Vocabulary of Art Essay

Pages: 3 (851 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Art  (general)


Line: Not all artwork contains lines, and those that do not seem extraordinary because of the presence of line in almost everything we look at. In fact, the following image of a painting by Jackson Pollock is composed of paint splatters that seem like lines to our eyes but which are in fact not:


The difference between Pollock's work and the following Picasso drawing is that the latter uses line to convey a specific form. In this case, the artist paints a face:


Line can be understood as "outline" when it conveys the essential features of an object. When a line exists just for the sake of being a line, as in many abstract works of art, the concept of line is deconstructed entirely. A line can be straight or curved and can flow from any one point to any other. Few artists convey the essential features of line as well as Mondrian, evidenced in the following painting:


Shape: A shape can be anything, including a line. Shapes can and often do represent familiar objects such as in a still life painting. In abstract works of art, shapes are non-representational. The following still life by Cezanne is replete with a variety of different shapes, converging to convey the idea of objects on a table:

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The human eye creates a gestalt image based on the way the artist places shape on the canvas. Shapes in an abstract work of art may contain colors or textures but do not generally suggest any object with which we are familiar in our daily lives.

TOPIC: Essay on Vocabulary of Art Assignment

Mass: Mass can be suggested on a two-dimensional surface as in the above-mentioned still life. In Cezanne's painting, the orbs of onion symbolize their mass. However, mass is best conveyed in three-dimensional and multimedia works of art. The following sculpture of an elephant and its baby seems to possess volume and weight: the essential features of mass: http://www.environmentalcreations.com/files/categories/african_aaaaaaaelephantmama&baby_large.jpg

Light can be no better explained than through the works of Dutch painter Rembrandt. In "St. Joseph's Dream," an angel hovers in the center of the composition. The angel is a source of light; light emanates from the angel. Rembrandt achieves the effect via the use of color:


The dark areas of the painting are monotonously brown, especially those farthest from the angelic source of light. Rembrandt uses shades of white to depict the source of light, and uses shades of dark brown to convey the parts of the scene not touched by that source. Therefore, "St. Joseph's Dream" demonstrates how… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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