Wells

How to Look at Great Art-Tools for 04-06

How to Look at and Understand Great Art - Tools from Lectures 4-6

Lecture 4. Line - Description and Expression (08-10-2018)

Notice the lines in the work:
⦁ Are the lines straight, with sharp angles (geometric), or curved and natural (organic)?
⦁ Notice the scale and proportion in the work:Are the lines descriptive (depicting an object) or expressional (conveying emotion)?
⦁ Are the lines bold outlines, cross-hatching, or merely implied by change of color or value?
⦁ What major directional lines can you see in the work? Are they mostly horizontal, vertical, diagonal, or circular? What effect do the lines have on the work?

Ask yourself:
⦁ How do the lines in this work affect my feelings about it?

Lecture 5. Space, Shape, Shade and Shadow (08-10-2018)

Notice the shapes:
⦁ Are they organic or geometric?
⦁ Is there a sense of three-dimensionality suggested in the work?
⦁ Do objects in the work overlap?
⦁ Are shadows visible in the work?
⦁ Is the shape the figure and the void around it the ground, or is the shape the ground, making the void read as the figure?

Ask yourself:
⦁ How does the impression of mass and space in the work influence my reaction to it?

Lecture 6. Seeing the Big Picture - Composition (08-10-2018)

Notice the full composition of the work:
⦁ Is the composition symmetrical or asymmetrical?
⦁ Is the composition open or closed?
⦁ Is there a focal point? Where is it?
⦁ If the composition is asymmetrical, how is balance achieved?

Notice the scale and proportion in the work:
⦁ Is the work itself very large or very small?
⦁ Are any objects or figure in the work out of scale - that is, different from what they would be in nature?
⦁ Are any parts of an object or figure out of proportion to the rest of the object or figure?

Ask yourself:
⦁ How does the composition (symmetry, scale, proportion) of the work influence my response to it?