Art Appreciation: 10 Quick Tips about Art

10. Try viewing the piece from different perspective and angles- up close and from far away. In which place does the artwork look most realistic? If it’s a Monet, I would assume it would look more cohesive from a farther distance than up close. (For more explanation, please refer to the cult classic film, Clueless :

Tai: Do you think she’s pretty?
Cher: No, she’s a full-on Monet.
Tai: What’s a monet?
Cher: It’s like a painting, see? From far away, it’s OK, but up close, it’s a big old mess. Let’s ask a guy. Christian, what do you think of Amber?
Christian: Hagsville.
Cher: See?

Culural references are always a help for explanation, no?

9. Pin point the focal point of the work, wherever your eye concentrates on will help you understand the movement of the piece.

Referenced from Cornell’s Art, Design, and Visual Thinking webpage, “movement” is described in the following quote:

“Consider how the viewer’s eye moves through the composition. This is what we refer to as compositional movement. In this case we are not concerned with the presence (or lack of) implied motion in the image. We are concerned instead with how the viewer perceives the composition– how the components relate and lead the viewer’s attention.

Compositional movement may be classified as static: that is, movement of the eye that jumps and hops between separate components of the image, attracted by similarities and simply shifting to shapes with related shape or color Compositions exhibiting static movement are characterized by repetition of closed, isolated shapes and contrasts of color and/or value.

Movement may also be classified as dynamic. Dynamic movement is characterized by movement of the eye that flows smoothly from one area of the composition to another, guided by continuations of line or form, and by gradations of color or form.Dynamic movement is characterized by open shapes or shapes that closely relate to adjacent shapes.

The eye will always move through the composition in some way, so there is always some sort of compositional movement. All compositions can be described in terms of one or the other of these concepts – or both.”

8. Try guessing what the art work’s medium is- is it oil paints on a canvas, black marker on cardboard, popsicle stick with paper mache? Check your hypothesis with where the art’s title and artist is listed. Sometimes the actual materials used can be very clever and help with your own artistic endeavors.

7. Take a museum tour. I went the the Dali Museum in St Petersburg, Florida and walked around the room for about 20 minutes. The artwork was interesting but I felt I was done viewing after a few minutes. Afterward that, I took the Dali tour with the docent, I was immersed within the story beheath and about each individual piece- I knew and understood the past, present, and future of the collection’s imagery and symbolism used throughout Salvador Dali’s art presence in the world. There isn’t anything better that  will make you understand something that you may initially detest towhen you understand the meaning of the colors, forms, and styles of work will enlighten your undestanding from other perspectives and make you grow as an individual, whether it be emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, or anything else.

6. Start drawing in a sketchbook before you go out and buy a paint set. Plan out what you want to personally get out of the expereince of painting- whether its the process you are most looking forward to or the end product, planning the composition before you get the water and paintbrush going will help you accomplish what you’re after aesthetically plus you have been practicing and have made several mock ups before you apply the final rendering to the canvas which will train your eye and hand and help develop  the over feel/mood of the artwork.

5. Painting is really a lot of about the process to create a well rounded peice of art- a great tip if you are in school especially is to take short breaks in between painting sessions will greatly improve in your productivity because painting is all about creating layers.

Stay tuned for the  next entry will complete of the 10 Quick Art Tips.



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