Chapter 2: The language of Art and Architecture
Part One: The formal
A line is a moving point, having length and no width.
A line’s direction describes spatial relationships
Line Quality: can express a range of emotions, fragility, roughness, anger, whimsy, vigor.
Gesture lines: rapid, sketchy marks mimicking the movement of human eyes when
examining a subject.
Outline: follows the outline of a silhouette
Ex of contour: Portrait of Igor Stravinsky by Pablo Picasso
2. Light and Value
Basis for vision
Necessary for art
Energy stimulates the eyes and brain.
Natural: sun, moon, stars, lightning, and fire…
Artificial: incandescent, fluorescent, neon, laser
Most art does not emit light but reflects ambient light (the light all around us)
Drawing and Painting, being flat, creates the illusion of light artificially
In 2D art value represents various levels of light and dark
one step on a gradation from light and dark.
associated with color, red can be lighter or darker
Can be used to suggest three dimensionality
CHIAROSCURO to describe light-dark gradations
Caravaggio, David with the Head of Goliath, 1607– value is created artificially in
Intensity or saturation
Additive color system: applies to light-emitting media
Subtractive color system:
Primary: red, yellow, and blue
Secondary: orange, green, violet
Analogous: similar in appearance, next to each other on the color wheel. Complementary: opposites on the color wheel
Most powerful effect, creates the most psychological contrast
Ex: red and green
Subtractive color theory:
Color can be warm and cool…
Warm color advances into space
Seen closer to our eye
Cool color recedes into space
4. Texture and Pattern
Texture a surface characteristic that is tactile or visual
Tactile, Simulated, Abstracted, Invented
A medium may have inherent texture.
A mosaic is a picture created out of small colored glass or stone pieces, which are
affixed to a surface.
Each mosaic piece reflects ambient light in a slightly different direction and has a
texture that is particular to this process
Pattern: a configuration with a repeated visual form.
Natural, Geometric, Amorphous
Pattern in architecture; creates visual interest
Pattern functions as decoration
5. Shape and Volume (Form)
Shapes can be defined by outlines or by and area of color surrounded by a contrasting
Volume is 3-dimensional
Planar space: the height and width of the picture surface
Atmospheric (or Arial) Perspective
Isometric Perspective – no vanishing points
Oblique Perspective –no vanishing points
Giorgio de Chirico, Gare Mont parnasse
7. Time and Motion
Time is the period that viewers study and absorb an artwork
Motion is implied by: rhythmic r