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Thread: Visual Art Fundamentals

  1. #27
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    I made up this list for myself last week.
    It's kind of personal and I loosely translated it from Dutch and rather quickly so it's probably not always very clear. Not to mention full of spell errors, but I'm kind of in a hurry now.

    anyway long list ahead...


    Fundamentals of visual art

    Relationships:

    Relationships
    Contrasts
    Similarity
    Hierarchy
    Porportion


    Composition:

    Relationship to the image area
    Line
    Flats (filled in shapes)
    Shape
    Shape-Identity (pointy, rounded, etc)
    Silhouette and negative spaces
    Orientation
    Balance
    Symetry / Asymetry
    Formal and informal composition
    Cut-offs (part of shape falls outside image area)
    Directness, readability vs ambiguity

    Horizontals
    Verticals
    Diagonals
    Curves
    Tonal use
    Lowkey / Midkey / Highkey tonal setup
    Tonal contrast and tonal range
    Use of color
    Color contrast
    Color harmony


    Line:

    Contour
    Cross-Contour
    Types of line, line-identity (ragged, smooth, textured, uniform, etc)
    Line/Stroke economy (using allot or using little)
    Hierarchy within line (thickness, texture, etc...)
    Sponanity or precision?


    Shape:
    Mechanical / Architectural
    Organical
    Rythm
    Relationships between shapes (contrasts in identity, repetition of shape, etc... tied in to composition)

    Basic shapes such as...
    Triangle
    Square
    Rectangle
    Circle
    Elips
    Polygonal shapes with more sides
    Irregular shapes (noisy, organic, etc)


    Perspective

    Spatial hierarchy
    Overlaps
    Horizon and eye-height
    Vanishing points
    Size
    Perspective based on overlaps (eg. Egyptian art)
    Atmospheric perspective

    Field of view / Cone of vision
    1-point perspective
    2-point perspective
    3-point perspective
    Isometrical perspective
    4-5 Points curvilinear perspective

    Shadowcasting, penumbra, distortions, optical illusions, organical shape construction etc etc...

    Basic shapes such as...
    Cube and beam (right word?)
    Cillinder
    Cone
    Sphere
    Egg
    etc...


    Form

    Relationship between shape and form
    Cross-contour
    Soft vs hard surfaces
    Drawing-trough / Thinking trough
    Construction


    Form and light

    Light adds up
    Planes in relationship to tone
    Local value
    Cast shadow
    Specularity
    Form-light and form-shadow
    Core-shadow and highlight
    Specularity and specular highlights
    Mid-tone
    Reflect-light
    Rimlighting

    Basic lighting on cube, cillinder, cone, sphere...


    Value (tone)

    Tonal scale
    Tonal range
    Tonal range of picture
    Tonal range and tonal hierarchy within an object
    Lightest lights, lights, midtones, darks, darkest darks and their relationship to the tonal range

    Composition based on relationships of light and shadow
    Composition based on relationships between the local values of the objects in the scene.


    Light


    Optica and physics
    The human eye and how it works

    Frequencies within the visible color spectrum
    Extraspectral color

    Primary color...
    Optical primaries
    Psychological primaries

    Additive color mixing
    Substractive color mixing

    Range of a lightsource
    Relationship between distance between light and object and penumbra.


    Color


    Value in relationship to color
    Inherent value of a specific color
    Relationship between form-light and form-shadow and the role color plays in this
    Saturation
    Chroma
    Chroma in relationship to form
    Difference between brightness and lightness

    Temperature...
    Temperature relationships
    Hue
    Warm vs cool color

    Compositorical systems...
    Color contrast
    Color harmony
    Color circulation / Color balance
    Color based on tone (as a working method)
    Hierarchy in color-intensity
    Transitions based on color-value (eg. dark to light as in blue to yellow)
    Transitions based on hue
    Transitions based on chroma / saturation (eg. highest chroma in midtone etc)
    Spatial pulls trough colortemperature
    Color temp within perspective and atmospheric perspective (see above)
    Color variance
    Color variance within white light, color variance within specular highlights

