Mr. French-NRHS
“Art does not reproduce what we see. It makes us see!” -Paul Klee
ART IS COMMUNICATION…When you talk to someone or write a letter or text a message, you
communicate. You share your ideas and feelings by using words. Art is a language that artists use to
express ideas and feelings that everyday words cannot express. In order to experience art fully, you must
do more than simply look at it with your eyes; you must develop the ability to PERCEIVE, become
deeply aware through the senses of the special nature of a visual object.
1. Personal Functions: art created to express personal feelings.
2. Social Functions: art to reinforce and enhance the shared sense of identity of those in a family,
community, or civilization.
3. Spiritual Function: art created to express spiritual beliefs about the destiny of life controlled by
the force of a higher power. These may be shared beliefs of an individual or a human community.
4. Physical functions: Artists and craftspeople constantly invent new ways to create functional art.
They use what is available in new ways to create decorative or functional art.
5. Educational Function: In the past many people could not read and art was often created to
provide visual instruction. Artists often use symbols to impart information, stained-glass
windows, sculptures, paintings, and tapestries to illustrate stories from the Bible or about rulers of
a kingdom. Today when we look at art from the past, we learn from it.
1. Subject…is the image viewers can easily identify in a work of art. It may be one person or many
people. It may be a thing, such as a boat, or an event, such as a dance, or simply an interesting
2. Composition…is the way the principles of art are used to organize the elements of art. This
requires an intimate understanding of both Principles and Elements in order to control the
3. Content…is the message the work communicates. It may be an idea, or a theme, such as
patriotism or family togetherness. It may be an emotion such as pride, love, or loneliness. Each
work may have a different message.
Line: is the main element that is used in all art. A line is defined as a point moving through space.
The quality and type of line can be affected in three ways…
 The tool used to make the line.
 The type of surface the line is being made on. (rough or smooth texture)
 The amount of pressure the artist uses to make the line.
 Lines can be classified into emotional responses: A composition dominated by
horizontal lines conveys a sense of calm and serenity. A vertical composition conveys a
sense of formality or importance. A composition dominated by diagonal lines creates
movement and action.
Shape: a shape is 2-demensional having a width and height. It is classified into two categories:
Geometric shapes: square, circle, cone, triangle, etc.
Free-form shapes: cloud like and not resembling a recognizable shape.
Form: a form has 3-demensions; height, width and depth. Form can be classified into two
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Form continued:
Visual or Implied form: tricking the eye into seeing 3-D using linear perspective, value, contour
lines, atmospheric perspective, etc.
Actual form: consisting of a physical form such as an actual object, sculpture, ceramic piece, etc.
Value: the light or darkness of a color. How light affects an object by producing light areas,
shadow areas, and those in between values.
Texture: Making something look like it might feel. There are two types of texture:
Visual / Implied Texture: an illusion, the texture is not actually there, just looks like it.
Tactile / Actual Texture: an actual texture is added to the surface of your work.
Space: Creating the illusion of depth in your art work:
Size change: big is close and small is farther away.
Overlapping: one object in front of another…must include size change as well.
Placement: most close objects are at the bottom of your paper and go up the paper the farther
away the object is supposed to be.
Color / Value change: the farther away an object gets from the viewer the lighter in value and
bluer it becomes. This is referred to as Aerial Perspective or Atmospheric Perspective.
Details and textures: become less apparent as the objects get farther away.
Linear Perspective: the formal use of vanishing points, eye level lines to create space. One Point,
Two Point (with two vanishing points), Three Point (having three vanishing points).
Color: the most complex element. Color is seen when light reflects or bounces off an object.
Color provokes the greatest emotional response of any of the elements.
Primary colors: Red, Yellow, Blue…these colors cannot be mixed from other colors, but can be
mixed to create all of the other colors with the addition of black and white.
Secondary Colors: Orange, Green, Violet…made by mixing two primary colors together in a half
and half mixture.
Tertiary Colors: Reddish-purple, Bluish-purple, yellow-green, etc. Made from mixing two
primary colors but not in an even half and half mixture.
Hot colors: Red, yellow and orange
Cool colors: green- blue-violet
Neutral colors: are neither warm nor cool. Black, gray, white and brown and greens made from
mixing together the primary colors.
Tints: a color with white added to it…pink, lavender, etc.
Shades: a color that is graded down or darkened by adding a darker color, black or its
complementary color.
Monochromatic Painting: Mono means one, Chroma means color. This is a painting using only
the differing values of one color. The color most generally used is blue because of its ability to
show a wide range of values from light tints to dark shades.
Balance: the visual balance and or actual balance of a composition.
