Rosalind Ragans, Ph.D.
Associate Professor Emerita
Georgia Southern University
Rosalind Ragans, Ph.D.
Associate Professor Emerita
Georgia Southern University
About the Author
Rosalind Ragans
Rosalind Ragans is the author of Glencoe’s senior high school art text, ArtTalk.
She served as senior author on the elementary program Art Connections for the SRA
division of McGraw-Hill, and was one of the authors of Glencoe’s middle school/junior
high art series, Introducing Art, Exploring Art, and Understanding Art. She received a
B.F.A. at Hunter College, CUNY, New York, and earned a M.Ed. in Elementary Educa-
tion at Georgia Southern University and a Ph.D. in Art Education at the University of
Georgia. Dr. Ragans was named National Art Educator of the Year for 1992.
About Artsource®
The materials provided in the Performing Arts Handbook are excerpted from
Artsource®: The Center’s Study Guide to the Performing Arts, a project of the
Music Center Education Division. The Music Center of Los Angeles County,
the largest performing arts center in the western United States, established
the Music Center Education Division in 1979 to provide opportunities for
lifelong learning in the arts, and especially to bring the performing and visual arts into
the classroom. The Education Division believes the arts enhance the quality of life for
all people, but are crucial to the development of every child. For additional informa-
tion visit our Web site at
Copyright © 2005 by Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of the McGraw-Hill companies.All rights reserved. Except
as permitted under the United States Copyright Act, no part of this publication may be reproduced or distrib-
uted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without prior written permission
of the publisher, Glencoe/McGraw-Hill.
Printed in the United States of America.
Send all inquiries to:
21600 Oxnard Street, Suite 500
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
ISBN 0-07-830599-3 (Student Edition)
23456789 027 09080706050403
Mark Slavkin
Vice President for Education
Music Center Education Division
The Music Center of Los Angeles County
Michael Solomon
Managing Director
Melinda Williams
Concept Originator and Project Director
Susan Cambigue-Tracey
Project Coordinator
Arts Discipline Writers:
Susan Cambigue-Tracey
Diana Cummins
Barbara Leonard
Carole Valleskey
Melinda Williams
Ed Barguiarena
Rosemarie Cook-Glover
Connie Hood
Barbara Leonard
Barbara Leonard
Performing Arts Handbook Contributors
Editorial Consultants
Cris E. Guenter, Ed.D.
Specialist, Portfolio and
Professor, Arts
and Instruction
California State University,
Chico, CA
Marianne Hudz
Director of Career Services
Otis College of Art and Design
Los Angeles, CA
Holle Humphries, Ph.D.
Editorial Consultant
Austin, TX
Gloria McCoy
Administrator for Art
Spring Branch ISD
Houston, TX
Faye Scannell
K–12 Art Instructor
Bellevue Public Schools
Bellevue, WA
Randy Hayward Jolly
Art Instructor
Warren Central High School
Vicksburg, MS
Joan Maresh
Digital Art Instructor
G. W. Carver High School
Houston, TX
Jack Schriber
Supervisor of Fine Arts
School Corporation
Evansville, IN
Nancy Shake
Art Instructor
Center Grove High School
Indianapolis, IN
Studio Project
Acknowledgements: The
author wishes to express her
gratitude to the following art
coordinators, teachers, and
specialists who wrote and field-
tested the Studio Projects and
Digital Studio Projects with
their students.
Jeanne P. Barefoot
Northwest School of the Arts
Charlotte, NC
Betsy Bridger
Albany High School
Albany, GA
Tina Burke
Providence High School
Charlotte, NC
Dorsey Chappell
Dr. Michael Krop Senior
High School
Miami, FL
Gregg A. Coats
Whitehaven High School
Memphis, TN
Susan Cunningham
Chillicothe High School
Chillicothe, OH
Dan DeFoor
Lithia Springs High School
Lithia Springs, GA
Libby DeVine
Roswell High School
Roswell, GA
Karen Edwards
Robert E. Lee High School
Baytown, TX
Danise Egan
Sheldon High School
Sacramento, CA
Cheryl Evans
Ross S. Sterling High School
Baytown, TX
Barbi Fisher
Westover High School
Albany, GA
Paula Flohr
Sheldon High School
Sacramento, CA
Deborah George
Sheldon High School
Sacramento, CA
Carolyn Holmes
Stratford Senior High School
Houston, TX
Cindy Klingberg
Butler High School
Matthews, NC
Ron Marstall
Riverwood High School
Atlanta, GA
Bunyan Morris
South Effingham High School
Guyton, GA
Connie B. Nowlin
Myers Park High School
Charlotte, NC
Ted Oliver
Campbell High School
Smyrna, GA
Nikki Pahl
Sheldon High School
Sacramento, CA
Lori Phillips
Chattahoochee High School
Alpharetta, GA
Barbara Rosenberg
Crestwood High School
Sumter, SC
Jana Stiffel
Stratford Senior High School
Houston, TX
Shawn P. Sullivan
Sheldon High School
Sacramento, CA
Rhonda Test
Central High School
Memphis, TN
Pam Wittfeld
Myers Park High School
Charlotte, NC
Figure 4.25A, Ashley Sehorn,
Myers Park High School,
Charlotte, NC; Figure 4.26A,
Laura Beebe, Butler High
School, Matthews, NC; Figure
4.27, Jonelly Muñoz, South
Effingham High School,
Guyton, GA; Figure 4.28, Kari
Keziah, Butler High School,
Matthews, NC; Figure 4.29,
Leslie Canales, Dr. Michael
Krop Senior High, Miami, FL;
Figure 4.30, Cristina Ziegler,
Central High School, Memphis,
TN; Figure 4.31, Ryan
Lawrence, Dr. Michael Krop
Senior High, Miami, FL; Figure
5.35A, Travis Trentham,
Stratford Senior High, Houston,
TX; Figure 5.36A, Johnny
Lyons, Whitehaven High
School, Memphis, TN; Figure
5.37A, Aysha Shehim, Stratford
Senior High, Houston, TX;
Figure 5.38, Jomarcus Gipson,
Whitehaven High School,
Memphis, TN; Figure 5.39,
Chris Hibler, Whitehaven
High School, Memphis, TN;
Figure 5.40, Jessica Gibson,
Chattahoochee High School,
Alpharetta, GA; Figure 6.30A,
Christina Parkhurst,
Chattahoochee High School,
Alpharetta, GA; Figure 6.31A,
Yoon Hwa Jang, Westover High
School, Albany, GA; Figure
6.32A, Kevin Massoni, Sheldon
High School, Sacramento, CA;
Figure 6.33, Chloe Alexander,
Roswell High School, Fairburn,
GA; Figure 6.34, Wendy Rogers,
Sheldon High School,
Sacramento, CA; Figure 6.35,
Zasha Hankins, Central High
School, Memphis, TN; Figure
6.36, Michael Gonzalez, Dr.
Michael Krop Senior High,
Miami, FL; Figure 7.16A,
Meredith Curtin, Northwest
School of the Arts, Charlotte,
NC; Figure 7.17A, Elizabeth
Oyer, Chillicothe High School,
Chillicothe, OH; Figure 7.18A,
Kate Castor, Sheldon High
School, Sacramento, CA; Figure
7.19, Teasha Lockwood, Butler
High School, Matthews, NC;
Figure 7.20, Emily Spence,
Central High School, Memphis,
TN; Figure 7.21, Lorenzo
Lattimore, Northwest School of
the Arts, Charlotte, NC; Figure
7.22, Ariel Bérubé, Northwest
School of the Arts, Charlotte,
NC; Figure 8.21A, Haden
Springer, Myers Park High
School, Charlotte, NC; Figure
8.22A, Julie Kim, Riverwood
High School, Atlanta, GA;
Figure 8.23A, Eric Hann,
Sheldon High School,
Sacramento, CA; Figure 8.24,
Anna McCarley, Myers Park
High School, Charlotte, NC;
Figure 8.25, Cynthia Ulysse, Dr.
Michael Krop Senior High
School, Miami, FL; Figure 8.26,
Nkemjika Umenyiora, Roswell
High School, Roswell, GA;
Figure 8.27, Sherrie Williams,
East High School, Memphis, TN;
Figure 9.23A, Olivia Yun,
Sheldon High School,
Sacramento, CA; Figure 9.24A,
Jahaziel Minor, Robert E. Lee
High School, Baytown, TX;
Figure 9.25A, Feifei A. Cao,
Stratford Senior High School,
Houston, TX; Figure 9.26, Brian
Hatem, Myers Park High
School, Charlotte, NC; Figure
9.27, Ashley Noelle Stewart,
Sheldon High School,
Sacramento, CA; Figure 9.28,
Javier Rangel, Robert E. Lee
High School, Baytown, TX;
Figure 9.29, Andrew Albert,
Roswell High School, Roswell,
GA; Figure 10.28A, Jessica
Lamkin, Providence High
School, Charlotte, NC; Figure
10.29A, Anton Prosyannikov,
Dr. Michael Krop Senior High
School, Miami, FL; Figure
10.30A, Myranda DeFoor,
Lithia Springs High School,
Lithia Springs, GA; Figure
10.31, Jeana Raquel McMath,
Myers Park High School,
Charlotte, NC; Figure 10.32,
Nick Stevens, Providence High
School, Charlotte, NC; Figure
10.33, Danielle Hopkins, Dr.
Michael Krop Senior High
School, Miami, FL; Figure
10.34, Ashley Crowley,
Crestwood High School,
Sumter, SC; Figure 11.24A,
Christie Hartsfield, Albany High
School, Albany, GA; Figure
11.25A, Rebecca Brunet,
Campbell High School, Smyrna,
GA; Figure 11.26A, Darrel
Watson, Jr., Sheldon High
School, Sacramento, CA; Figure
11.27, Emily Antoszyk, Myers
Park High School, Charlotte,
NC; Figure 11.28, Joshua Walls,
East High School, Memphis, TN;
Figure 11.29, Debbie Lurry, East
High School, Memphis, TN;
Figure 11.30, Theresa Wilbanks,
Dr. Michael Krop Senior High
School, Miami, FL.
Student Contributors
The following students contributed exemplary artworks for Studio Projects, Digital Studio
Projects, and the Student Art Portfolio features.
Chapter 1
Art in Your World
LESSON 1 What Is Art? 6
LESSON 2 Why Do Artists Create? 10
Meet the Artist: Grant Wood 12
LESSON 3 The Language of Art 16
Art Criticism in Action
100 Cans by Andy Warhol
TIME Art Scene Virtual Art Tours 22
The World of Art
Chapter 2
Art Criticism and
Aesthetic Judgment
LESSON 1 Art Criticism: Learning
from a Work of Art
Meet the Artist: Georgia O’Keeffe 30
LESSON 2 Aesthetics: Thinking
About a Work of Art
LESSON 3 Art History: Learning
About a Work of Art
Art Criticism in Action
Headdress for Epa Masquerade
by the Yoruba people
TIME Art Scene Friendly Art Rivals 38
Chapter 4
LESSON 1 The Element of Line 70
Looking Closely: Line Types
and Variations
LESSON 2 The Expressive
Qualities of Line
Meet the Artist: Jacob Lawrence 80
Studio Projects
4-1 Wire Jewelry 84
4-2 Nature Tapestry 86
4-3 Digital Image Using Line 88
Student Art Portfolio 90
Art Criticism in Action
Plum Garden at Kameido by Ando¯ Hiroshige
TIME Art Scene What’s My Line? 94
Chapter 3
The Media and Processes of Art
LESSON 1 Two-Dimensional Media 42
Meet the Artist: Winslow Homer 46
LESSON 2 Three-Dimensional Media 50
LESSON 3 Technological Media 57
Art Criticism in Action
Mirrored Room by Lucas Samaras
TIME Art Scene The Art of Books 64
The Elements of Art
Chapter 5
Shape, Form, and Space
LESSON 1 Shapes and Forms 98
LESSON 2 Space 103
Meet the Artist: M. C. Escher 105
LESSON 3 How We Perceive Shape,
Form, and Space
LESSON 4 How Artists Create
Shapes and Forms in Space
Looking Closely: Identifying
Perspective Techniques
LESSON 5 What Different Shapes,
Forms, and Spaces Express
Studio Projects
5-1 Free-Form Clay Sculpture 122
5-2 Contrast Drawing 124
5-3 Digital Genre Scene 126
Student Art Portfolio 128
Art Criticism in Action
Woodrow by Deborah Butterfield
TIME Art Scene Architectural Forms 132
Chapter 6
LESSON 1 Hue, Value, and Intensity 136
LESSON 2 Color Schemes 144
LESSON 3 Understanding the
Nature and Uses of Color
Meet the Artist: Elizabeth Murray 151
Looking Closely: Jumps in Color
Value Create Visual Movement
Studio Projects
6-1 Color Spectrum Star Book 158
6-2 Mood Painting 160
6-3 Digital Color Collage 162
Student Art Portfolio 164
Art Criticism in Action
Father and Daughter by Miriam Schapiro
TIME Art Scene Seeing Colors in Art 168
Chapter 7
Te xture
LESSON 1 Texture in Your Life 172
Looking Closely: Visual Texture
LESSON 2 How Artists Use Texture 177
Meet the Artist: Edgar Degas 181
Studio Projects
7-1 Self-Portrait Collagraph 184
7-2 Papier-Mâché Sculpture 186
7-3 Layered Self-Portrait 188
Student Art Portfolio 190
Art Criticism in Action
Football Player by Duane Hanson
TIME Art Scene Textured Buildings 194
The Principles of Art
Chapter 8
Rhythm, Pattern,
and Movement
LESSON 1 Rhythm and Pattern 200
Meet the Artist: Rosa Bonheur 201
Looking Closely: Visual Rhythms
Create Visual Movement
Types of Rhythm and Pattern 205
LESSON 3 How Artists Use Rhythm
to Create Movement
Studio Projects
8-1 Found Objects Jewelry
8-2 Rhythm and Movement Painting 216
8-3 Digital Rendering of Reflections 218
Student Art Portfolio 220
Art Criticism in Action
Nuestra Señora de la Selva by Alfredo Arreguin
TIME Art Scene Moving Art 224
Chapter 9
LESSON 1 Visual Balance 228
Meet the Artist: Diego Rivera 229
LESSON 2 Informal Balance 234
LESSON 3 The Expressive
Qualities of Balance
Looking Closely: Using Formal
Balance to Organize a Composition
Studio Projects
9-1 Ceramic Mask 242
9-2 Radial Balance Mandala 244
9-3 Asymmetrical Balance Painting 246
Student Art Portfolio 248
Art Criticism in Action
Dla’ehl Interior House Post: Grizzly Bear Beneath Kolus.
