Begin typing your search above and press return to search.

Foundations of art

A good art is one that has elements of imitationalism (mimics reality), formalism (masters artistic principles), instrumentalism (communicates a message), and emotionalism (evokes an emotional response).

Foundations of art

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  17 Sep 2023 4:02 AM GMT

Chiranjib Barooah


Art is the most powerful form of creative medium in expressing the deepest thoughts, desires, and intellectual ideas embedded deep into the minds of mankind, which has enabled humanity to become enlightened with creative insight in visualising its existence.

What defines good art?

A good art is one that has elements of imitationalism (mimics reality), formalism (masters artistic principles), instrumentalism (communicates a message), and emotionalism (evokes an emotional response).

In simple words, an artwork is called a masterpiece if it is original in style, presentation, and meaning, together with technical and conceptual skills, creating a sense of aesthetic beauty and heightened emotions, conveying a strong message to society, and pushing the boundaries of imagination.

In order to be a successful artist, one should be well versed in the indispensable tools of art that are discussed below. Lines are the first step into the realm of art. The bedrock of every famous painting is drawing, and what creates a strong drawing are lines that help an artist divide space and create shapes and textures in the artwork.

Lines are much more than the outline of an object. They contribute to the incredible expression, rhythm, movement, and harmony in the painting.

The different types of lines are centre lines, drawn through the centre of an art piece to divide space.

Contour lines outline the shapes or objects to show intricate details.

Orthogonal lines create a realistic, proportional art form used in linear perspective drawing. Horizontal lines define where the earth (ground) and sky meet within the context of artwork.

Implied lines are the lines that draw the attention of viewers’ eyes to a particular point in the art. Cross-hatch lines: add light and shadow by adding diagonal lines one above the other.

Form defines anything with volume. The artist needs to observe everything he sees in basic forms like cubes, cones, and cylinders to reconstruct them into an exact shape and size that looks realistic. Good shapes build good paintings.

Drawing is the foundation of all visual arts, expressing the draughtsman’s personality spontaneously in the flow of lines.

Drawing is a form of preliminary sketch, the blueprint of the project. Every painting is built up of lines and pre-sketched in its main contours; only as the work proceeds is it consolidated into coloured surfaces.

The preliminary sketches may merely indicate the main contours or may predetermine the final execution down to the exact details.

Colour theory is the art of combining colours from the colour wheel (divided into 12 sections) in different proportions and understanding their interrelation to achieve dramatic effects and look visually appealing.

Psychology of colour theory: colours have a powerful influence over human behaviour, to the extent that they can manipulate our perception of what is actually there. We can use colours as psychological triggers to influence how we want the viewer to perceive the painting. The basic components to understanding more about colour theory are:

Hue: a colour or shade (the dominant wavelength of the colour).

Saturation measures the purity of colour. Its intensity can be adjusted by adding greys.

value—how light or dark a colour is on the scale of black to white. To increase value, we need to add white, and to decrease it (darken), we add blue or black.

Primary colours: red, green, and blue are the primary colours.

Secondary colours result from mixing two primary colours. E.g., red mixed with green gives yellow.

Tertiary colour is formed when equal amounts of primary and secondary colours are mixed. E.g., blue-violet, yellow-orange

A complementary colour is the colour created when opposite colours on the colour wheel are mixed. e.g., yellow and purple. Van Gogh used complementary colours for vibrancy in one of his paintings. Split complementary-is colour and 2 colours on either side of the complementary colour mixed. e.g., blue, red-orange, and yellow-orange.

Tridic colour: three colours evenly placed around the colour wheel, e.g., red, blue, and yellow.

Monochromatic colour—using only one colour in painting in different shades

Colour temperature is the level of warmth contained within the colours that can be classified as warm or cool.

Red, orange, and yellow are warm colours because they remind us of hot things like fire or the sun. whereas blue, green, or violet evoke calmness and cold and are therefore referred to as cool colours.

Shading is one of the most important skills to add depth, transform a 2D drawing into a 3D drawing, and refine drawing skills. It helps define shadows and form within the various subjects of drawing.

The basic understanding of light and shadow is very important for the correct and realistic look of the objects in the drawing. The different types of shading techniques are: hatching, cross-hatching, scribbling, smooth shading, circular shading, stipping, and finger blend.

Perspective is the technique of representing 3D objects on a flat 2D canvas to create a realistic impression of depth and a dramatic effect.

Two basic elements of perspective are vanishing points,drawn from the object to a point or points on the horizon where the lines meet.

Horizontal lines are the imaginary horizontal lines in the distance that are at eye level. For better understanding, five ways to represent perspective are: Point perspective, containing one vanishing point where all the lines meet.E.g., looking down a long straight road and getting the illusion of meeting at a point in the distance point perspective, containing two vanishing points opposite each other. e.g., when looking at an object from an angle opposed to directly in front. point perspective, containing three vanishing points. E.g., looking at something very tall or looking down that’s too deep

Aerial or atmospheric perspective: objects from a distance appear less detailed and lighter compared to nearby objects.

(e) Linear perspective: the farther away an object goes, the smaller it appears to be. It gives the illusion of distance.

Composition is the intelligent way of combining different elements in a painting. The rules to follow for guiding a viewer’s gaze to the subject of interest and to achieve a balanced, symmetrical, and perfect painting can be classified as follows:

The main subject is placed in a pyramidal or triangular shape on the canvas. Mostly used for portraits expressing power and stability.

Diagonal: shows perspective, distance, or unrest at or near the converging line.

Radial lines: The main subject is placed, converging to a single dot like a spider web. Focal mass or grouping: multiple objects placed near each other are grouped together to express some kind of meaning or symbolism for overall effectiveness.

The cross (or crucifixion) is used in works with architecture, where the main subject is placed near the crossing of the main lines or T-shaped, mostly in religious or abstract paintings.

The Golden Ratio/Mean, which is simply the 1:1.618 ratio, is the divine formula that rules in fine art as it is mathematically defined in nature, like in galaxies, spiral patterns of flower petals, fingerprints, skin textures, eyes, sea shells, etc. There are more details in the golden spiral on the painting that look pleasing and appealing.

Rule of thirds: the most effective way of placing the subject at the intersection of nine rectangles of the canvas (focal points).

Compound Curves: The main subject is S or Z-shaped, which defines a lot of movement and energy.

L arrangement: the subject is placed in the L-shaped pattern, which is good for grounding elements, landscape, and repetitions.

V arrangements, pointing from the eye to the focal point, can be seen in mountains and landscapes.

Besides these, there are other types like symmetrical, X arrangement, C arrangement, Y arrangement, H arrangement, the slide, iconic, rectangle, circle, and combinations of different types mentioned above depending upon the placement of the main subject in the painting.

ANATOMY: Painting human forms needs accuracy, and here’s where anatomy comes into play. It is the study of the muscular and skeletal structures of humans and animals that is essential for figurative paintings. One who can master anatomy can create any organic creature from imagination, like aliens, monsters, beasts, robots, etc. It is very essential for portraits, figurative drawings, character design in animation, fashion, paintings, or illustrations. A quick sketch by observing the poses, actions, and gestures of people around comes in handy to master anatomy and create drama, action, and interest in the painting.

These are some of the basic elements that need to be emphasised, along with vision, purpose, enthusiasm, and a lot of practice, to strengthen the foundation of art and emerge as a successful artist.

Also Read: Shlok Mukherjee Wins Doodle For Google 2022 India

Also Watch:

Next Story
Jobs in Assam
Jobs in Rest of NE
Top Headlines
Assam News