Art Response

Homework 1

In Chapters One and Two we covered general ideas and terminology about art. In Chapter Four we will cover the formal elements of art in depth. The first element is LINE.

1. Before you start you will need to read Chapter 4 – especially the part that deals with LINES in art and view the presentation.

2. Choose one painting or drawing from the book (not from Chapter 4) and post it with your response. Please include the name of the artist, the title of the work and the date in which it was created. (I chose the one below)


Vincent van Gogh. Wheat Field and Cypress Trees. 1889. Oil on canvas, 2812 × 36″.

The National Gallery, London

3. Describe the lines in that work.

  • Are they continuous or broken? straight or wavy? Organic or geometric? Round or angular? Thin or thick? Of constant width or of freely varying widths? Are there any contour lines in the work? etc.
  • Do you see actual lines/linear forms/lines formed by edges/implied lines? Where exactly do you see them?
  • Describe the direction and movement of the lines. Are they horizontal, vertical, diagonal lines?

Optional – explain how the form (lines) affect the content – meaning of the work.


Related image

Theodore Gericault, Raft of the Medusa, 1818-1819

Description of the lines –

Most of the lines in the work are organic and not straight – representing human bodies and the sea and sky. Few geometric straight lines represent the wood of the raft and the ropes.

Most of the lines are not actual lines but lines created by either linear shapes such as the arms and legs of the people, or formed by edges – for example between the sea and the sky there is a straight line that is created by the two different colors.

There are very few contour lines – such as between the leg of the person lying on the front right on top of a wood beam. Those contour lines are thin.

Most of the lines are diagonal, with the exception of the line of the horizon to the right of the raft which is horizontal. There are many lines in the center of the composition that seems to be going in different directions. Many lines are implied lines – create by a few objects leading the eye to the same direction. For example the body of the dead person on the bottom left create a diagonal line that is continued by the hand motion of the person in the center of the raft that lifts his arm in the same direction.

Homework 2

1. Read Chapter 4 – especially the part about light, and view the presentation.

2. Choose one work of art – either from the text book or another source. You may take a photo by yourself and upload it if you wish, or use your own artwork if you have one. You have to choose a work that uses light in a significant way (therefore if you see a work of art that has no reference to light – please do not choose it). If you choose a work from the textbook please do not use the examples that are given to the topic of light.

3. Attach the picture of the artwork and include the name of artist, title, date.

4. Describe the use of light in the work.

  • Is the light an actual light like in Doug Wheeler’s installations? Image result for doug wheeler installation
  • Or is it an implied light like in this details from Leonardo’s “Virgin and St. Anne…”? Image result for leonardo virgin and st anne
  • If it’s an actual light ask yourself – what and where is the source of light? Is it bright, dim, colorful? is it constant or blinking? One source or many? What is the relationship with the viewer (above, in front etc.). What is the relationship with the space (indoor or outdoor, small space or large? type of space? etc.) How do you think it affects the viewer?
  • If it’s implied light ask yourself – Where is the light in the picture coming from? How many sources? Inside or outside the picture? Artificial or natural light? Can you describe it as a chiaroscuro? What is the purpose/s of the light? (modeling, emotional or symbolic effects, compositional, directing the eye etc.)