by Arthur Shaughnessy
TIME Art Scene Tipping the Balance 252
Chapter 10
LESSON 1 The Golden Mean 256
Looking Closely: Using the Golden
Mean to Organize an Active Painting
LESSON 2 Scale 260
LESSON 3 How Artists Use
Proportion and Distortion
Meet the Artist: Pablo Picasso 270
Studio Projects
10-1 The Golden Mean and Mixed Media 274
10-2 Symbolic Self-Portrait
10-3 Digital Fantasy Creature 278
Student Art Portfolio 280
Art Criticism in Action
The Green Violinist by Marc Chagall
TIME Art Scene Art and Politics 284
Chapter 11
Variety, Emphasis,
Harmony, and Unity
LESSON 1 Variety, Emphasis,
and Harmony
Looking Closely: Creating a Focal Point
Unity 296
Meet the Artist: Allan Houser 299
Studio Projects
11-1 Decorated Found Object 304
11-2 Multimedia High-Relief Collage 306
11-3 Animation Movie Poster 308
Student Art Portfolio 310
Art Criticism in Action
Singing Their Songs, from For My People
by Elizabeth Catlett
TIME Art Scene Artistic Roots 314
Art Through the Ages
Chapter 12
Art Traditions from
Around the World
LESSON 1 Art of Earliest Times 320
LESSON 2 Art of Asia
and the Middle East
Meet the Artist: Katsushika Hokusai 330
LESSON 3 The Art of Africa 332
LESSON 4 Art of the Americas 339
Art Criticism in Action
Untitled by Jessie Oonark
TIME Art Scene Saving Africa’s Art 348
Chapter 13
Western Traditions in Art
LESSON 1 The Beginnings
of Western Art Traditions
LESSON 2 The Beginnings
of Modern Art Traditions
Meet the Artist:
Michelangelo Buonarroti
LESSON 3 The Nineteenth Century 366
LESSON 4 Early Twentieth Century 374
LESSON 5 Art After 1945 378
Art Criticism in Action
Paul by Chuck Close
TIME Art Scene Meet Maya Lin 386
Chapter 14
Careers in Art
LESSON 1 Careers in
Two-Dimensional Art
LESSON 2 Careers in
Three-Dimensional Art and Education
Meet the Artist: I. M. Pei
Art Criticism in Action
Book cover for Duke Ellington:The Piano
Prince and His Orchestra by Brian Pinkney
TIME Art Scene Designing Artist 408
Performing Arts Handbook
Chapter 1 (Theatre)
Faustwork Mask Theater
Chapter 2 (Dance)
Martha Graham
Chapter 3 (Dance)
Merce Cunningham Dance Company
Chapter 4 (Dance/Music)
Ballet Folklorico de Mexico
Chapter 5 (Dance)
Lewitzky Dance Company
Chapter 6 (Theatre)
Joanna Featherstone
Chapter 7 (Music)
Paul Winter
Chapter 8 (Music/Dance)
African American Dance Ensemble
Chapter 9 (Theatre)
Chapter 10 (Music)
Eugene Friesen
Chapter 11 (Music)
Chapter 12 (Music/Dance)
Korean Classical Music and
Dance Company
Chapter 13 (Dance/Theatre)
Kurt Jooss
Chapter 14 (Music)
John Ramirez
Technique Tips Handbook 427
Drawing Tips
1. Making Contour Drawings
2. Making Gesture Drawings 428
3. Drawing Calligraphic Lines with a Brush
4. Using Shading Techniques
5. Using Sighting Techniques
6. Using a Viewing Frame
7. Using a Ruler 430
8. Making a Grid for Enlarging 431
9. Measuring Rectangles 431
Painting Tips
10. Mixing Paint to Change the Value of Color
11. Making Natural Earth Pigment Paints
12. Working with Watercolors 432
13. Cleaning a Paint Brush 432
Printmaking Tip
14. Making a Stamp Print
Sculpting Tips
15. Working with Clay
16. Joining Clay
17. Making a Pinch Pot 434
18. Using the Coil Technique 434
19. Papier-Mâché
20. Making a Paper Sculpture 435
Other Tips
21. Making Paper
22. Basic Embroidery Stitches 436
23. Weaving Techniques
24. Making a Coiled Basket 439
25. Making a Tissue Paper Collage 440
Display Tips
26. Making a Mat
27. Mounting a Two-Dimensional Work 442
28. Working with Glue 442
Safety in the Art Room 443
Digital Media Handbook 445
Scanners 446
Digital Cameras 447
Graphics Tablets
Paint Software 449
Draw Software 450
3-D Graphics Software 451
Frame Animation Software 452
Multimedia Presentation Software 453
Page Layout Software 454
Artists and Their Works 455
Chronology of Artworks 460
Glossary 466
Glosario 474
Index 484
Photography Credits 496
1 Virtual Art Tours 22
2 Friendly Art Rivals 38
3 The Art of Books 64
4 What’s My Line? 94
5 Architectural Forms 132
6 Seeing Colors in Art 168
7 Textured Buildings 194
8 Moving Art 224
9 Tipping the Balance 252
10 Art and Politics 284
11 Artistic Roots 314
12 Saving Africa’s Art 348
13 Meet Maya Lin 386
14 Designing Artist 408
4 Line Types and Variations 75
5 Identifying Perspective Techniques 116
6 Jumps in Color Value Create Visual Movement 156
7 Visual Texture Combinations 176
8 Visual Rhythms Create Visual Movement 203
9 Using Formal Balance to Organize a Composition 239
10 Using the Golden Mean to Organize an Active Painting 258
11 Creating a Focal Point 293
1 100 Cans by Andy Warhol 20
2 Headdress for Epa Masquerade by the Yoruba people 36
3 Mirrored Room by Lucas Samaras 62
4 Plum Garden at Kameido by Ando¯ Hiroshige 92
5 Woodrow by Deborah Butterfield 130
6 Father and Daughter by Miriam Schapiro 166
7 Football Player by Duane Hanson 192
8 Nuestra Señora de la Selva by Alfredo Arreguin 222
9 Dla’ehl Interior House Post: Grizzly Bear Beneath Kolus.
by Arthur Shaughnessy 250
10 The Green Violinist by Marc Chagall 282
11 Singing Their Songs, from For My People by Elizabeth Catlett 312
12 Untitled by Jessie Oonark 346
13 Paul by Chuck Close 384
14 Book cover for Duke Ellington:The Piano Prince and His Orchestra
by Brian Pinkney 406
1 Grant Wood 12
Andy Warhol 21
2 Georgia O’Keeffe 30
The Yoruba People 37
3 Winslow Homer 46
Lucas Samaras 63
4 Jacob Lawrence 80
Ando¯ Hiroshige 93
5 M. C. Escher 105
Deborah Butterfield 131
6 Elizabeth Murray 151
Miriam Schapiro 167
7 Edgar Degas 181
Duane Hanson 193
8 Rosa Bonheur 201
Alfredo Arreguin 223
9 Diego Rivera 229
Arthur Shaughnessy 251
10 Pablo Picasso 270
Marc Chagall 283
11 Allan Houser 299
Elizabeth Catlett 313
12 Katsushika Hokusai 330
Jessie Oonark 347
13 Michelangelo Buonarroti 357
Chuck Close 385
14 I. M. Pei 399
Brian Pinkney 407
Chapter 1
Learning to Perceive 7
Keeping a Sketchbook 15
Create a Symbol 16
Using Credit Line Information 19
Chapter 2
Aesthetic Theories 33
Chapter 3
Experimenting with Watercolor 47
Making a Printing Plate 49
Redesigning a Familiar Building 54
Traditional and Digital Media 60
Chapter 4
Analyzing Lines in Artworks 73
Using Line to Create Value 76
Using Imagination to Draw
Lines Expressively 78
Contour Line Drawings 81
Creating Gesture Drawings 82
Calligraphic Lines 83
Chapter 5
Geometric and Free-Form Shapes 100
Creating Forms 102
Experimenting with Space 104
Using Three Dimensions 107
Shape and Point of View 108
Using Shading 112
Creating Depth 115
Active and Static Shapes 120
Chapter 6
Creating Values 142
Working with Intensity 143
Using Color Schemes 149
Mixing Colors 152
Using Color for Effect 157
Chapter 7
Creating Textures 174
Creating Contrasting Textures 175
Imagining Textures 183
Chapter 8
Analyzing Motifs and Patterns 204
Using Random Rhythm 206
Alternating Pattern 208
Progressive Rhythm 210
Chapter 9
Using Symmetry 231
Creating Radial Balance 233
Using Informal Balance 238
Identifying Balance 241
Chapter 10
Experimenting with Scale 261
Human Proportions 264
Drawing the Head 266
Distorting Proportions 273
Chapter 11
Variety and Contrast 289
Using Emphasis 295
Creating Unity 302
Chapter 12
Analyzing Ancient Art 325
Constructing a Mask 338
Sketching an Event 345
Chapter 13
Analyzing Architecture 353
The Gothic Style 355
Analyzing an Artwork 365
Analyzing a Style 373
Describing General Characteristics 381
Chapter 14
Practicing Logo Design 392
Critiquing Animation 396
Using Design for Display 400
Art in Your Life 405
Free-Form Clay Sculpture 122
Ceramic Mask 242
Digital Technology
Digital Image Using Line 88
Digital Genre Scene 126
Digital Color Collage 162
Layered Self-Portrait 188
Digital Rendering of Reflections 218
Asymmetrical Balance Painting 246
Digital Fantasy Creature 278
Animation Movie Poster 308
Nature Tapestry 86
Mixed Media
Nature Tapestry 86
Color Spectrum Star Book 158
Papier-Mâché Sculpture 186
Found Objects Jewelry 214
The Golden Mean and Mixed Media 274
Decorated Found Object 304
Multimedia High-Relief Collage 306
Wire Jewelry 84
Found Object Jewelry 214
Mood Painting 160
Rhythm and Movement Painting 216
Asymmetrical Balance Painting 246
Symbolic Self-Portrait 276
Multimedia High-Relief Collage 306
Color Spectrum Star Book 158
Papier-Mâché Sculpture 186
Pencil, Pen, Charcoal, and Markers
Contrast Drawing 124
Radial Balance Mandala 244
Symbolic Self-Portrait 276
Self-Portrait Collagraph 184
Frederic Edwin Church. The Icebergs. 1861. Oil on canvas.
163.8 285.8 cm (64
). Dallas Museum of Art,
Dallas, Texas.
“Church’s content is idyllic and
majestic—you feel he has frozen
time at perfect moments, captured,
and at times orchestrated, Nature’s
best at the best moment”
—Carter B. Horsley
The World
of Art
Analyzing Context Clues. When
a word is unfamiliar, you can often use its
context—nearby words and phrases—to
guess its meaning. Using context clues, try
to determine the meaning of idyllic in the
above quote. Then restate the quote in your
own words.
1.1 Artists speak to us, the viewers, through their works. Sometimes, they tell a story.
At other times, as in this self-portrait, they express strong emotions. What emotion, or feeling, do
you “read” in this artist’s painting of herself? Does she appear happy? Sad? Explain your reaction.
Frida Kahlo. Self-Portrait with Monkey. 1938. Oil on Masonite. 40.6 30.5 cm (16 x 12). Albright-Knox Art Gallery,
Buffalo, New York. Bequest of A. Conger Goodyear, 1966.
4 CHAPTER 1 Art in Your World
Figure 1.1 is one of
many self-portraits
painted by the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (1907–1954). Kahlo’s tragic
personal history was a driving force in her art. At the age of 6, she
was stricken with polio, a crippling disease.Twelve years later, a bus
accident broke nearly every bone in her body. She spent a year in a
full-body cast and underwent 30 operations. Her self-portraits, which
are highly expressive, seem to reflect a life of physical pain and emo-
tional difficulties. She never appears smiling but, rather, always wears
the expression appearing in Figure 1.1.
Compare and Contrast. Examine the work in Figure 4.23 on
page 82. It is also a self-portrait of a twentieth-century artist. List similari-
ties and differences in the subject and content between the two works.
he urge to create art is as old as humanity itself. Since
the dawn of history, people have used art to commu-
nicate information, tell stories, and record events. Art is
one of the deepest forms of personal expression.
In this chapter, you will:
Identify the purposes of art.
Compare and contrast sources to which artists
turn for inspiration.
Create visual solutions using direct observation
and imagination.
Compare and contrast the use of the elements of
art in artworks.
Art in Your World
6 CHAPTER 1 Art in Your World
What Is Art?
n artwork is the visual expression of an idea or experience created with
skill. Visual art is more than paintings hanging on a wall. Visual art
includes drawing, printmaking, sculpture, architecture, photography, film-
making, crafts, graphic arts, industrial and commercial design, video, and
computer arts.
Art Is Communication
When you talk to someone or write a letter, you communicate. You share
your ideas and feelings by using words. You can also communicate through
the arts. Art is a language that artists use to express ideas and feelings that
everyday words cannot express. In order to experience art fully, you must do
more than simply look at it with your eyes; you must develop the ability to
perceive. To look is to merely notice and label an object with a name such as
“chair” or “house.” To perceive is to become deeply aware through the senses of
the special nature of a visual object. Perception is the result of perceiving. To
understand a work of art, you must train yourself to perceive. Try to perceive
what Meyer Straus is expressing in his painting, Bayou Teche (Figure 1.2). If
you concentrate on his image, you can feel the humid atmosphere of the
Louisiana swamps and hear the mosquitoes buzzing. You can understand
how it feels to be enclosed by branches dripping with Spanish moss. You can
almost hear the water lapping at the boat.
1.2 Straus captured the feel of the bayou by including details such as the flowers in the foreground and
the gray Spanish moss hanging from the limbs of the live oak trees. Look at the figures in the boat. The trees and
swamp overwhelm them. What do you think the figures are doing? What atmosphere does the painting capture?
Meyer Straus. Bayou Teche. 1870. Oil on canvas. 76.2 152.4 cm (30 60"). Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, Georgia.
LESSON 1 What Is Art? 7
others to live each day as if it were
their last. That is what Munch is say-
ing with his striking image.
Social function. Artists may produce
art to reinforce and enhance the
shared sense of identity of those in a
family, community, or civilization
(Figure 12.17, page 332). That is why
many families commission or hire an
artist or photographer to produce a
family portrait. Art produced for this
purpose also may be used in celebra-
tions and displayed on festive occa-
sions. Think of the many forms of
visual art that might be seen in a
paradecostumes, band uniforms,
floats, and dances are all forms of
visual art that might be included in
the public celebration of a parade to
commemorate an important holiday
or event.