Formal / Symmetrical Balance: where shapes are the same on each side of the center point.
Informal / Asymmetrical Balance: Where there are a different number and sizes of objects on each
side of the center point but visually still balance.
 Radial Balance: everything revolves around the center point going equally in every direction.
Think of a radial tire.
9.Emphasis / Focus Point: the area of most interest in your art work. The key to
creating interest
in your composition.
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10. Harmony / Unity: using similar colors, patterns, shapes, and textures throughout the composition
so that it all works together.
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11. Proportion: the relationship of parts to each other and to the whole. Everything seems to fit
together with regards to size.
12. Contrast: dark on light and light on dark, when values and colors show up against another color
or value.
13. Variety: need variety in your composition to create interest but careful not to add so much that it
is too distracting to the viewer.
14.Left and right brain: The right side is the creative side of the brain, used for seeing complex,
spatial relationships, lines, forms, textures, shadows and shapes, etc.
Contour Lines: lines that describe the surface and outline of an object or form such as an ellipse that
describes the cylinder form. Blind Contour Drawing: is drawing on your paper while looking at the
subject but not your paper. This allows you to focus on the “silhouette” or contour of the subject and
slow down your eyes and hand so more detail will be recorded.
Note: Different line types suggest different “feelings” to your artwork. Horizontal lines suggest
calm and stability. Diagonal lines suggest action or movement. Vertical lines suggest formality.
Thumb-nail Sketch: small, quick drawings to develop ideas. This allows you to keep up with your
brain and use your creativity more effectively.
Gesture Drawing: Quick scribbled drawing to capture the essence of movement. This is mostly used
in figure drawing to capture a pose very rapidly.
Tooth of the paper: Refers to the roughness or smoothness of the paper you are using, especially
useful with charcoal and pastels to hold the dust particles.
The 5 necessary perceptual skills of an artist: **********
 Seeing edges…shared edges of both the positive and negative space.
 Seeing Perspective and Proportion.
 Seeing the Positive and Negative Space.
 Seeing Light and Shadows.
 Seeing the “wholeness” of the composition, or the “essence” of the artwork.
Medium: the materials that we use to make our art, such as pencil, oil paint, pastels, etc. The use of
more than one medium in your work is referred to as Mixed Media.
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Aesthetic Questions: are questions requiring your informed opinion. They reflect what is considered
beautiful art as defined by visual, moral, social, and contemporary standards. Examples: Does art
have to be beautiful? A painting done on cardboard is not as worthy as art as one done on canvas?
The six categories of art are: Any art subject that you choose to do will fall into one or more of these
1. Architecture
2. Nature
3. Human Figure
4. Animal, bird, reptile or fish
5. Still Life
6. Graphics (the use of lettering)
Two-Dimensional Media…any material used to create art is called a medium. The plural form is media.
A medium can be something as ordinary as a pencil or as exotic as gold leaf gilding. In two-dimensional,
(2-D) works artists use media such as crayons, paints, pastels, ink and pencils. Each drawing medium has
it’s own unique quality and communicates a different artistic feel or message.
The following shading techniques used in 2-D work are as follows:
 Hatching…This technique consists of drawing thin lines that run in the same direction.
 Crosshatching…using crisscrossing lines to create differing values of light and dark.
 Blending…changing the color value little by little. A gradual change from lightest to
darkest values.
 Stippling…creates varying light and dark values by means of a dot pattern.
 Scribbling…non-pattern scribbles that require varying density of lines to create differing
Three-Dimensional Media…a lump of clay formed into a bowl or animal, carving a piece of wood,
plaster, or stone, this is working in (3-D). These media make solid forms that have height, width, and
The following are different 3-D media:
 Sculpture in the round…this type of sculpture is surrounded on all sides by space. Another
name would be “freestanding sculpture”. The work can be walked around and viewed from all
 Relief Sculpture…this type “projects” into space from a flat background. Designed to be viewed
only from the front.
Sculpture techniques are found in four categories:
1. Modeling…a soft, pliable material is built up and shaped. Media such as clay,
wax and plaster. Because the sculpture gradually adds more material to build a
form. This is referred to as an additive process.
2. Carving…cutting, chipping, drilling from a solid mass of material. Material is
removed and therefore called a subtractive process.
3. Casting…molten metal or another substance is poured into a mold and allowed
to harden. It’s a process that duplicates a form originally molded with clay,
wax, or plaster using a more permanent material.
4. Assembling…also called constructing, a variety of different materials are
gathered and joined together to make a sculpture. Can be welded, glued, sewn,
woven or otherwise fitted together.