History[ edit ] Plato's forms, the beginning of ekphrasis[ edit ] In the Republic, Book X, Plato discusses forms by using real things, such as a bedfor example, and calls each way a bed has been made, a "bedness".
It is common for the subject matter to get our attention. All artwork has elements and principles. Elements often together with subject matter create visual effects.
When you see a visual effect it means that some sort of organizing Principle is working. By looking at artwork and responding in writing, you are discovering principles that were used by the artist. The Visual Elements and Subject Matter are used separately and together to create all kinds of relationships, motion, transition, contrasts, conflicts, variations, themes, feelings, meanings, depth effects, space effects, and so on.
If you can find a relationship that creates a visual effect, you have discovered a principle. For example, repetition repeating something tends to insist on being seen and it can give the effect of motion. When you discover principles, you can use them and you will understand how to make and understand artwork better.
For example, a combination of red and orange has a different effect than a combination of red and green. By looking at these color combinations next to each other, you might discover a principle of design. When you see a big shape combined with another big shape it has a different effect than combining a small shape with a big shape.
By looking at size examples, you might see another principle of design suggested. There are many general principles that work to produce effects, feelings, and meanings.
There is an unlimited number of ways to use the elements, subject matter, and design principles to produce effects, feelings, and meanings. This is why, when we solve problems in art, we are not looking for one correct answer, but we are looking one or more solutions out of many unknown possible solutions.
Can you figure out what is being contrasted to get your attention? Interest and motion is added to artwork by repeating things like shape, color, line type, value, subject matter, size, and so on. If a color is repeated in different size or shape it may more interesting than if it is repeated in the same size or shape.
If a tree and face are both green, they are connected by the green color. At the same time they are different unconnected because of subject and shape, and maybe because of size. Repetition can also be used to get attention.
Did you ever repeat a word word to be sure to be heard heard? I almost missed a stop sign, but my passenger said, "Stop!
We lived to tell about it. There are many other ways to get movement. Does a diagonal line indicate more or less motion than a vertical or horizontal line?
Does a curved or jagged line suggest something about motion that is different than a straight line? How does a continuous line compare with a segmented line or a thinning and thickening line?
Some artwork pulls you back into the work or holds you away from the work. How do they make the feeling of depth. Is it with size or linear perspective? Is it with color brightness and dullness? Is it with color warmth and coolness?
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