig 4-5) in the medium of oils with his watercolor Sketch for Hound and Hunter (fig 4-6). Each version has its particular qualities, and you may find yourself responding more to one than the other.

12 The Media of Painting Acrylic - A modern synthetic medium, acrylic is fundamentally a form of plastic resin that dries very quickly and is flexible for the artist to apply and use. One advantage acrylic paints is that they do not fade, darken, or yellow as they age. They (acrylic) can support luminous colors and look sometimes very close in oil paints in their final effect. Helen Frankenthaler’s The Bay (fig 4-7) is a large abstract painting whose colors are somewhat flat, but suggest a range of intensities similar in what we see in watercolor details.

13 The Media of Painting Acrylic - Helen Frankenthaler’s The Bay (fig 4-7) is a large abstract painting whose colors are somewhat flat, but suggest a range of intensities similar in what we see in watercolor details. Other Media and Mixed Media The dominant medium for Chinese and many Asian artists has been ink, as in Fan K’uan’s Travelers amid Mountains and Streams (fig 4-8).

14 The Media of Painting Other Media and Mixed Media
Modern painters often employ mixed media, using duco and aluminum paint, house paint, oils, even grit and sand. Jackson Pollock’s Autumn Rhythm (fig 3-3) is a good example. Andy Warhol used acrylic and silk-screen in in his famous Marilyn Monroe series.

15 Elements of Painting The elements are the basic building block of a medium. For painting they are line, color, texture, and composition. Line is a continuous marking made by a moving point on a surface. Line outlines shapes and can contour areas within those outlines. Sometimes contour or internal lines dominate the outlines, as with the robe of Cimabue’s Madonna (fig 4-1). Line can suggest movement. Up and down movement may be indicated by the vertical.

16 Elements of Painting An axis line is an imaginary line that helps determine the basic visual directions of a painting. Since line is usually the main determinant of shapes, and shapes are usually the main determinant of detail, regional, and structural relationships, line is usually fundamental in the overall composition – Mark Rothko’s Earth Greens (fig 4-11) is an exception - “linear design” is often used to describe this organizing function.

17 Elements of Painting Color is composed of three distinct qualities: Hue, Saturation, and Value. Hue - is the name of a color. Red, yellow, and blue are the primary colors. Their mixtures produces the secondary colors: green, orange, and purple. Further mixing produces 6 more, the tertiary colors.

18 Elements of Painting Saturation - refers to the purity, vividness, or intensity of a hue. Value – or shading, refers to lightness or darkness of a hue, the mixture in the hue of white or black. Complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel. Texture is the surface “feel” of something. When brushstrokes have been smoothed out, the surface is seen as smooth.

19 Elements of Painting Composition
In painting or any other art, composition refers to the ordering of relationships: among details, among regions, among details and regions, and among these and the total structure. Principles – Among the basic principles of traditional painting are balance, gradation, movement and rhythm, proportion, variety, and unity.

20 Elements of Painting Composition
* Balance refers to the equilibrium of opposing visual forces. Leonardo’s Last Supper is an example of symmetrical balance. * Gradation refers to continuum of changes in the details and regions, such as the gradual variations in shape, color value, and shadowing in Siqueiros’s Echo of a Scream (fig 1-2).

21 Elements of Painting Composition * Movement and rhythm refers to the way a painting controls the movement and pace of our vision. * Proportion refers to the emphasis achieved by the scaling of size of shapes – for example, the way the large Madonna in the Cimabue (fig 4-1) contrasts with the tiny prophets. * Unity refers to the togetherness, despite contrasts, of details and regions to the whole.

22 Elements of Painting Composition
* Variety refers to the contrast of details and regions – for example the color and shape opposition in O’Keeffe’s Ghost Ranch Cliffs (fig 4-12). Techniques are the way painters go about applying the principles of composition. Most techniques are used instinctively. …an awareness of some of the techniques can make us more sensitive to how a painting is formed. …the most important and interesting technique of painting have to do with handling of space and shapes.

23 Elements of Painting Space and shapes – the best way to understand space is to think of it as a hollow volume available for occupation by shapes. Then space can be described by referring to the distribution and relationships of those shapes in that space; space can be described as crowded or open. Shapes are distinguishable boundaries, created by colors, textures, and usually – and especially- lines. A painting is a 2-dimensional surface with breadth and height.

24 Abstract Painting Abstract or nonrepresentational painting may be difficult to appreciate if we are confused about the subject matter. Since no objects or events are depicted, abstract painting might seem to have no subject matter; pictures of nothing. But this is surely no the case. The subject matter is the sensuous. The sensuous is composed of visual qualities – line, color, texture, space, shape, light, shadow, volume, and mass.

25 Abstract Painting Abstract or nonrepresentational painting:
Any qualities that stimulate our vision are sensa. In representational painting, sensa are used to portray objects and events. In abstract painting, sensa are freed. They are depicted for their own sake. Abstract painters make it easy for us to focus on sensa themselves, even though we are not artists. …the radiant and vivid values of the sensuous are enjoyed for their own sake, satisfying a fundamental need.

26 Representational Painting
Representational Painting …furnishes the world of the sensuous with objects and events. In the participative experience with representational paintings, the sense of here-now, so overwhelming in the participative experience with abstractions, is somewhat weakened. Representational paintings situate the sensuous in objects and events. … just like an abstraction is “all there” and “holds still.” -30-

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