Spiritual function. Artists may
create art to express spiritual beliefs
about the destiny of life controlled by
the force of a higher power. Art pro-
duced for this purpose may reinforce
the shared beliefs of an individual or
1.3 The child in the painting appears
pale and calm. She is not looking at her mother.
What is she staring at? Notice the exaggerated
drooping of the woman’s head. What has the artist
done to focus your attention on the sick child?
Edvard Munch. The Sick Child. 1907. Oil on canvas.
118.7 121 cm (46
). Tate Gallery, London,
England. © 2003 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New
York/BONO, Oslo
The Purposes of Art
People created art to record ideas and
feelings long before they had written
words. They used art then as we use it
today. The following are some of the
most common functions of art:
Personal functions. Artists create
art to express personal feelings.
Edvard Munch had a tragic child-
hood. His mother died when he was
very young, and one of his sisters
died when he was 14. His painting,
The Sick Child (Figure 1.3), shocked
viewers who were used to seeing
happy paintings with bright colors.
The work was meant to remind view-
ers of personal family tragedies. Per-
haps the artist wanted to tell them to
appreciate what they had. Often peo-
ple who have suffered a loss remind
Learning to
Illustrating Ideas from Direct
Observation. Select an everyday object
such as one that might be found in the
classroom. Closely observe the object.
Allow yourself two or three minutes to
perceive the object.Then put the object
where you can’t see it and make a list of
all the attributes of the object that you
can think of. Look at the object again and
add at least three more attributes or
characteristics to your list. Use your list
and your observations to illustrate an
idea for an artwork.
8 CHAPTER 1 Art in Your World
a human community. In Pueblo Scene:
Corn Dancers and Church (Figure 1.4),
the artists have created a three-
dimensional representation of a reli-
gious festival that connects two
cultures and two religions. Works of
art have been created for religious
purposes throughout history. Many
experts believe that the prehistoric
cave paintings of animals had cere-
monial purposes, which means they
were more than simple records of
events. The Greek Temples were built
to honor the ancient gods. During the
Middle Ages in Europe, almost all art
was created for the Catholic Church.
Physical functions. Artists and
craftspeople constantly invent new
ways to create functional art. Indus-
trial designers discover new materials
that make cars lighter and stronger.
Architects employ new building
materials such as steel–reinforced
concrete to give buildings more inter-
esting forms. In Figure 1.5, notice
how the artist has combined a variety
of precious and semiprecious materi-
als to create a unique necklace.
Educational function. In the past,
many people could not read and art
was often created to provide visual
instruction. Artists produced art-
works, such as symbols painted on
signs, to impart information. Viewers
could learn from their artworks. In
the Middle Ages, artists created
stained-glass windows, sculptures,
paintings, and tapestries to illustrate
stories from the Bible or about rulers
of a kingdom.
1.4 The figures and buildings for this scene were made by a family of artists. Look closely and
you will notice that some of the figures are made of painted clay, while others have hair made from yarn and
clothing made of fabric. What do the different figures appear to be doing? What does the procession in the
foreground seem to be about?
Vigil Family, Tesuque Pueblo, New Mexico. Pueblo Scene: Corn Dancers and Church. c. 1960. Painted earthenware. Girard
Foundation Collection at the Museum of International Folk Art, a unit of the Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
LESSON 1 What Is Art? 9
In addition, when we look at art from
the past, we learn from it. Art from other
places and other times can tell us what
people did. Paintings such as Anne of
Cleves (Figure 1.6) show us people from
the past, what they wore, and how they
Art as a Lifelong
Art can be a part of your lifelong
learning. You may choose to pursue a
career in art or to explore art as an avo-
cation, or hobby. Avocational opportu-
nities in art include making art or craft
projects at home, taking classes for per-
sonal enjoyment, and getting involved
in community art programs.
In this book you will learn to analyze
and evaluate artworks. You’ll also find
many opportunities to create artworks
and discover the tools, materials, and
techniques of various art media. There
are many ways to make art a part of
your life and education.
1.5 This necklace is unusual because
each unit is different. The repetition of rectangles
and the repetition of materials and shapes on the
different rectangles create a unified work.
Earl Pardon. Necklace 1057. 1988. Sterling silver, 14k gold,
ebony, ivory, enamel, mother of pearl, ruby, garnet, blue
topaz, amethyst, spinel, and rhodolite. 43.1 2.8 .3 cm
8"). National Museum of American Art,
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Renwick collection.
Check Your
1. What does it mean to perceive?
2. Name the five purposes of art.
3. Describe two of the purposes of art.
1.6 This portrait of Anne of Cleves, one of the wives of
Henry VIII, shows what a royal person in the sixteenth century might have
worn for special occasions. The portrait was created before the wedding
because King Henry wanted to know what his intended wife looked like.
He had never met her. Notice the unusual jewelry on her hat and the rich
fabrics of her dress. How many different fabrics can you identify? How
does her clothing indicate her social position?
Hans Holbein. Anne of Cleves. 1539. Tempera and oil on parchment. 65.1 48 cm
"). The Louvre, Paris, France.
10 CHAPTER 1 Art in Your World
folk artists
action painting
Why Do Artists Create?
he urge to create is universal. Artists are driven by their sense of
wonder and curiosity. The creative impulse is often suppressed if one
becomes afraid of making mistakes. Artists exhibit the courage to take
risks. They are able to see their surroundings in new and unusual ways.
They are willing to work intensely for long periods of time to achieve
their goals. Artists who are self-taught and therefore have had little or no formal
schooling in artistic methods are called folk artists. Most artists learn skills
and techniques from other artists. Eventually artists develop their own
unique styles.
The impulses that drive artists to create vary. Both Leo Twiggs and Roger
Brown created art in response to a devastating natural catastrophe: Hurri-
cane Hugo. Twiggs, who lives in South Carolina and witnessed the hurri-
cane, used strong lines to represent the force of the winds (Figure 1.7).
Brown, who lives in Chicago, responded to the same tragedy in a different
way. He illustrated only the aftermath of the hurricane. He turned the event
into a giant postcard in which he depicted the fury of the storm by showing
the trees in neat rows, broken off at exactly the same level (Figure 1.8).
1.7 Identify the door named
in the title. Look at the dark shape near
the center of the painting. How many
figures are standing in the door? What
part of this work tells you about the
destructive force of the hurricane?
Leo F. Twiggs. East Wind Suite: Door. Hugo Series.
1989. Batik: Dyes and wax resist on cotton. 61
51 cm (24 20). Private Collection.
LESSON 2 Why Do Artists Create? 11
Where Do Artists
Get Ideas?
Artists are creative individuals who use
imagination and skill to communicate in
visual form. They use the materials of art
to solve visual problems. Artists look to
many sources for inspiration. Some
look outward to their natural and cul-
tural environment for ideas. Others
look within themselves for creative
Sometimes artists look to their natural
surroundings and record them. The first
group of landscape artists in the United
States was called the Hudson River
School because most of them lived near
that river in New York. They painted the
world around them, paying meticulous
attention to realistic detail. One Hudson
River School artist, George Inness, lived
in Newburgh, New York. His early work
depicted the vast American landscape in
a romantic manner (Figure 1.9).
1.8 This painting
depicts the same event as shown
in Figure 1.7. The two artists
represent the hurricane in very
different ways. What does this
painting remind you of? Does it
resemble an advertisement or a
postcard? Why do you think the
artist chose humor to present
such a devastating event?
Roger Brown. Hurricane Hugo. 1990.
Oil on canvas. 121.9 182.9 cm
(48 72). Morris Museum of Art,
Augusta, Georgia.
1.9 This painting
celebrates nature and industry,
although the two are not
necessarily compatible. If you
look carefully, you can see the
town of Scranton, Pennsylvania,
accurately depicted in the
distance. Why do you think
the artist has included
all the tree stumps in this
painting? What symbols of
industrialization has he used?
George Inness. The Lackawanna Valley.
c. 1856. Oil on canvas. 86 127.6 cm
). National Gallery of
Art, Washington, D.C. © 1998 Board
of Trustees. Gift of Mr. and Mrs.
Huttleston Rogers.
12 CHAPTER 1 Art in Your World
People and
Real World Events
Another artist, Grant Wood, captured
the essence of the Midwestern Ameri-
can spirit during the Great Depression in
his work, American Gothic (Figure 1.10).
The stern, small town citizens posed
before their house. The couple’s deter-
mination was meant to reassure those
shaken by the stock market crash during
the Great Depression.
1.10 This painting has been
used and parodied countless times. Because
of this, it can be easy to overlook the
message Wood intended. Symbols tell a
story: the Gothic window represents the
couple’s European heritage, and the
pitchfork stands for their determination.
Can you identify other symbols in the
painting and tell what they might mean?
Grant Wood. American Gothic. 1930. Oil on
beaverboard. 74.3 62.2 cm (29
Friends of the American Art Collection. All rights
reserved by the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago,
Illinois and VAGA, New York, New York.
Grant Wood grew up on a farm and drew with whatever materials could be
spared. Often he used charcoal from the wood fire to sketch on a leftover piece
of brown paper. He was only ten when his father died, and his mother moved
the family to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where Wood went to school. He studied
part-time at the State University of Iowa and attended night classes at the Art
Institute of Chicago. When he was 32, he went to Paris to study at the
Académie Julian. In 1927, he traveled to Munich, Germany, where some of
the most accomplished artists of the period were working. While there, he saw
German and Flemish artworks that influenced him greatly, especially the work
of Jan van Eyck. After that trip, his style changed to reflect the realism of those
American, 1892–1942
Grant Wood. Self-Portrait. 1932.
Oil on Masonite panel. 37.5
31.4 cm (14
). Collection
of The Davenport Museum of Art,
Davenport, Iowa. © Grant Wood/
Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.
Myths and Legends
Some artists borrow ideas from
famous works of literature. Romare
Bearden interpreted one part of an
ancient Greek legend, The Odyssey, in his
painting Return of Ulysses (Figure 1.11).
The Greek legend, written by the poet
Homer, describes the adventures that
befall a hero returning home from war.
Bearden used his unique style to portray
an important scene from this story.
LESSON 2 Why Do Artists Create? 13
Spiritual and
Religious Beliefs
Visual artists in every culture use
their skills to create objects and images
to be used to express spiritual beliefs.
Many non-Western cultures do not
even have a word for “art.” Those who
create objects do the best work they can
because it is important. The mask in
Figure 1.12 was made to be worn dur-
ing ceremonial winter dances by the
Yup’ik people who lived in northwest-
ern Alaska.
Creative Techniques
Many artists founded new art move-
ments and developed new techniques to
create art. Jackson Pollock was a leader
of the Abstract Expressionist movement.
He studied painting in the 1930s with
Thomas Hart Benton as his teacher.
Benton was an American regionalist
who painted realistic paintings and
murals that celebrated American life
(Figure 13.29, page 376). Pollock’s earli-
est works were in the realistic style of
his teacher. After 1947, he developed
action painting, the technique of drip-
ping and splashing paint onto a canvas
stretched on the floor (Figure 1.13 on page
14). The idea for this style of painting,
which influenced many who came after
him, came from within himself.
1.12 This bird mask was created for
a dance ceremony. Notice how the artist has used
natural earth pigments to color the wood, plus
natural materials like feathers and sinew to
decorate it.
Yup’ik. Bird Mask. 1988. Wood, feathers. Height: 64.7 cm
). Robert H. Lowie Museum, University of California,
Berkeley, California.
1.11 This print is
the last in a series of serigraphs
illustrating the story of Ulysses, a
legendary Greek hero. Bearden has
simplified shapes and used unusual
colors but you can still recognize
people and objects in the work.
Describe three things you
recognize in this scene
Romare Bearden. Return of Ulysses. 1976.
Serigraph on paper. 47 57.1 cm
). Copyright restricted.
National Museum of American Art,
Washington, D.C. Gift of the Brandywine
Graphic Workshop. © Romare Bearden
Foundation/Licensed by VAGA,
New York, NY.
14 CHAPTER 1 Art in Your World
Artists of the Past
Art is not made in a vacuum. Artists
of a particular time period often influ-
ence each other. Artists also learn from
and build on the work of artists who
came before them. Pablo Picasso based
his 1957 painting, Las Meninas (after
Velázquez) (Figure 1.14), on Las Meninas
(The Maids of Honor) by Diego Velázquez
(Figure 1.15), which was painted in 1656.
Although Picasso changed the colors
and used his own Cubist style, you can
recognize some of the figures and
objects that are in the realistic Velázquez
painting. How many figures and objects
can you find that appear in both works?
1.14 This painting is based on Diego Velázquez’s Las Meninas (The Maids of Honor)
(Figure 1.15). Similar figures and objects are present in both paintingsthe artist, the easel with the
unfinished painting, the child who appears to be the subject of the artwork in progress, the dog, and
the figure in the door. Compare these objects with the ones depicted in Velázquez’s work. What has
Picasso done to make the work uniquely his own? Do you think he was exhibiting a sense of humor
Pablo Picasso. Las Meninas (after Velázquez). 1957. Oil on canvas. 2 2.6 m (6' 6
" 8' 6
"). Museo Picasso,
Barcelona, Spain. © 2003 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
1.13 Pollock wanted
to express his personal feelings
when he created his art. He
allowed his feelings to influence
his choice of colors and the
manner in which he applied them
to the canvas.
Jackson Pollock. Cathedral. 1947. Enamel
and aluminum paint on canvas. 181.6
89.1 cm (71
). Dallas
Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas. Gift of
Mr. and Mrs. Bernard J. Reis. © 2003
Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists
Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Keeping a
Creating Visual Solutions Using
Direct Observation. Artists develop
perception and artistic skills by con-
stantly sketching the world around them.
Begin keeping a sketchbook of your own.
Choose a notebook with unlined paper.
Practice using direct observation to
draw anything that catches your eye.The
more you draw, the better you will “see”
objects. Make written notes about your
sketches, such as the quality of light or
the colors you notice.
Ideas Commissioned by
Many artists are hired by individuals
or companies to create works of art.
Graphic designers create corporate
logos, brochures, and many other print
materials. They may also design menus
for restaurants. Fine artists, like sculp-
tors and painters, are often commis-
sioned to create artworks for display in
public spaces and buildings.
