Some Possible Observations in an Art Critque

Line

• Has weight: thin, heavy, bold, delicate, varied etc.
• Has action: dynamic, static, restful
• Has character: straight, curved, organic
• It can construct, render, describe, divide, be implied
• May imply direction or movement, define figures, measure, fill, shade etc.

Shape 

2D, round, rectangular, triangular, square

Form

• 3D, sphere, cone, cube, cylinder
• Organic/geometric, man made/ from nature
• Basic forms in nature: hexagon, spiral, helix, branching, meandering
• Dimension/scale, large/small, close/distant,
• Weight: heavy, light, mass/volume
• Character: solid/fluid/hollow, simple/complex, delicate/bold, composite/modular, random/programmed, symmetrical/asymmetrical, convex/concave, representational/abstract/symbolic/decorative, nonobjective, distorted, elaborate/efficient
• Action: static, dynamic, rigid

Edges

• Hard, soft, lost, crisp, fuzzy
• Defined by lines, form, value, light, surface

Surface/Texture 

• Smooth/rough, soft/hard, liquid/solid
• Visual Phenomena
– – Transparent/Opaque/ Translucent
– – Veil/Film/False film
– – Reflective/Dull
• Does a range exist?
• Is surface important to piece?

Space/Perspective

• Flat Space elements, 2 dimensional space
– – Space division, where & how is it divided?
– – Vertical, horizontal, curved
– – Balance, center of interest,                           
– – Figure/ground relationships, surfaces,
– – Unity & variety
– – Created tension, primary point, position
– – One focus attracts attention
– – Two focal areas create tension
– – Three foci create closed form between them
• 3 dimensional space
– – Includes flat space elements
– – Illusion of depth/distance enhanced by:
– – – Light & shade
– – – Linear perspective: 1, 2 or 3 point perspective
– – – Aerial perspective/atmosphere, volume color
– – – Overlapping: closer form hides part of distant form
– – – Size: closer objects are larger
– – – Position on page: lower appear closer
– – – Distinct edges become more diffuse in distance
– – – Weight of line heavier in foreground
– – – Foreground, mid-ground, background evident
– – – Value contrast & chroma are higher in foreground
– – – Shallow focus, deep focus
• Plane versus recessional composition
– – Plane has horizontal lines, as if on a stage
– – – Blocks or holds back the viewer
– – Recessional has diagonal tension
– – – 2 point perspective at least
– – – Movement into 3D space required
– – – Invites to viewer into the space
• Movement in space
– – In & out of shapes/areas/form/color/value/lost edge/
                 
– – Up/down/across/zigzag/radiate

Color

• Primaries, secondary, tertiary, complements
• Hue, saturation, gradation, value
• Tints, Tones, Shades
• Warm/cool/temperature
• Range, Key, Intensity, Chroma
• Visual Phenomena/Color interaction
– – Halation, Vanishing Boundaries, Luminosity
– – Relative hue, Color deception
– – – Local color, color constancy
– – Complements, vibrating boundaries
• Unity, predictability, design, balance, focus,
• Unique color combinations                          

Value

• Range, key, distribution, focus
– – Visual Phenomena
– – – Relative Value
– – – Reverse gradations

Light Shadow

• Light & shadow must treat all things equally, that is how it creates unity in a composition.
• Light & Shadow must be consistent in the following:
– – Source: nothing can be lighter that the light source
– – Position/direction must be established and held to.
– – Intensity must be consistent.
– – Color must be consistent.
• Visual Phenomena and illusion
– – White light and shadow
– – Colored light and colored shadow
• Functions
– – Aesthetics, unification, integration, relates, constancy
– – Illumination, focus attention, definition, modification
– – Form, value & color are observed only in the presence of light.
– – Light defines form & dictates value and color.

© 2004-2009, Richard L. Nelson