Last time, I talked about the first few steps in appreciating painting. I said the unlooker should consider the following simple tips:
That Painting is a product of inner reality; and he should understand that there exixts a difference between the Act of creation and understanding.
Now, the next thing to do is to build the association further by observing Pictoral elements that make up the pictire he’s looking at.
- Observe the pictoral element
Next is to build the association further by observing all the elements that up the picture. Understanding them will help one know how a picture is drawn and put together. In fact, pictoral elements analysis is put upfront in making art judgments and criticisms. Pictoral elements are many but their application depends on the artists’ inner feeling and nature of painting. Some of them are as follows;
This is the medium through which the artist wishes to exteriorize a concept. Every painting has a subject, and while a subject is a mean of transmission for the artist, it is for the spectator, a form of reception. Subjects may be representational i.e. may take the pretext of an object familiar to us such as a human being, an animal etc, or non representational i.e. takes the pretext of an unfamiliar objects such as spirals, cubes, etc. for example, in his recent canvases, Joe Musa, D.G. of National Art Council Lagos, studied women and thus, used them as media to exteriorize a concept.
Centre of interest
This is the area in the painting where the artist tries to attract your attention. It is the part of the picture where the principal action takes place. One of Joe Musa’s paintings titled ‘from the market’ portrays a woman (subject) coming from the market with a basket containing some food stuff. That constituted the centre of interest.
This is the most important task of a painter and the ability to accomplish this, gives both the artist and the onlooker, more than any other quality, a sense of fulfillment and well being. This simply means arranging all elements of design; the figures or object, in a manner which makes the picture a harmonious and satisfactorily whole. This gives a certain feeling to the onlookers e.g. the classical atmosphere of a landscape, romantic atmosphere of still life, etc.
This is the manner which the artist applies the paint on the canvass. It is determined by the rhythmic movements of the artists’ hands using the brush. Some brush works may be light which suggests softness, while others may be heavy with heavy impasto suggesting weight or solidity. Every artist has his own style of brush work. It is like handwriting that differs with individuals.
Volume and masses
These refer to visual effects of properties these terms indicate in nature. For example, a green tree that forms a mass in the sky is a ‘mass of green’. The volume of the same tree is the ‘bulk’ of the tree.
This is the term used to describe the relation of different part of the picture to the distribution of light. The distribution doesn’t take the actual colour into consideration, but its intensity.
Other pictoral elements include atmosphere, perspective solidity etc.
It is also important to understand that every picture is a combination of varying degrees of emotion and intellectual ideas subordinated to a central feeling. So pay a visit to an art gallery today and experience the pleasure, warmth and emotion packed in paintings. Buy a painting today and add an incredible beauty and warmth to your home or office.