Ideas for Your Own
In the coming chapters, you will
need to come up with ideas of your
own for original works of art. Like all
other artists, you may at times find
yourself at a loss for ideas. You can
look to the sources listed in this lesson
for inspiration. The work of your peers
can also inspire you. See the Student
Art Portfolio features in Chapters 4–11
of this book for a showcase of student
artworks and visual art journal ideas.
You will find that keeping a visual art
journal or sketchbook can be an enor-
mous help. In addition to recording
images, you may jot down ideas that
come to you after participating in other
art events such as concerts, movies,
and theatre productions. You will also
find that a sketchbook can be used to
practice skills and techniques you learn
in class.
LESSON 2 Why Do Artists Create? 15
1.15 This painting was interpreted by
Picasso, another Spanish artist, three centuries after
Velázquez completed it. Explain what is happening in
the painting. The princess, in white, has a regal
bearing. She is clearly the center of attention. Do
you see the king and queen in the picture? Who is
the person in the doorway? Can you describe the
roles of the other people in the painting?
Diego Velázquez. Las Meninas (The Maids of Honor). 1656.
Oil on canvas. 3.18 2.8 m (10'5
 9'
). Museo del
Prado, Madrid, Spain.
Check Your
1. Define the word artist.
2. Identify four different sources for
artistic ideas.
3. Why do artists keep sketchbooks?
The Language of Art
eople throughout the world speak many different languages. Spanish,
Swahili, Japanese, Hindi, French, English, and Apache are just a few of
the 3,000 different languages that are spoken. Each language has its own
system of words and rules of grammar. To learn a new language, you need
to learn new words and a new set of rules for putting those words together.
The language of visual art has its own system. All that you see in a work
of art is made up of certain common elements. They are arranged according
to basic principles. As you learn these basic elements and principles, you
will learn the language of art. Being able to use the language of visual art
will help you in many ways. It will increase your ability to understand,
appreciate, and enjoy art. It will increase your ability to express yourself
clearly when discussing art. It will even help you improve your ability to
produce artworks.
The Elements of Art
A symbol is something that stands for, or represents, something else. In a spoken
language, words are symbols. The word chair stands for a piece of furniture
that has a seat, a back, legs, and sometimes arms. In the language of art, we
use visual symbols to communicate ideas.
The basic visual symbols in the language of art are known as the elements of
art. Just as there are basic kinds of wordssuch as nouns and verbsthere
are basic kinds of art elements. These are line, shape and form, space, color,
value, and texture. The elements are the visual building blocks that the artist
puts together to create a work of art. No matter how a work is made, it will
contain some or all of these elements.
When you look an image, it is difficult to separate one element from
another. For example, when you look at Figure 1.16, you see a shiny, round
bowl outlined with a thin yellow line filled with bumpy, red raspberries.
16 CHAPTER 1 Art in Your World
elements of art
principles of art
nonobjective art
credit line
Computer Option. Design a visual
symbol using a computer application.
Choose from the tools and menus to
represent this idea with line, shape, or
color. Hold down the Shift key when
making straight lines or restricting
shapes to circles or squares.Title, save,
print, and display your best example.
Include a short explanation about
your symbol.
Create a
Creating Visual Solutions Using
Experiences. In visual art, symbols can
be concrete representations of abstract
ideas, such as a heart standing for love.
Create a visual symbol that represents
something important to you. Elaborate on
your experiences, such as an activity or
club you are involved with. Share your
symbol with your classmates. Can they
identify what it represents?
LESSON 3 The Language of Art 17
However, rather than seeing the ele-
ments of texture (shiny and bumpy),
color (red), shape (round), and line
(thin and yellow) separately, you see
the bowl of raspberries as a whole. You
visually “read” the elements together.
Sometimes the differences between
the elements are not clear-cut. A line
may be so wide that it looks like a
shape, or an artist may manipulate light
and dark values to indicate different
surface textures. Look at the variety of
textures Janet Fish has created in
Raspberries and Goldfish (Figure 1.16).
When you first learned to read, you
did not begin with a full-length novel.
You learned by reading one word at a
time. That is how you will start to read
the language of art: one art element
at a time.
The Principles of Art
After you have learned to recognize
the elements of art, you will learn the
ways in which the elements can be
organized for different effects. When
you learn a language, you learn the
Notice how the
artist has used color
and texture to
direct the viewer’s
eye through this
artwork. Look at
the number of
different surfaces
she depicts. How
many different
textures can you
identify? Although
the shiny surfaces
catch your attention,
notice the matte, or
dull, surfaces as well.
Janet Fish. Raspberries
and Goldfish. 1981. Oil
on canvas. 182.9
162.6 cm (72 64).
The Metropolitan
Museum of Art, New
York, New York.
Purchase. The Cape
Branch Foundation
and Lila Acheson
Wallace Gifts, 1983.
(1983.171) © Janet
Fish/Licensed by
VAGA, New York, NY.
18 CHAPTER 1 Art in Your World
rules of grammar by which words are
organized into sentences. Without these
rules, people would find it difficult to
Visual images are also organized
according to rules. The rules that govern
how artists organize the elements of art are
called the principles of art. They also
help artists organize the art elements for
specific effects. The principles you will
learn about are rhythm, movement, pat-
tern, balance, proportion, variety, emphasis,
and harmony. When the elements and
principles of art work together to create
a sense of wholeness, unity is achieved.
The elements and principles of art are
often referred to as the formal qualities in
The Work of Art
In art, it is important to understand
the three basic properties, or features, of
an artwork. These are subject, composition,
and content.
The Subject
The subject is the image viewers can
easily identify in a work of art. The subject
may be one person or many people. It
may be a thing, such as a boat. It may be
an event, such as a dance. What are the
subjects in Gabriele Münter’s painting,
Breakfast of the Birds (Figure 1.17)?
Some artists choose to create nonob-
jective artwork. Nonobjective art is
art that has no recognizable subject matter
(Figure 1.13, page 14). In these types of
works, the elements of art themselves
become the subject matter.
The Composition
The second property of a work of art
is the composition of the work. The
composition is the way the principles
of art are used to organize the elements of
art. Notice how Münter has used the
reds to separate indoors from outdoors,
yet she ties the woman to the birds by
using related colors. The woman is
Gabriele Münter was
one of the founders of
modern German Abstract
Expressionism. In 1911 she
joined with other radical
artists to form the group
known as Der Blaue Reiter
(The Blue Rider). She
stayed in Germany through
World War II but was
forced to work in secret
during the Nazi era, when
German Expressionism was
outlawed. Since this was
painted in 1934, it is one
of her “secret” paintings.
Gabriele Münter. Breakfast of the
Birds. 1934. Oil on board. 45.7
55.2 cm (18 21
). The
National Museum of Women in
the Arts, Washington, D.C. Gift
of Wallace and Wilhelmina
LESSON 3 The Language of Art 19
placed with her back toward the
viewer, so that the viewer looks in the
same direction as the woman, toward
the birds. As you learn more about the
elements and principles of art, you will
discover how to control the composi-
tion of your artwork.
The Content
The third property of a work of art is
the content. The content is the message
the work communicates. The message may
be an idea or a theme, such as patrio-
tism or family togetherness. It may be
an emotion, such as pride, love, or lone-
liness. Sometimes you know what the
intention of an artist might have been
when he or she created the work, there-
fore the meaning of the work may be
clear. However, at other times, you may
not be certain of what the work might
mean, and you have to consider all pos-
sibilities. Many artists can paint the
same subject, a woman looking out a
window, but each painting may have a
different message. What do you think is
the content of Münter’s painting?
The Credit Line
Look at Figure 1.17. The credit line
appears beneath the caption. A credit
line is a list of important facts about a work
of art. Every artwork in this book has a
credit line.
Most credit lines contain at least six
facts. They are as follows:
Name of the artist.
Title of the work. This always
appears in italics.
Year the work was created. Some-
times, in the case of older works, “c.”
appears before the year. This is an
abbreviation for circa, a Latin word
meaning “about” or “around.”
Medium used by the artist. This is the
material used to make art. If more than
one medium is used, the credit line
may read “mixed media.”
Size of the work. The first number is
always the height, the second num-
ber is the width, and if the work is
three-dimensional, the third number
indicates the depth.
Location of the work. The location
names the gallery, museum, or collec-
tion in which the work is housed and
the city, state, and country. The
names of the donors may also be
Check Your
1. List the elements and principles
of art.
2. Compare and contrast the use of the
elements of art in Figure 1.16 on
page 17.
3. How do subject and composition
4. Name the six facts most credit lines
Using Credit Line
Applying Your Skills. Who is the artist
of the work in Figure 1.9 on page 11?
What is the title of the painting by Frida
Kahlo (Figure 1.1, page 4)? Which work
in this chapter was completed most
recently? Which is the largest work in
this chapter? Which works in this chapter
are not housed in the United States?
20 CHAPTER 1 Art in Your World
Andy Warhol. 100 Cans. 1962. Oil on canvas. 182.9 x 132.1 cm (72 x 52). Albright-Knox Art Gallery,
Buffalo, New York. Gift of Seymour H. Knox, 1963. © 2003 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual
Arts/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/TM Licensed by Campbell’s Soup Co. All Rights Reserved.
Art Criticism in Action 21
Art criticism is a four-step process for using your perception
skills to get deeply involved in a work of art. You will learn
more about these four steps in Chapter 2.
DESCRIBE What do you see?
During this step, you will collect information about
the subject of this artwork.
List all the information from the credit line.
What is the subject of this work?
ANALYZE How is this work organized?
This step deals with the work’s composition or for-
mal qualities. In it, you note the art elements used as
well as the art principles that organize them.
How are the shapes arranged in this work?
What colors are used?
How large is each can? (Note: Refer to the credit line to
help you determine your answer.)
Are the cans evenly spaced throughout? Explain.
In what way is the bottom row of cans different from
the others?
INTERPRET What message does this artwork
communicate to you?
This step focuses on the content of the work. In
it, you make assumptions and guesses about the
Why do you think the artist made the bottom row
Why do you think the artist spaced the cans as he did?
Form a conclusion about the meaning of depicting
ordinary soup cans.
JUDGE What do you think of the work?
In this step, you will tell whether you think the
artwork is successful or not.
Do you think this is a successful work of art? Why or
why not?
Andy Warhol was born in
McKeesport, Pennsylvania, just
outside of Pittsburgh. He began
his career as a commercial artist
in New York City. He was a
painter, movie director and
producer, and publisher. Warhol
was a leader of the Pop art
movement, an art style that
celebrated images from contem-
porary culture, such as comic
book characters and everyday
objects, helping viewers to see
them in a whole new light.
Warhol’s favorite subjects
included celebrities and product
packaging, as in Figure 1.18.
When asked why he chose soup
cans as his subject, he explained
that he had soup for lunch every
day for 20 years.
Critiquing the Artwork
Andy Warhol. Self-Portrait. 1986. Acrylic
screenprint on canvas. © 2003 Andy Warhol
Foundation for the Visual Arts/Artists Rights
Society (ARS), New York.
Andy Warhol
Museum Web sites offer interactive
art experiences.
magine peeling back the layers of paint on a
canvas to discover a “hidden” image underneath,
or hearing the words of one of your favorite artists.
You may not be able to do that on a visit to a museum.
However, you may be able to do that on a visit to a
museum’s Web site! With a click of the mouse you
can visit the “virtual” Louvre Museum in Paris, or
museums closer to home. Museum officials hope
that Web sites will get more people interested in art.
The interactivity of Internet technology allows
people to explore art in a new, exciting way. They
can get a taste of what the museum experience
offers. For example, the Web site of the Metropolitan
Museum of Art in New York City lets users move
the cursor over the image of a piece of art. For each
spot highlighted, users get an explanation of that
feature’s importance—the symbolism of a specific
object in the painting, for example.
Visitors to the Web site of the Getty Museum
in Los Angeles go behind the scenes to learn about
research projects on some of the museum’s artworks.
The Frick Museum in New York City offers Web
browsers a virtual tour of its exhibits, complete
with audio histories of the paintings and the artists.
Of course, Web sites can’t duplicate the experience
of seeing artworks in person. But for many people,
it’s the next-best thing to being there!
22 CHAPTER 1 Art in Your World
TIME to Connect
Using a search engine, locate an art museum or art
gallery Web site that interests you. Analyze and evaluate
the site. Then write a one-page critical analysis of the site.
Analyze the features of the site. Which appeal to you?
Which don’t? How easy is it to navigate around the site?
Describe any parts of the site you would change or improve.
Evaluate the site’s overall design, visual representations,and
clarity of language.
Evaluate the credibility of information represented on the site.
TOP: A page from the New York Metropolitan
Museum of Art allows viewers to study a painting
in depth. ABOVE:The Internet offers an online
tour of the Frick Museum in New York City.
Building Vocabulary
On a separate sheet of paper, write the term
that best matches each definition given below.
1. The visual expression of an idea or experi-
ence created with skill.
2. To become deeply aware through the
senses of the special nature of a visual
3. Self-taught artists who have had little or
no formal schooling in artistic methods.
4. Something that stands for, or represents,
something else.
5. The basic visual symbols in the language
of art.
6. The rules that govern how artists organize
the elements of art.
7. Art that has no recognizable subject matter.
8. The way the principles of art are used to
organize the elements of art.
9. A list of important facts about a work
of art.
10. A material used to make art.
Reviewing Art Facts
Answer the following questions using com-
plete sentences.
11. Describe the five purposes of art.
12. Name and describe four sources of inspira-
tion for artists.
13. Explain the relationship between the ele-
ments of art and the principles of art.
14. Select a work of art in this chapter and
identify the subject.
15. Read the credit-line information of an art-
work from any chapter and list the figure
number, the title, the year the work was
created, and the medium.
Use the Performing Arts
Handbook to discover the art
of masks and the many ways
this art form has been created and worn
throughout the world’s cultures.Faustwork
Mask Theater presents the message of masks
on page 413.
Linking to the
Performing Arts
Take a Web Museum
Tour of the National
Gallery of Art in
Washington, D.C.
Click on the link at
Explore their online tour of still lifes to
appreciate why this art genre is still popular.
Chapter 1 Review 23
Thinking Critically About Art
16. Compare and Contrast. Survey the avo-
cational opportunities in art mentioned on
page 9. Then research art classes and pro-
grams in your community. Compare and
contrast these avocational opportunities to
decide which one interests you the most.
Consider such factors as time required,
materials, training, and personal interest.
17. Compare and Contrast. Study Figures
1.14 on page 14 and 1.15 on page 15 to list
their similarities and differences. Are light
and dark values of colors used in the same
places in each work?