    CIElab vs RGB

    Palette building trough addition of hue
    Palette building trough substraction of hue
    Color palettes and their relationship to the highkey, midkey, lowkey tonal setups
    High chromakey, mid chromakey, low chromakey


    Edges

    4-5 edges principal
    Hierarchy within edges
    Depth of field trough lenzes
    Blur and motion blur


    Texture

    Texture approached from materials used (painterly approach)
    Texture approached from surface of object (photographic approach)

    Texture trough tonality
    Texture trough hue and color temperature

    Coarse vs fine texture
    Texture by papergrain vs texture by brushstrokes


    Simplification and abstraction

    Abstraction based on contour
    Abstraction based on form
    Abstraction based on movement
    Abstraction based on light and shadow shapes
    Abstraction based on local tones and colors


    Dynamics


    Rythm
    Contrast and exageration
    Caricaturisation
    Proportions
    Exagerated perspective
    Diagonals
    Light-play
    Direct vs difuse lighting
    Mixing the above to into a hybrid approach?
    Emphasising the materials used
    Keeping the directness/sketchyness alive
    Cut outs (having something only partially within the picture frame)


    Storytelling


    Fantasy vs reality
    Irony and provocation
    Conceptualism and philosophy
    Playing out contrasts
    Climax and anticlimax
    Style-figures
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  4. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by TASmith View Post
    Quick question, what's the difference between acurasee and normal graph drawing?
    A straight grid system tends to put your head in autopilot from single square to single square, with hopes that when the grid is removed it all stands cohesive and reads correctly.

    From what I see, the Acurasee program kind of combines a grid and sight size. By just using a grid, you are prone to chop things up into small units and not really see the relationships that exist. By using a plumb line, you start seeing how things line up and begin the journey from what you think you see to what is physically there.

    The key is that without the grid on your drawing surface, can you judge the distances that exist on the grid that IS on your subject matter. The more you practice the guess and measure method, the more accurate you will eventually become at judging distances as well as noticing places where things line up and form relationships to the whole.

    @PieterV - You have quite a list of fundamental study here. I hope this thread spawns some activites for individual/group study. I am just kind of tossing around in my head how a CHOW/COW/EOW type activity look like if the base point was to work on this list of fundamentals. I am not even sure it COULD be done, or if there would even be that much interest in it. If nothing else, its a fantastic checklist the next time I feel overwhelmed and do not know where to begin.
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  5. #29
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    Difference between Accurasee and gridding

    Quote Originally Posted by TASmith View Post
    Quick question, what's the difference between acurasee and normal graph drawing?
    Well, let me take a shot here...when we use the gridding system, we're basically copying what's in squares. Now, I have no problem with that, but we're not learning to see the entire picture. The Accurasee system is simply a measurement system that helps to find "landmarks" and avoid overall distortion.

    It's not some kind of magical system which is going to help you draw the perfect eye, but it will help you to find the right spot to place the eye and help you to make the eye the right size in relation to the rest of the head. The fact is, the eye we draw may be totally lame, but at least it's the right size and in the right place. Finding the correct placement for features is half the battle.

    In my opinion, both the grid system and the Accurasee system have there place, but they are totally unique. For one, The Accurasee system can be used from life. Also, one does not make a grid on their paper using my measurement system. In a nutshell, the Accurasee System is used to help the artist count off unit measurements and align important features. That's all...the rest is up to the artist.

    If your interested, there are two brand new videos that can be found:
    http://www.accurasee.com/demo.html

    You can see some of my work here:
    http://www.gbjorn.com/

    As with any method, it's not for everyone, but this system has helped me to draw more accurately...even when I'm not using the system. It's also helped many of my students understand what it actually takes to draw accurately...measurements and alignments. The fact is you can do these things without Accurasee (using a pencil to measure and find alignments,)...it's just harder to be precise.
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  6. #30
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    Accurasee Explanation

    Quote Originally Posted by Shehaub View Post
    A straight grid system tends to put your head in autopilot from single square to single square, with hopes that when the grid is removed it all stands cohesive and reads correctly.

