Each work of art has elements of unity and elements of variety. Variety balances out unity and keeps things interesting. The center of interest or focal point is the place the artist draws your eyes first. Artists use balance in order to construct paintings. These elements of art such as unity, variety, focal point or area of interest and balance will be used to give you a better understanding. Examples from “Giorgio de Chirico” (The Mystery and Melancholy of a Street, 1914), “Pablo Picasso” (Seated Nude, 1909, Spanish), “Francisco de Goya” (Saturn Devouring His Children, 1819) and “Piet Mondrain” (Devotie, 1908) will be used merely as informational pieces to convey these elements of art.
Some ways of creating unity might be to make everything in a painting a similar color, or a series of repeating shapes, or a consistent texture made with brush strokes. At times, variety coerces the eye to pay particular attention to that object. Variety occurs when an artist creates something that looks different from the rest of the artwork. For example, “Giorgio de Chirico”, (The Mystery and Melancholy of a street, 1914) depicts unity and variety with light/dark (cooler and warmer hues) various shapes and lines. Unity is depicted in the repletion of the square windows, directly above the repletion of archways alongside two buildings.
Variety is depicted in the chosen colors and various shapes and lines. In “Chirico’s” oil canvas, variety is applied by the contrasting of warmer hues aside the cooler hues (light and dark) conveying both space/distance and receding/closeness. The unity and variety in this canvas is brought together through the repetition depicted on the two buildings, the warmer hues and light expressing depth and the cooler hues and dark expressing the closeness. These same principles of the elements of unity and variety, are depicted in “Picasso’s, Goya’s and Mondrain’s” Canvases.
Artists emphasize certain parts of their artwork to stand out and grab your attention. This is called a focal point or area of interest. An artist applies a focal point or area of interest for the coercion of the viewer’s eyes. In “Picasso” (Seated Nude) the area of interest is establish with the choices of color. He has placed warmer hues (red, orange and yellow) throughout the body of a nude man sleeping. “Picass” emphasizes the man by a focal point, using light to contrast the man’s shoulder, rib, chin and ear, thus attracting the eye to various cooler hues and forms. In “Francisco de Goya” (Saturn Devouring His Children) the coercion of the viewer is brought about with the contrasting colors.
Here “Goys” has used dark (cooler) hues surrounding a man and his malice expression. Emphasizing the man are light (warmer) hues, thus depicting the devouring of the carcass of a woman. The devouring is emphasized by, blood (red hue) dripping down her arm from inside the man’s mouth. The viewer’s eyes are first coerced to the facial expression on the man’s face. These same principle of the element of the focal point or areas of interest, are depicted in both “Chirico’s” and “Mondrains’s” canvases.
Balance is one of the elements of art, which is very important to artists and their work. By using balance to guide our attention around a work, artists give structure to our perception of it. Their are three different elements of balance an artist uses to construct their paintings. They are, (symmetrical balance), which means both sides of an imaginary line are the same, (asymmetrical balance), meaning each side of an imaginary line are different yet equal and (radial balance), meaning lines or shapes grow from a center point. However, in the reference pieces of, “Piet Mondrain” (Devotie) and Gorigio de Chirico” (The Mystery and Melancholy of a Street), “Pablo Picasso” (Seated Nude) and “Francisco de Goya” (Saturn Devouring His Children) an (asymmetrical) balance was used to construct these canvases. Both sides of this imaginary line are different yet equal, thus bringing together the other elements of art.
Concluding, unity is the feeling that everything in the work of art works together
and suggest that it belongs. Variety balances out unity and keeps things interesting. A focal point or areas of interest are used for the coercion of the viewer’s attention. Lastly, an important factor is balance. Artists use balance in order to construct a painting. All of the elements of art discussed here play an important role in designing of art. “Giorgio de Chirico” (The Mystery and Melancholy of a Street, 1914), “Pablo Picasso” (Seated Nude, 1909, Spanish), “Francisco de Goya” (Saturn Devouring His Children, 1819) and “Piet Mondrain” (Devotie, 1908) were used merely as informational pieces to convey these elements of art.
Courtney from Study Moose
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