18. Historical/Cultural Heritage. Review
the Meet the Artist feature on page 12.
Compare Grant Wood’s American Gothic
in Figure 1.10 to his self-portrait on the
same page. Can you identify the theme of
determination in each artwork? What else
do these works have in common? Where
does Grant Wood reveal part of his cultural
heritage in his self-portrait?
2.1 The goal of some artists is to imitate life. Their works are lifelike, down to the smallest
detail. The goal of other artists is to create a mood or feeling. What do you think was the goal of the artist
who created this work? Explain your reaction.
Red Grooms. Ruckus Rodeo (detail). 1975–76. Wire, celastic, acrylic, canvas, and burlap. 442 1539.2 746.8 cm (174 606
294). Collection of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, Texas. Museum purchase and commission with funds
from the National Endowment for the Arts and The Benjamin J. Tillar Memorial Trust, 1976.1.P.S. © 2003 Red Grooms/Artists
Rights Society (ARS), New York.
24 CHAPTER 2 Art Criticism and Aesthetic Judgment
In the second half of the
twentieth century, a new
form of three-dimensional art emerged on the scene. It was the
installation. Installations are artworks made not to be walked around
but walked through as one walks through a room. The installation in
Figure 2.1 is one of a series of creations by American Pop artist
Red Grooms (b. 1937). Pop art is a style of art that explores everyday
subjects and objects from contemporary culture. In Grooms’s “Ruckus”
series, the artist created life-sized environments such as Manhattan
or a Texas rodeo and inhabited these fun, offbeat environments with
cartoonlike characters.
Identify. Compare and contrast the contemporary styles in Figure 2.1
and Figure 2.6 on page 32 to identify the general themes of the works.
Note that a theme could be revealed in the subject matter or as a
concept communicated by the work.
ave you ever seen—or skipped—a movie based on a
friend’s recommendation? We all make judgments
about music, television, and other forms of culture. We share
with others what we like and what we don’t like. Making
such aesthetic judgments about art is called art criticism.
In this chapter, you will:
Learn the purpose of art criticism.
Select and analyze artworks using the steps of art
criticism to form precise conclusions.
Explain the three aesthetic theories of art.
Compare and contrast contemporary and
historical styles, identifying themes and trends.
Art Criticism and
Aesthetic Judgment
Art Criticism: Learning
from a Work of Art
here are professional critics who appear on television or write reviews
about new movies, plays, television shows, videos, books, art exhibits,
and music. These critics describe their responses to various forms of art, and
give you their assessment of the merits of the works. You may not always
agree with their opinions because your criteria, or standards of judgment,
may be very different from those of the professional critic. In this chapter you
will learn about aesthetics (es-thet-iks), the philosophy or study of the nature
and value of art. This will allow you to form your own intelligent opinions
about works of art. You will also learn about art criticism. Art criticism is
an organized approach for studying a work of art.
Why Study Art Criticism?
What do you think of when you hear the word criticism? Do you think it
means saying something negative? This is not true. A criticism can be a posi-
tive statement. For example, when you shop for clothes, you try on many
things. You act as a critic using personal
criteria to determine which pieces of
clothing look good on you and which
pieces do not suit you. You have devel-
oped your own criteria for choosing
clothing through personal experience.
When you look at Alma Thomas’s
painting, Iris, Tulips, Jonquils, and
Crocuses (Figure 2.2), you may experi-
ence confusion. You may not have had
enough experience to develop a set
of criteria to judge a work that has no
recognizable subject. If you are like
most people who are new to art, you
may not know what to say.
art criticism
aesthetic experience
26 CHAPTER 2 Art Criticism and Aesthetic Judgment
2.2 At first glance, this painting
appears to consist of simple shapes and bright
colors. The title of the work, however, should help
you understand what the dabs of color represent.
Notice how large the painting is. How big does that
make each dab of color? Can you imagine the
garden these flowers would grow in?
Alma Thomas. Iris, Tulips, Jonquils, and Crocuses. 1969. Acrylic
on canvas. 152.4 127 cm (60 50). The National
Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C. Gift of
Wallace and Wilhelmina Holladay.
LESSON 1 Art Criticism: Learning from a Work of Art 27
within the work. Your job is to find the
message and solve the mystery.
In this chapter you will learn a special
four-step approach that will help you
find the hidden meanings in art. The
four steps, which must be taken in
order, are description, analysis, interpreta-
tion, and judgment. By following these
steps you will be able to answer the fol-
lowing questions:
What do I see? (description)
How is the work organized?
What message does this artwork
communicate? (interpretation)
Is this a successful work of art?
As you go through the steps of
description and analysis, you will collect
facts and clues. When you get to inter-
pretation, you will make guesses about
what message you think the artwork
is communicating. Finally, during judg-
ment, you will make your own decisions
about the artistic merit of the work.
Step One: Description
(What do I see?)
In the first step of art criticism,
description, you carefully make a list of
all the things you see in the work. These
include the following:
The size of the work, the medium
used, and the process used.
The subject, object, and details.
The elements of art used in the work.
During the description step, notice the
size of the work and the medium used.
You will find these facts in the credit line.
This information will help you visualize
the real size and look of the work. Notice
that Figure 2.4 on page 29 and Figure 2.6
on page 32 are about the same size as
reproduced in this book. Read both credit
lines and notice the difference in the
actual size of each work.
Art criticism is not difficult. In fact, it
can be a lot of fun. At the very least, it
can make the study of art less mysteri-
ous and more logical. Art criticism is a
sequential approach for looking at and
talking about art.
Your own life experiences may also
help you understand the meaning of
each work of art. No one has done or
seen exactly the same things you have,
so no one will see exactly what you see
in a work of art. No one can think
exactly the way you think. You may see
ideas in a work of art that were never
dreamed of by the artist. This does not
mean that you are wrong; it simply
means that the work of art is so power-
ful that it has a special meaning for
Learning art criticism will help you
interpret works of art. It will give you
the confidence to discuss works of art
without worrying about what other
people might think. It will help you to
organize your thoughts. You will
develop the courage to speak your mind
and make sound aesthetic judgments.
As you learn the language of art, you
will be able to “dig deeper” into the
layers of meaning of each art object.
The deeper you dig, the more impor-
tant your feelings for that work of art
will become. This will make your aes-
thetic experience, or your personal
interaction with a work of art, more
meaningful and memorable. The work
will then become a permanent part of
your memory.
The Steps of
Art Criticism
When you become involved in the
process of art criticism, you learn from
the work of art. Critiquing an artwork is
like playing detective. You must assume
the artist has a secret message hidden
28 CHAPTER 2 Art Criticism and Aesthetic Judgment
Look at the painting by José Clemente
Orozco called Barricade (Figure 2.3).
Notice that the work is 55 inches tall.
How does that compare to your own
height? If this artwork were standing on
the floor, would the figures be larger or
smaller than you? What materials were
used to create this work?
During the description step, you must
be objective. In describing Orozco's
painting, you can say that you see five
people. You could not say they are all
men. That would be a guess. You can
describe the person crouched on the
ground as wearing a blue shirt and
holding a large knife. You can describe
the tense muscles that are bulging on
the other four figures, but at this point
in the criticism process, you should not
try to guess why they are tense.
Look again at Figure 2.3. Line and
color are two of the art elements that
play an important part in this work. Can
you identify the other art elements used?
Look at Figure 2.2 on page 26. This is
a nonobjective work. In nonobjective
works, the art elements become the
subject matter.
Step Two: Analysis (How is
the work organized?)
During this step, you are still collect-
ing facts about the elements and princi-
ples of art that are used in the artwork.
In analysis you discover how the principles
of art are used to organize the art elements
of line, color, value, shape, form, space, and
texture. You will learn how the artist has
used these formal qualities to create the
content of the art, which is known as
the theme or the message. Look at The
Piper by Hughie Lee-Smith (Figure 2.4).
Notice the horizontal line that passes
behind the boy’s shoulders. Where are
the darkest colors? Where are the
lightest colors? Is the texture of the
bricks on the wall the same as the tex-
ture of the plaster? As you learn more
about the elements and principles, you
will be able to collect more clues that
you can use to interpret each work.
2.3 Orozco was one of the Mexican
muralists who combined the solid forms of ancient
Mexican art with the powerful colors of European
Expressionism. This work depicts the peasants
fighting for freedom during the Mexican Revolution
in 1910. What could you do to find out more about
the event this painting depicts?
José Clemente Orozco. Barricade. 1931. Oil on canvas.
139.7 114.3 cm (55 45). The Museum of Modern Art,
New York, New York. Given anonymously. © Estate of José
Clemente Orozco/SOMAAP, Mexico/Licensed by VAGA,
New York, NY.
crumbling wall. He is playing a musical
instrument. What is the meaning of the
boy and his instrument? What message
does this work communicate to you?
Step Four: Judgment (Is this
a successful work of art?)
In this step you will judge whether or
not the work is successful. In judgment
you determine the degree of artistic merit.
This is the time to make your own deci-
sions. There are two levels of judgment
to be made. The first is personal. Do you
like the work? No one can ever tell you
what to like or dislike. You must make
up your own mind. To make a fair judg-
ment, you must be honest with your-
self. Only you know why you feel the
way you do. Otherwise, you may close
yourself off from experiencing different
kinds of art. The second level of judg-
ment you must make is also subjective,
but it is somewhat different. At this
point, you use aesthetics to help you
decide whether the work is successful.
A work can be very successful aestheti-
cally, but you might not want to live
with it.
LESSON 1 Art Criticism: Learning from a Work of Art 29
Step Three: Interpretation
(What message does this
artwork communicate to
During this step, you will answer the
question, “What message does this art-
work communicate to me?” In inter-
pretation you will explain or tell the
meaning or mood of the work. It is here
that you can make guesses about the
artwork, as long as they appear to be
supported by what you see in the work.
Use your intelligence, imagination, and
courage. Don’t be afraid to make an
interpretation that is different from
someone else’s. After all, you are differ-
ent from other people. Your interpreta-
tion will be influenced by what you
have experienced and seen in your life.
Your interpretation can be based on
your feelings, but your feelings must be
backed up by the visual facts and clues
you collected during the first two steps.
When you look at Figure 2.4, you see
a crumbling wall with the shadow of a
neatly shaped modern building falling
on it. Then you notice the boy standing
between the modern building and the
2.4 Your
interpretation of this
work will depend on
the clues you have
collected during the
first two steps of art
and analysisplus
your personal life
experiences. People
have different
experiences which
will produce a variety
of interpretations, all
of which could be
Hughie Lee-Smith. The
Piper. 1953. Oil on canvas.
55.9 89.5 cm. (22
). Detroit Institute
of Arts, Detroit, Michigan.
Gift of Mr. and Mrs.
Stanley J. Winkelman.
© Hughie Lee-
Smith/Licensed by VAGA,
New York, NY.
30 CHAPTER 2 Art Criticism and Aesthetic Judgment
To make a judgment, you must take
your time. Figure 2.5 is a painting by
Georgia O’Keeffe. To judge this painting,
first think about how you would
describe the subject of the painting.
Then consider how the artist has
arranged the art elements according to
the art principles in order to create the
composition. Notice how she has used
shading to make the skull look solid and
the drapery look like a hanging banner.
However, she has painted the red bor-
ders and the black shape behind the
skull flat. Then, think about the feeling
the painting gives you. By taking time to
look at and describe, analyze, and inter-
pret what you think the meaning of the
painting might be, you will be able to
make an intelligent judgment. Ask your-
self, is this a work of artistic merit? Is it
From the time she was a child, Georgia O’Keeffe knew she was going to be an
artist. She studied with several teachers. At age 29, she decided to focus totally
on nature and she burned her earlier works in order to start fresh, emphasizing
shapes and forms. The flower paintings that made her famous were begun at
this time. She painted her flowers big so that they would take viewers by sur-
prise. She continued following her own vision throughout her long life, never
being pulled into any of the many movements that have dominated the Ameri-
can art scene during the twentieth century.
O'Keeffe loved to see “connections” in the shapes of ordinary things. After
painting a shell and shingle many times, she painted a mountain. It was only
later that she realized that she had given the mountain the same shape as the
shell and the shingle. She saw beautiful forms everywhere, even in the most
unusual places, such as the vast desert spaces and parched bones found near her
home in New Mexico.
American, 1887–1986
Check Your
1. What is aesthetics?
2. Name and describe the four steps of
art criticism in order.
2.5 Georgia O’Keeffe loved the West. She
shocked the public with paintings of objects from her
environment that people were not used to seeing hanging on
a wall. She painted Cow’s Skull: Red, White, and Blue because
she wanted to create something uniquely American. Do you
think she succeeded?
Georgia O’Keeffe. Cow’s Skull: Red, White, and Blue. 1931. Oil on canvas.
101.3 91.1 cm (39
). The Metropolitan Museum of Art,
New York, New York. The Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1952. (52.203).
© 2003 The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS),
New York.
esthetics is a branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and
value of art. Physical beauty was once the only criterion for judging
the quality of art. Today, artwork is judged by a different set of criteria and
instead of being called “beautiful,” a good work of art is called “successful.”
Some successful works of art may not look pretty, but they may be well-
organized, and/or elicit emotional responses from viewers.
Aesthetic Theories and the Quality of Art
The aesthetic qualities that are discussed most often by aestheticians
(specialists in aesthetics) are the literal qualities, the formal qualities, and
the expressive qualities. These are directly related to the properties of art dis-
cussed in Chapter 1 on pages 18 and 19: subject, composition, and content.
The literal qualities are the realistic qualities that appear in the subject of the
work. For instance, if the artist depicts a realistic figure of a man on a horse,
the literal qualities of the work are the images of a man on a horse. The for-
mal qualities, or the organization of the elements of art by the principles of art, are
found when you look at the composition of the work. Does it look balanced?
Is there a rhythmic quality? Is there variety? Has the artist made a unified
work of art? These are the types of questions one must ask to determine
how well-organized a work is. The expressive qualities, or those qualities
that convey ideas and moods, are those you notice when you study the content
of a work. Is there something in the work that makes you feel a certain
emotion or conveys an idea to you?
The three aesthetic theories of art criticism are most commonly referred to
as Imitationalism, Formalism, and Emotionalism.
Imitationalism and Literal Qualities
Some critics think that the most important thing about a work of art is the
realistic presentation of subject matter. It is their opinion that a work is suc-
cessful if it looks like and reminds the viewer of what he or she sees in the
real world. People with this point of view feel that an artwork should imitate
life, that it should look lifelike, before it can be considered successful. This
aesthetic theory, called Imitationalism, focuses on realistic representation.