    From what I see, the Acurasee program kind of combines a grid and sight size. By just using a grid, you are prone to chop things up into small units and not really see the relationships that exist. By using a plumb line, you start seeing how things line up and begin the journey from what you think you see to what is physically there.

    The key is that without the grid on your drawing surface, can you judge the distances that exist on the grid that IS on your subject matter. The more you practice the guess and measure method, the more accurate you will eventually become at judging distances as well as noticing places where things line up and form relationships to the whole.

    @PieterV - You have quite a list of fundamental study here. I hope this thread spawns some activites for individual/group study. I am just kind of tossing around in my head how a CHOW/COW/EOW type activity look like if the base point was to work on this list of fundamentals. I am not even sure it COULD be done, or if there would even be that much interest in it. If nothing else, its a fantastic checklist the next time I feel overwhelmed and do not know where to begin.
    Wow...I'm impressed. You totally get it. Did you watch the video?

    Geez, I came across your post after I'd posted my response, and to be honest with you, I don't thick that I could have made your point any more clear.

    Thanks
    Last edited by thorkster; November 28th, 2009 at 03:01 AM. Reason: forgot additional info
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  7. #31
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    Hey Peter...great list. It pays to put it down... solidifies ideas. This is really going to benefit me, thanks!
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  8. #32
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    thats a good list pieterV. it reads more like the contents of a good art foundations book A list like that can be quite overwhelming tho, i like to think of the visual art fundamentals in a design sense, as the elements and the principles. The elements being tone, shape, line, texture, space, colour, form and the principles of repetition, balance, contrasts, gradation, scale, dominance. The elements being the visual ingredients of an image and the principles as general rules/ideas of how to successfully organise and relate the principles in an image.. With the goal of creating unity and harmony.. Each of the principles/elements have their own sets of ideas which pieter outlined alot of in his post.. then there are representational drawing fundamentals like perspective, anatomy, gesture etc which i think is moving more toward the fundamentals of figure drawing/ character/enviro design/ creating images from the imagination.. hope that helps
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  9. #33
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    Wow - thanks for all the great posts everyone. Great list PieterV! I like the main categories you've defined. Those are certainly all important aspects of visual art that go into each piece in varying degrees. I think if one focuses on the fundamentals though, most of those take care of themselves - they all fall out of "getting the fundamentals right". That is one of the fascinating things to me - the fundamentals are pretty basic - yet infinite in their expression.

    As one of my painting teachers said in response to "How do you paint water?" (a very common question by the way). His response was something along the lines of, "Water is no different than anything else - it's pretty easy really. You only have to get four things right: the right value, the right color, the right shape in the right place. Oh, and with the right edge - so five." Then he would smile mischievously and return to painting.

    Richard Schmid lays it out even more simply than that - there are only TWO THINGS you can get wrong - "You paint something in that isn't there or you leave something important out that is part of the subject's character". Granted, they're both using somewhat humorous extremes to illustrate an important point - the fundamentals are what it all comes down to.

    Good teachers will always help students understand and master the fundamentals so that the student may express their own vision with confidence and power.

    Pretty much all the great guitar players use six strings.
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  10. #34
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    It might be a bit off topic or at least not everybody will agree with me. But what is also of higher import—especially in a world with such a fast pace at basically everything—is patience!
    I have experienced many times, that because everything needs to go "stronger, faster, harder" nowadays many talented people with great potential throw away their possibilities of becoming a good artist just because of how long it takes for a skill as complex as painting to develop. So, preparing yourself to be, work and develop within a pace reasonable for the individual is also something I dare calling "fundamentals". Without patience there will be no art. Opinions on this matter are highly welcome—I always enjoy a good talk.
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    »Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; for the world is full of talented, unsuccessful people. Genius will not; for unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; for the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and dedication alone are omnipotent.«
    ― Calvin Coolidge
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