Formalism and Formal Qualities
Other critics think that composition is the most important factor in a work
of art. This aesthetic theory, called Formalism, places emphasis on the formal
qualities, the arrangement of the elements of art using the principles of art.
LESSON 2 Aesthetics: Thinking About a Work of Art 31
Aesthetics: Thinking About
a Work of Art
literal qualities
formal qualities
expressive qualities
32 CHAPTER 2 Art Criticism and Aesthetic Judgment
Emotionalism and Expressive
This theory is concerned with the
content of the work of art. Some critics
claim that no object can be considered
art if it fails to arouse an emotional
response in the viewer. The expressive
qualities are the most important to
them. Their theory, called Emotional-
ism, requires that a work of art must arouse
a response of feelings, moods, or emotions in
the viewer.
Look at Papiamento by Julio Larraz
(Figure 2.6). You may use the theory of
Imitationalism to judge this work as
successful because the artist has painted
everything very accurately. You can rec-
ognize the texture of the freshly
pressed, white cotton dress, the light
flickering on the large, tropical leaves,
the texture of the trunk of the palm
tree, the palm fronds, the yellow sand of
the beach, and the beautiful blue of the
Caribbean waters. Someone else may
choose the theory of Formalism to judge
the work as successful because the artist
has arranged the objects so that the
foreground is in shadow and the back-
ground glows brightly with sunshine. A
third person may choose the theory of
Emotionalism because of the mysterious
mood created by hiding the woman in
the shadow of the tree, or because the
painting may arouse in the viewer emo-
tional associations with memories of a
vacation on a Caribbean island.
You can judge art using just one aes-
thetic theory or more than one, depend-
ing on the type of art and your own
purposes. If you limit yourself to using
only one theory, however, you may
miss some exciting discoveries in a
work. Perhaps the best method is to
use all three. Then you will be able to
discover as much as possible about a
particular piece of art.
2.6 Notice how the artist has blended the woman into the painting. You don’t see her until
you look carefully. What may have been the artist’s reasons for doing this? The title of this work, Papiamento,
is the name of a language spoken in the Antilles. What else could you find out about the work and its artist
that might help you to understand it better?
Julio Larraz. Papiamento. 1987. Oil on canvas. 143.5 209.5 cm (56
). Courtesy of Nohra Haime Gallery, New York,
New York.
LESSON 2 Aesthetics: Thinking About a Work of Art 33
Judging Functional Objects
You can use art criticism to make
aesthetic judgments about functional
objects such as cars, shoes, or fine china.
The objects in Figure 2.7 are an exam-
ple. In criticizing functional objects, you
follow the first two steps of art criti-
cism—description and analysis—
as described earlier. However, during
the third step, interpretation, you must
consider the purpose of the object as its
meaning. In the last step, judgment, you
must consider if the object works when
it is used. That is, does it look like it will
function properly? A chair may look
beautiful, but if it is not comfortable to
sit in, then it does not function properly.
It is unsuccessful.
When you study a ceremonial object
from a culture you are not familiar with,
refer to the title and your observations
during the first two steps of art criticism.
During interpretation, you must imag-
ine the function of the object and then
judge it using one of the three aesthetic
theories. Finally, research the object
using the art history operations in the
next lesson and refine your interpreta-
tion and judgment.
Applying Your Skills. Select one large
work of art in this book. Show the pic-
ture to at least three people outside of
class. Ask them whether they like the
work.Then ask them to tell you why they
like or dislike the work. Classify their
answers according to the three aesthetic
theories of art: Imitationalism, Formalism,
or Emotionalism.
2.7 These chairs are appealing to the eye, but are they
successful as functional objects? To find out, you will have to apply
the steps of art criticism. Do they appear to be the right height for
sitting? Would they provide enough back support? Is the padding
thick enough for comfort?
John Dunnigan. Slipper Chairs. 1990. Purpleheart wood with silk upholstery.
Left: 67.9 64.8 58.4 cm (26
23). Right: 110.5 66.7 61 cm
24). © John Dunnigan. Renwick Gallery, National Museum of
American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Check Your
1. What are the three aesthetic qualities
most often discussed by art critics?
2. What is Imitationalism?
3. Compare and contrast Formalism
and Emotionalism.
4. How does judging functional objects
differ from judging fine art?
Judging Your Own Artwork
Art criticism will help you use critical
thinking to analyze your own works of
art. The four steps of art criticism will
help you be as honest and unbiased as
possible. When you apply all four of the
steps of art criticism to your work, you
should find out why your work either
needs improvement or is a success.
Art History: Learning
About a Work of Art
ou can develop your appreciation for a work of art by gathering informa-
tion about the artist and the time period in which the work was created.
This is the historical and cultural context of the work. The art history oper-
ations are a four-step approach for organizing the way you gather information about
a work of art. The names for the four steps of art history operations are the
same as the four steps for art criticism: description, analysis, interpretation, and
judgment. For art history operations, however, there are different definitions
for the terms and different questions to be answered.
Description. When, where, and by whom was the work done?
Analysis. What is the style of the work and can the work be associated
with an art movement?
Interpretation. How did time and place affect the artist’s style, in terms
of subject matter, composition, and content?
Judgment. Is the work considered to be significant in the history of art?
Step One:
During this step you will look for
information about the work of art.
You want to know who did it, when,
and where it was done. If you were
looking at an original work of art, you
would look for the artist's signature
and the date on the work itself. In
this book, because the works have
been reduced to fit on the page, you
will probably not be able to see the
artist’s signature or the date on the
work. You will find that information
in the credit line, however. If you
look at the credit line for Figure 2.8,
you will discover that this painting
was created by the same artist who
painted Figure 2.9, Ernst Ludwig
Kirchner. Figure 2.9 was painted in
1907. Compare that date to Figure 2.8.
art history operations
individual style
34 CHAPTER 2 Art Criticism and Aesthetic Judgment
2.8 The objects in this work are easy to recognizetrees,
mountains, and night skybut the colors are not what you might expect.
Why do you think the artist used these colors? What does he appear to
be saying?
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Winter Landscape in Moonlight. 1919. Oil on canvas. 120.7
120.7 cm (47
). Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, Michigan. Gift of Curt
Valentin in memory of the occasion of Dr. William R. Valentiner’s 60th birthday.
LESSON 3 Art History: Learning About a Work of Art 35
Which was painted earlier? To learn
more about Kirchner, such as where
and when he lived, you would need to
do some further research.
Step Two: Analysis
During analysis, you examine the
work and look for information about
the artist’s style. Style is like handwrit-
ing. No two people have exactly the
same handwriting and no two artists
have exactly the same style. Individual
style is the artist’s personal way of using
the elements and principles of art to express
feelings and ideas. To analyze the style of
one artist, you will need to see several
works by the same artist. When you
look at Figure 2.8 and Figure 2.9, you
can easily see the unique aspects of the
artist’s style: his unusual use of color
and his exaggeration of shapes for
expressive effect.
Step Three:
In order to find the answers for this
step you will have to do some research.
You will discover that the artist was
active in a group of young, adventurous
artists in Germany who called them-
selves Die Brücke (The Bridge) and that
their work was part of a larger move-
ment known as German Expressionism.
In order to interpret his work, you would
need to find out what other artists influ-
enced him, details about his life, and
information about his surroundings.
Step Four: Judgment
Once again you must research to find
out the importance of this work in the
history of art. You must discover what
different art historians have to say about
Kirchner and use their assessments to
help you shape your own. You can also
discover if Kirchner influenced other
artists, which would help you judge his
As you study the information in this
book and learn more about the language
of art, you will begin to acquire informa-
tion from works of art. You will learn
more about the artists who created the
works. In Chapters 12 and 13, you will
find a brief overview of art history. Refer
to these chapters to learn more about art
movements and time periods as you
encounter them throughout the book.
2.9 Spend a few moments describing this work. What is
its most unusual feature? What is the subject matter? Then compare it
to Figure 2.8, also by the same artist. What are the similarities and
differences between the artworks? Can you draw any conclusions about
Kirchner’s individual style?
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Seated Woman. 1907. Oil on canvas. 80.6 91.1 cm (31
). The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, Minnesota. The John R. Van
Derlip Fund.
Check Your
1. What are the art history operations?
2. Describe each of the steps of art his-
tory operations.
3. What is individual style?
36 CHAPTER 2 Art Criticism and Aesthetic Judgment
Yoruba people, Nigeria, Ekiti, Osi-llorin area. Headdress for Epa Masquerade. First half of the
twentieth century. Carved wood and pigment. 127 50.8 45.7 cm (50 20 18).
Collection of the Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, Alabama.
Art Criticism in Action 37
Figure 2.10 is a mask-headdress. When it is worn, the
performer’s body is covered with fresh palm fronds.
DESCRIBE What do you see?
Read the credit line for information about this work.
List the information from the credit line.
Do you recognize any objects or figures? Describe them.
Based on its size and the materials used, do you think
the work is heavy or light? Explain.
ANALYZE How is this work organized?
This step deals with the formal qualities. It is a clue-
collecting step.You will note the art elements used
as well as the art principles that organize them.
What shape is repeated on the horse’s platform?
Where do you find the same repeated shapes?
What proportion of this sculpture is the helmet-mask?
INTERPRET What message does this artwork
communicate to you?
The third step is concerned with content.This is
where you make guesses about the meaning of the
work. Remember that you do not need to know what
the artist meant. Instead, decide what this headdress
communicates to you.
From the measurements given in the credit line, do
you think the helmet section is a hat or a mask?
Why is this work decorated with painted patterns?
On what type of occasion would you imagine the
headdress is worn? By whom is it worn? Explain.
What do you think it would feel like to have your body
covered with palm fronds and the headdress on your
head? How would you want to move?
What do you think this headdress communicates?
Write a brief story or poem about this mask-headdress.
JUDGE What do you think of the work?
Now, you are ready to make an aesthetic judgment.
Do you think this is a successful ceremonial work of
art? Use one or more of the three aesthetic theories
explained in this chapter to defend your judgment.
The Yoruba people, who
number over 12 million, live in
southwest Nigeria and southern
Benin.They are the most urban of
all African groups.Their founding
city, Ile-Ife, was the center of a
successful city-state in the
eleventh century. The masquer-
ade, for which headdresses like
this one are designed, is a multi-
media event. It involves costumes,
music, dance, drama, and poetry.
The audience participates in it.
This complex headdress is, thus,
meant not only to be seen in a
static setting but also to be worn
in a performance. Imagine the
play of light and shadow as a
performer covered with palm
fronds wears this headdress and
moves in time with the music and
the storytelling.
Critiquing the Artwork
Court drummers of the Timi of Ede. Yoruba.
Ede, southwestern Nigeria. Werner Forman
Archive/Art Resource, NY.
The Yoruba People
Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse did not
always judge each other’s work kindly.
ablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, two leaders of
the twentieth-century art world, were rivals.
Each thought he was the better painter. Each was
jealous of the other’s fame. The two, however,
respected and influenced each other’s work. Picasso
showed his respect for Matisse in a painting he
created a year after Matisse’s death in 1954. Like
Matisse’s Red Interior Still Life on a Blue Table, Picasso’s
Studio of “La Californie” shows the artist’s workplace.
But unlike Matisse’s happy, colorful space, Picasso’s
studio is bleak and dark, with no bright colors.
These two paintings were part of an exhibit at
the Tate Modern Museum in London that brought
Picasso and Matisse “together” by hanging their
canvases side by side. Visitors got a chance to
compare similarities in the artists’ styles. Both were
interested in African art. Both were fascinated with
collage, and with the female form. While Matisse
was known for using bold colors and simple, yet
energetic lines, he sometimes painted in the style
of Cubism, a complex style invented by Picasso.
Sometimes Picasso used bright colors and painted
unusually dressed women. These characteristics are
typically associated with Matisse.
Hanging the artists’ works next to each other
was an idea that would have made sense to Picasso.
He said at the end of his life, “You’ve got to be able
to picture side by side everything Matisse and I
were doing at the time.” Picasso added, “No one
has looked at Matisse’s paintings more carefully
than I; and no one has looked at mine more
carefully than him.”
TIME to Connect
Matisse and Picasso sometimes inspired each other in
their work—even if it was in the form of competition.
Write a personal narrative describing who inspires you to
achieve your goals and to do your best. Be sure to include a
brief character sketch of that person, supporting your story
with specific examples of how the person inspired you.
38 CHAPTER 2 Art Criticism and Aesthetic Judgment
TOP: Henri Matisse’s Red Interior Still Life
on a Blue Table. ABOVE: Pablo Picasso’s Studio
of “La Californie.
Dance pioneer Martha
Graham uses the aesthetic
qualities in the development
of her modern dances. See how Graham uses
literal qualities, design qualities, and expressive
qualities through the use of body movement
on page 414.
Building Vocabulary
On a separate sheet of paper, write the term
that best matches each definition given below.
1. Standards of judgment.
2. An organized approach for studying a work
of art.
3. The art criticism step in which you make a
list of all the things you see in a work of art.
4. The art criticism step in which you discover
how the principles of art are used to orga-
nize the art elements of line, color, shape,
form, space, and texture.
5. The art criticism step in which you explain
or tell the meaning or mood of the work.
6. The art criticism step in which you deter-
mine the degree of artistic merit of the work.
7. The aesthetic theory that focuses on realistic
8. The aesthetic theory that places emphasis on
the formal qualities.
9. The aesthetic theory that requires that a
work of art must arouse a response of feel-
ings, moods, or emotions in the viewer.
Reviewing Art Facts
Answer the following questions using com-
plete sentences.
10. What will learning the steps of art criticism
help you develop?
11. Define the four steps of art criticism.
12. Describe the three aesthetic theories.
13. If the organization of an artwork is most
important to an art critic, which aesthetic
theory would he or she hold?
14. When criticizing functional objects, what
must you consider during interpretation
besides beauty?
15. In what ways are the steps of art criticism
different from the steps of art history oper-
ations? In what ways are they similar?
Museum curators
need to be skilled in
art criticism to
select, analyze, and
write about artworks for exhibitions.Visit to compare and contrast
career opportunities in art.
Thinking Critically About Art
16. Apply. Select something from your home
that is used solely for aesthetic purposes.
Critique it using the four steps of art criti-
cism. When you are finished, ask yourself
if the object seems different than it did
before. Has your opinion of the object
17. Analyze. Find a movie critic’s review of a
current film in a newspaper or magazine.
Read it carefully. Try to find statements that
fit each of the four steps of art criticism.
18. Historical/Cultural Heritage. Learn
about Georgia O’Keeffe’s exploration of
nature and natural objects in the Meet the
Artist feature on page 30. Nature was a
major theme in O’Keeffe’s work. Compare
and contrast her depiction of nature in the
artwork on pages 316–317 with Ernst
Kirchner’s depiction of a similar scene in
Figure 2.8 on page 34.
Linking to the
Performing Arts
Chapter 2 Review 39
40 CHAPTER 3 The Media and Processes of Art
3.1 This artist has developed new ways to use the process of glassblowing to create
large sculptures and installations. He calls the objects in this window installation “flowers.” Compare
and contrast these glass flowers to the flowers painted by van Gogh in Figure 7.8 on page 178.
Dale Chihuly. Malina Window (detail). 1993. Handblown glass and steel. 4.87 4.87 m (16 16). Detroit, Michigan.
Traditionally, glass has
been a medium of the
craftsperson used to make small, decorative works of art.American
artist Dale Chihuly (b. 1941) has revolutionized the process of glass-
blowing to create monumental forms. His works appear in some
200 museums worldwide. His creations have been grouped into series.
These include handblown glass baskets, sea forms, flowers, chandeliers,
and huge installations, which include the 16-foot-square window in
Figure 3.1. The window graces the lobby of a corporate headquar-
ters. Its purpose, according to the artist, was to make “a difficult view
beautiful.What do you think he meant by this statement? In other
words, what do you think is the view outside this window?
Compare and Contrast. Examine Figure 6.2 on page 136. Like
Figure 3.1, these windows were created by an artist renowned for his
inventive and beautiful glass designs. Compare the work of Chihuly and
Chagall to identify the general trend or style each work shows.
rtists communicate with viewers through a variety
of materials, tools, and techniques. Some artists
“speak” with paint, others with marble. The artist respon-
sible for the artwork in Figure 3.1 communicates with
handblown glass. What do the see-through forms, colors,
and patterns of this artwork communicate to you?
In this chapter, you will:
Compare and contrast the media used in
drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpting.
Describe the media of crafts and architecture.
Demonstrate the effective use of art media and
tools in original works.
Identify technological media.
The Media and
Processes of Art
Tw o-Dimensional Media
ackson Pollock dripped paint onto canvas in Figure 1.13 on page 14. Leo
Twiggs used dyes and wax resist on cotton in Figure 1.7 on page 10. Each
of these artists created a two-dimensional work of art using different materi-
als. Any material used to create art is called a medium. The plural form of
medium is media. A medium can be something as ordinary as a graphite pen-
cil or as exotic as gold leaf gilding. In two-dimensional works, such as drawing
and painting, artists use media such as crayons, paints, pastels, and pencils.
In baseball, a pitcher throws warm-up
pitches before facing a batter. Musicians
tune their instruments or warm up their
voices before a performance. Artists
must also prepare before creating art.
By drawing, artists become better at per-
ceiving, or carefully noticing, the lines,
shapes, and forms of an object.
Many artists use sketchbooks to
record their surroundings and to pro-
duce studies of objects. Artists also
record ideas for later use. The Renais-
sance artist Leonardo da Vinci filled
more than 100 sketchbooks with his
drawings and ideas. His sketchbooks
included everything from perceptions
of people, to his notations on the move-
ment of water (Figure 3.2), to his plans
for flying machines.
Drawing is usually the first step in
producing artworks. Rough sketches,
or studies, are often done before creat-
ing a work in another medium such as
paint or clay. Fashion designers draw
their ideas for new styles long before
any fabric is cut. Stage designers,
graphic designers, and architects must
42 CHAPTER 3 The Media and Processes of Art
3.2 Da Vinci’s observations of moving water were confirmed
as accurate in this century when fast cameras could photographically freeze
the action of the water. Da Vinci filled his notebooks with observational
sketches and notes. His writing was backward and could only be read
when held up to a mirror.
Leonardo da Vinci. Page from his sketchbook showing movement of water. Royal
Library, Windsor Castle, London, England. The Royal Collection 1993, Her Majesty
Queen Elizabeth II.
LESSON 1 Two-Dimensional Media 43
show presentation drawings for a
client’s approval. Figure 3.3 is a cos-
tume design for a comic ballet, The
Devil’s Holiday. The designer modeled
the costumes and stage designs based
on the eighteenth-century paintings of
Venice by the artist Canaletto.
Although drawings are often used as
guides for other artworks, sometimes an
artist’s drawing is the finished artwork.
One example of a drawing as a work of
art is Canaletto’s Ascension Day Festival at
Venice (Figure 3.4).
Drawing Media
Drawing is the process of moving
an instrument over a smooth surface
to leave a mark, called a line. In draw-
ing, line is the most important element
of art. The characteristics of a line are
determined, in part, by the medium
used to draw it. The most popular
drawing media are graphite pencils,
colored pencils, crayons, colored mark-
ers, pens, pastels, and chalk. Pen and
ink, pen and brush, and brushes with
watercolors are also used to make
3.3 How does this sketch let you know that this
character is in a comedy? What makes him look humorous?
Eugene Berman. Vendeur de Chapeaux. 1939. Gouache on paper. 31.8
24.8 cm (12
). Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut.
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James T. Soby. 1939.697.
3.4 Look
closely at this meticulous
drawing. Can you tell what
city is depicted in this work?
What helped you decide?
Canaletto. Ascension Day Festival at
Venice. 1766. Pen and brown ink
with gray wash, heightened with
white, over graphite on laid
paper. 38.6 55.2 cm (15
). National Gallery of Art,
Washington D.C. © 1998 Board
of Trustees. Samuel H. Kress
3.6 Shading techniques.
44 CHAPTER 3 The Media and Processes of Art
Look at the drawing in Figure 3.7.
Isabel Bishop used three different draw-
ing media to create a drawing that has
the look of three dimensions. The artist
accomplished this through shading.
Which shading technique was used in
Figure 3.4 on page 43?
Painting is the process of applying
color to a surface using tools such as a
brush, a painting knife, a roller, or even
your fingers. The surface is the material
to which the paint is applied. Canvas,
paper, and wood are frequently used as
surface materials.
3.5 Drawing media.
Shading Techniques
Shading is the use of light and dark
values to create the illusion of form. There
are four main shading techniques:
Hatching. This technique consists
of drawing thin lines that run in the
same direction. Find the forms in
Figure 3.6 that use hatching.
Crosshatching. Shading created
using crisscrossing lines is called
crosshatching. Look at the forms in
Figure 3.6 that demonstrate this
Blending. Artists perform blending
by changing the color value little by
little. Find the forms in Figure 3.6
that are shaded using blending.
Stippling. Shading that creates
dark values by means of a dot pat-
tern is referred to as stippling.
Locate the forms in Figure 3.6 that
show stippling.
Each drawing medium has its own
qualities. Chalk and crayon, for exam-
ple, produce rough lines. Pens, by con-
trast, make smooth lines. Figure 3.5
shows lines made with different draw-
ing media.
LESSON 1 Two-Dimensional Media 45
All paints have three basic ingredients:
Pigments. Pigments are finely
ground colored powders. Pigments
come from natural or synthetic mate-
rials. Natural pigments include indigo,
a vegetable, and the cochineal beetle,
an insect. Natural pigments can also
be made from minerals or clay. Syn-
thetic pigments are artificially made
from chemicals.
Binder. A binder is a material that
holds together the grains of pigment.
The binder allows the pigment to
stick to the painting surface. Egg
3.7 Look at this
drawing and identify the shading
techniques Bishop used.
Isabel Bishop. Head #5. No date.
Graphite, crayon, and chalk on paper.
29.8 22.4 cm (11
Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford,
Connecticut. Gift of Henry
Schnakenberg. 1953.217.
yolks mixed with water have long
been used as a strong binder for pro-
fessional artist’s tempera paints.
Other binders are linseed oil and wax.
Solvent. A solvent is a liquid that
controls the thickness or the thinness
of the paint. Different painting effects
require different thicknesses of paint.
Using thin watercolor paint gives a
light, washed-out appearance; using
thick watercolor paint produces a
more intense appearance. Solvents
are also used to clean paintbrushes
and other applicators.
46 CHAPTER 3 The Media and Processes of Art
Winslow Homer is considered one of the artists who has captured the
true feelings of the United States in his works. Homer developed an appre-
ciation and love for the outdoors while growing up with his two brothers
in Cambridge, Massachusetts. By the age of ten, his interest in art began
and his talent for drawing became obvious. When he was 19, Homer was
accepted as an apprentice at a large printing firm in Boston, even though
he had little formal art training.
When his apprenticeship was over, Homer worked as a draftsman, spe-
cializing in woodblock engraving. Soon he began illustrating magazines.
By the 1860s he was contributing regularly to Harper’s Weekly magazine as
an illustrator of events occurring in the Civil War. After the Civil War
ended, Homer traveled to Europe. There, he was influenced by the works
of French artists Édouard Manet and Gustave Courbet.
By the 1880s, Homer had begun painting the subject that was to
become his trademarkthe sea. He loved nature and spent hours out-
doors. He felt at home on the sea although he knew its dangers as well.
Because he was able to capture the elemental forces of nature, Homer is
considered a Realist. His unique talent enabled him, as few others have
done before him, to express the reality of the United States.
American, 1836–1910
3.9 One
of these paintings was a sketch
made at the scene, and the other
was done in the studio based on
the first work.
Winslow Homer. Hound and
Hunter. 1892. Oil on canvas.
71.8 122.6 cm (28
). National Gallery of
Art, Washington, D.C. ©
1998 Board of Trustees. Gift
of Stephen C. Clark.
Winslow Homer. Sketch for ‘Hound and
Hunter.’ 1892. Watercolor. 35.4 50.8 cm
20"). National Gallery of Art,
Washington, D.C. ©1998 Board of Trustees.
Gift of Ruth K. Henschel in memory of her
husband, Charles R. Henschel.
The look of a finished painting
depends on the combination of media,
tools, and the surface the artist
chooses. In Figures 3.8 and 3.9, you
can see how Winslow Homer has
created two images that are almost
exactly alike. However, he has used
different media. Figure 3.8 is made
with thin, wet, flowing watercolor on
white paper. The white in this paint-
ing is the white of the paper showing
through. Figure 3.9 is painted with
thick, creamy oil paint on canvas.
The white in this painting is opaque
white paint.
Painting Media
As with drawing media, there
are many different kinds of paint-
ing media, each with its own
unique qualities. The artist chooses
the paint based on personal prefer-
ence and the purpose of the work.
Oil-Based Paint. First used in the
1400s, oil paint remains a popular
medium today. True to its name, oil
LESSON 1 Two-Dimensional Media 47
paint uses linseed oil as its binder. Its
solvent is turpentine.
One advantage of oil paint is that it
dries slowly. This allows the artist to
blend colors right on the canvas. The
work in Figure 3.9 is an oil painting.
Notice how smoothly the colors blend.
Water-Soluble Paint.The most popular
of water-based painting media, water-
color takes its name from its solvent,
water. The binder is gum arabic. Com-
pare the watercolor in Figure 3.8 with
the oil painting in Figure 3.9. What dif-
ferences do you see?
Tempera is another water-based
paint. It dries more quickly than oil
paint, and it has a more opaque finish
than watercolor.
Acrylic paint, which first appeared in
the 1950s, uses an acrylic polymer as a
binder. The solvent used for acrylic
paint is also water. However, once pro-
fessional acrylic paint dries, it cannot be
dissolved. School acrylics have been
developed, however, that can be dis-
solved with soapy water after they dry.
with Watercolor
Demonstrating Effective Use of Art
Media and Tools in Painting. Using
watercolor paint, choose one bright color
and paint several shapes on a dry sheet of
watercolor paper.Then thoroughly brush
water on both sides of a sheet of
watercolor paper and repeat the process.
If available, try using different types of
natural and synthetic watercolor brushes.
Share and compare your results with those
of classmates.
Computer Option. Drawing with color
on the computer is like drawing with
light. Light as the computer’s pigment
can vary in opacity from opaque, like
tempera paint, to transparent, like water-
colors. Find the menu in the application
you are using that controls opacity.
Explore the settings. Remember, these
qualities change as you paint on different
surfaces. If available, investigate rough,
smooth, or textured papers.
48 CHAPTER 3 The Media and Processes of Art
Inking the plate. The artist applies
ink to the plate. This is done with a
brayer, a roller with a handle. For a
multicolor print, one plate must be
made for each color. The ink creates
the image on the print.
Transferring the image. The paper
or other material is pressed against
the inked plate, and the ink is trans-
ferred to the new surface. Sometimes
this is done by hand. Other times a
printing press is used.
Usually, more than one print is made
from a single plate. Together, all the prints
made from the same plate, or set of plates,
form an edition. Each print in an edition
is signed and numbered by the artist. The
printmaker signs the work in the bottom
margin and writes the title on each print
of an edition as well as the number of
each print. The number 10/200 indicates
the tenth of 200 prints.
Printmaking Techniques
There are four main techniques artists
use to make prints: relief, intaglio, litho-
graphy, and screen printing.
Relief printing. In this method, the
artist cuts away the sections of a sur-
face not meant to hold ink. As a
result, the image to be printed is
raised from the background. In Fig-
ure 3.10, Elizabeth Catlett has con-
trolled the light and dark areas of her
linoleum-cut relief print by the
amount she has cut away. Notice that
the white lines are wider in the very
light areas.
3.10 Catlett has devoted her artistic
career to a socially conscious art that represents
the struggles of African Americans.
Elizabeth Catlett. Sharecropper. 1970. Linoleum cut on paper.
45.2 43 cm (17
). The National Museum of
American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
© Elizabeth Catlett/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.
Printmaking is a process in which an
artist repeatedly transfers an original
image from one prepared surface to
another. Paper is often the surface to
which the printed image is transferred.
The impression created on a surface by the
printing plate is called a print. A print
is not the same thing as a reproduc-
tion, although sometimes people con-
fuse the two. A print is an original
work of art. A reproduction, such as
the artwork shown in this book, is a
copy of a work of art.
The Basic Steps of
While prints may be made using
many different media, processes, and
surfaces, all require three basic steps.
Creating the printing plate. A
printing plate is the surface on which
the desired image is created. In
producing a printing plate, the artist
makes a mirror image of the final
print. Letters and numbers must be
made backward on the plate.
LESSON 1 Two-Dimensional Media 49
Intaglio (in-tal-yo or in-tal-ee-o).
This name comes from the Italian
word meaning “to cut into.” Intaglio
is a process in which ink is forced into
lines that have been cut or etched on
a hard surface such as metal or wood.
Then the plate’s surface is wiped
clean and the prints are made. You
can actually feel the lines of raised ink
on an intaglio print.
Lithography. In lithography the
image to be printed is drawn on lime-
stone, zinc, or aluminum with a spe-
cial greasy crayon or pencil. Ink is
attracted to this material. When the
drawing is completed, the areas that
should remain blank are etched with
a special solution that repels ink. Then,
when the surface is inked, the greasy
area alone holds the ink. Because the
process is complicated, new materials
are being developed to make lithogra-
phy easier. There are kits for schools
that use paper instead of limestone or
zinc for the printing plate.
Screen printing. This is the newest
method for making prints. It uses a
stencil and screen as the printing
plate. The stencil is placed on a fabric
screen stretched across a frame. The
screen is placed flat on the printing
surface. Ink is pressed through the
fabric screen where it is not covered
by the stencil. If more than one color
is used, a separate screen is made for
each color. Another term for screen
printing is serigraphy.
Making a
Printing Plate
Demonstrating Effective Use of Art
Media and Tools in Printmaking. Yo u
can make your own relief printing plate.
Begin by cutting a 4-inch square from a
sheet of cardboard. Cut a variety of
smaller geometric shapes from the same
sheet. Arrange these on the surface of
the square. Form an interesting design.
Glue the shapes in place. Let them dry
overnight. Apply printing ink to the surface
with a brayer. Lay a sheet of paper over
your inked plate. Apply pressure evenly.
Carefully peel back the print.
Computer Option. Explore the Shape
and Line tools in your application. Change
line thickness, color menus, gradients, and
opacities. Arrange several shapes to make
an interesting design. Print onto color
transfer paper that is made for your
printer. Remember to flip the image
before printing if necessary because
shapes and letters may be reversed. Fol-
low the instructions on the printing paper
package to transfer your design onto
paper, cloth, or another surface. (An iron
sets some transfer papers while others
require more elaborate equipment.)
Check Your
1. Name four of the most popular
media used in drawing.
2. What are the three ingredients
found in every type of paint?
3. What are the three basic steps of
4. Compare and contrast the media
used in drawing, painting, and
Three-Dimensional Media
ave you ever taken a lump of clay and formed it into a bowl or
an animal? If so, you were working with a three-dimensional medium.
These media make solid forms that have height, width, and depth.
Sculpture is a three-dimensional work of art. Sculpture is art that is made
to occupy space. This is one way in which sculpture is different from other
kinds of art. Although objects in a drawing or painting can look quite real,
the work is flat, or two-dimensional. Artists who create sculpture are called
The Media of Sculpture
Like other artists, sculptors use a wide variety of media in their work.
Sculpting media include clay, glass, plastics, wood, stone, and metal. No mat-
ter what medium is used, a sculpture will be one of two types: sculpture in
the round or relief sculpture.
Sculpture in the round. This type of sculp-
ture is surrounded on all sides by space. Another
name for sculpture in the round is freestanding
sculpture. You can walk around sculpture in
the round or turn it over in your hands to see
all sides. Sculptures in the round can be realistic
representations of people or objects (Figure
3.11). Not all freestanding sculptures have rec-
ognizable subjects, however. (See Figure 5.6 on
page 101).
Relief sculpture. This type of sculpture pro-
jects into space from a flat background. Relief
sculptures are designed to be viewed only from
one side. Figure 3.12 shows an example of a
relief sculpture attached to a smooth,
gently–rounded surface. You cannot see the
back of the figure. The figure protrudes out into
space from the smooth surface of the vase.
Sculpting Techniques
In addition to a wide array of media, sculptors
use a variety of processes. The processes include
modeling, carving, casting, and assembly.
50 CHAPTER 3 The Media and Processes of Art
3.11 How do the
unusual colors and materials
affect the expressive quality of
this sculpture?
Luis Jimenez. Vaquero. Modeled 1980,
cast 1990. Fiberglass and epoxy.
Height: 5 m (166). The National
Museum of American Art,
Smithsonian Institution,
Washington, D.C. ©
Luis Jimenez/Artists
Rights Society (ARS),
New York.
fine art
applied art
LESSON 2 Three-Dimensional Media 51
Modeling. In this process, a soft, pli-
able material is built up and shaped.
Media such as clay, wax, and plaster
are used in modeling. Because the
sculptor gradually adds more material
to build a form, modeling is referred
to as an additive process.
Carving. In carving, the sculptor
cuts, chips, or drills from a solid mass
of material to create a sculpture.
Material is removed until the sculp-
ture is completed. Carving is there-
fore called a subtractive process. Wood
and stone are the most common carv-
ing media.
Casting. In casting, molten metal or
another substance is poured into a
mold and allowed to harden. The
artist duplicates a form originally
molded with clay, wax, or plaster
using a more permanent material.
Just as in printmaking, an edition of
sculptures can be made from the same
3.12 Al Qoyawayma adds an
architectural quality to his pottery by using relief
elements that are forced from inside the pottery wall.
He then carves details into the raised relief work.
Al Qoyawayma (Hopi). Blanketed Figure Vase. c. 1980. Clay
pottery. Height: 27.9 cm (11).
3.13 Graves collected natural objects and cast them in
bronze at a metal foundry. She then selected certain cast objects from
her collection of thousands of objects and assembled them to make
her sculpture.
Nancy Graves. Zaga. 1983. Cast bronze with polychrome chemical patination.
182.9 124.5 81.3 cm (72 49 32). The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art,
Kansas City, Missouri. Gift of the Friends of Art (F84–27). © Nancy Graves
Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.
mold. Once the edition is complete,
the mold is destroyed. This prevents
the mold from being used again and
safeguards the monetary value of the
sculptures that were originally cast.
Assembling. In this process, also
called constructing, a variety of differ-
ent materials are gathered and joined
together to make a sculpture. One
assembly process involves welding
metal, but media can be glued, sewn,
or otherwise fitted together. Assem-
bling is sometimes used along with
other sculpting processes. A combina-
tion of casting and assembling was
used to create Zaga (Figure 3.13).
52 CHAPTER 3 The Media and Processes of Art
Before machines were invented, peo-
ple made everything by hand. Today,
artists are still creating one-of-a-kind
items. Some objects are created for
practical use, and others are made
purely for decorative purposes. Art made
to be experienced visually is called fine art.
Art made to be functional as well as visually
pleasing is called applied art. Today the
distinction between fine art and applied
art is fading.
Artists are currently creating both
functional and decorative craft objects.
Weavings are made from natural wool,
linen, silk, cotton, and manufactured
fibers. Quilts are stitched from fine fab-
rics to be hung on the wall like paint-
ings. Baskets are woven from natural
materials such as reeds and wood slats
(Figure 3.14), as well as manufactured
fibers. Pottery is made with clay from
the earth. Handmade glass objects are
formed by forcing air through a tube to
shape globs of melted glass. Jewelry is
crafted using expensive materials such
as precious stones and gold, but it can
also be made using paper. As wonderful
as technology has become, we still
appreciate having an object that is one-
of-a-kind and made by hand.
The Media of Crafts
The most commonly used craft media
are clay, glass, wood, fiber, and metal.
Clay and glass can be used to make
plates and cups, vases, and jars. Wood
can be used to make furniture or con-
tainers. Fiber is used to weave cloth and
to make baskets. Metal is used to make
utensils and jewelry.
Each craft contains an almost unlim-
ited number of choices. An artist using
clay can choose stoneware, earthenware,
or porcelain. A weaver can select natural
3.14 Imagine the
skill it took to make this basket
and lid perfectly round and to
make each twist of the warp just
the right size to create points in
proportion to the shape of the
basket. Notice that the points are
smaller at the top and bottom
and larger near the center.
Edith Bondie. Porkypine Basket.
c. 1975. Wood. 20 21.6 21.6 cm
). The National
Museum of American Art, Smithsonian
Institution, Washington, D.C.
LESSON 2 Three-Dimensional Media 53
3.15 This settee reminds us of an
Asante stool from Africa because it incorporates
animal totem forms into its structure.
Judy Kensley McKie. Monkey Settee. 1995. Walnut and
bronze. 90.2 182.2 61 cm (35
Renwick Gallery, The National Museum of American
Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
fibers or synthetic fibers. A woodworker
can choose among oak, ash, mahogany,
rosewood, ebony, cedar, and pine.What
media were used to create Figure 3.15?
The Processes of Crafts
The techniques and processes a craft
artist uses depends on the media
selected. Clay, for example, can be mod-
eled, carved, and assembled. It can also
be thrown on a potter’s wheel. Clay is
finished by firing it in a kiln, a furnace
that reaches high temperatures.
Glass can be mold-made or blown.
Blown glass requires a process in which
the artist, using special tools, blows air
into molten glass in order to shape it.
Wood is worked using techniques such
as carving and assembling, turning, and
bending. In turning, a piece of wood is
rotated on a machine called a lathe. The
machine may have a fixed tool that
shapes the piece, or the artist may use a
special tool. Bending is another shaping
process. A piece of wood is soaked in
water or another liquid to make it pliable.
Then it is slowly manipulated into place.
Fiber can be woven into cloth or bas-
kets. It can be embroidered, sewn, or
quilted. Metal can be shaped in molds or
it can be cut with special shears. Pliable
metals can be hammered or filed into
shape. Pieces can be assembled by link-
ing them together or by soldering them
together. Soldering is a process using a
handheld tool called a soldering iron
that melts small areas of the metal.
When the metal cools, the pieces are
joined. Assembling larger pieces of
metal, a process called welding, requires
a larger, more powerful tool with an
open flame.
54 CHAPTER 3 The Media and Processes of Art
Of all the arts, architecture has the
greatest impact on our daily lives. The
quality of the architecture we use for
shelter, for gatherings, and for worship
affects the quality of our lives. Architec-
ture is the planning and creation of
buildings. Because a well-designed
building is a shelter as well as a work of
art, architecture is considered both an
applied art and a fine art. An artist who
works in the field of architecture is an
architect. To be certified, an architect
studies engineering because a structure
must be designed to hold its own
weight and withstand the physical
forces placed on it. An architect also
studies the visual arts in order to create
buildings that are well-proportioned
and pleasing to the eye. Architects
design for individuals as well as for the
public. The needs of each group must
be considered and met before a building
can be called a success.
The Media of Architecture
From the earliest times people have
been creating shelters from materials
found in their natural environment.
Huts constructed from sticks and bark
were covered with mud. Nomadic peo-
ple constructed movable shelters from
wood poles and covered them with ani-
mal skins. In the north, ice was cut and
formed to make shelters. In the tropics,
leaves and grasses were woven together.
Gradually, people developed skills to
make better use of available materials
for permanent structures that were used
for gathering as well as shelter. People
learned to make bricks by firing clay to
Demonstrating Effective Use of Art
Media and Tools in Design. Architects
are often hired to renovate an old struc-
ture. Look for a building in your commu-
nity that you would like to see improved.
Study it by making sketches from different
points of view. Identify and list in your
sketchbook the media that were used in
the construction of the building you have
selected.Think about the media you have
just studied. List some that would harmo-
nize with the surrounding buildings and
the environment. Using pencil, draw one
face of the building. Include the existing
doors and windows.Then redesign the
look of that side using the media that
you believe will improve the look of the
building. Use watercolors to indicate the
colors of the new construction media.
Computer Option. Use a computer
application to redesign the façade of a
building in your community. Choose the
Grids and Rulers option to guide your
drawing so you can maintain scale and
proportion. Consider how you can
create harmony by repeating the materi-
als, colors, or architectural features of
other buildings in your community. Begin
by drawing the front view. Hold down
the Shift key to draw straight lines or
restrict shapes. Use the copy and paste
functions to make duplicates of features
such as doors and windows. Save and
title the line drawing.Then use your
choice of brushes, textures, and grad-
ients to simulate natural materials. Use
the Save As option to retitle and save.
Print and display your work.
Redesigning a
Familiar Building
arch had been extended into a full cir-
cle. Using more advanced construction
techniques architects developed a
pointed stone arch and supported it
with buttresses. This allowed large
openings to be made in the walls that
were filled with stained-glass windows.
Wood was always a popular material,
because it was plentiful. Balloon fram-
ing allowed builders to use heavy beams
of wood to support thin walls. The truss
supported a sloped roof. This technique
is still being used today.
Technology has given us steel and
reinforced concrete. Steel frames
enabled us to cover the outside of sky-
scrapers with glass. The development of
new materials has not eliminated the
use of the older materials. New ways of
LESSON 2 Three-Dimensional Media 55
make it hard. They stacked the bricks to
build walls. Stonecutters develop meth-
ods for cutting stone so smoothly that
one could be stacked on top of the next
without anything to hold them in place
(Figure 3.16). Others learned how to
balance one long stone on top of two
posts and developed the post-and-lintel
method of construction. Today this is
called post-and-beam construction
because architects use wood or steel
beams instead of stone lintels.
Later, architects learned to form an
arch with stone. The arch carried the
weight of walls and roofs without buck-
ling. Arches led to vaults, or arched
roofs that connect walls. Vaulted halls
enabled architects to create more open
space. A dome is a round roof, as if an
3.16 The
builders of Tiwanaku in
present-day Bolivia were
excellent stone masons.
They cut the stones to fit
together so perfectly that
the buildings have survived
to this day without any
mortar to hold the stones
in place.
David Borsky. Wall from the
Sunken Courtyard of Tiwanaku,
. 700. Photograph.
Courtesy of the artist.
56 CHAPTER 3 The Media and Processes of Art
using them are always being developed.
When Louis Sullivan built the Wain-
wright Building (Figure 3.17), he first
created a large frame, or cage, made
with steel beams. To cover the frame he
used brick, which blended in with the
surrounding buildings.
An architect is concerned with the
environment into which the structure
will be placed as well as the purpose of
the building. The success of a building is
the combination of the right media with
good design. The Guggenheim Museum
in Bilbao, Spain, by American architect
Frank Gehry (Figure 14.1, page 388) is
made of limestone, titanium, steel, and
3.17 This
skyscraper echoes its internal
steel frame in its exterior
design. Sullivan emphasized
the height of the skyscraper
by stressing the vertical lines
that move the viewer’s eyes
upward, and underplaying the
horizontal elements in the
window area.
Louis Sullivan. Wainwright
Building. St. Louis, Missouri.
Check Your
1 What are the two main types of
2. What are the four basic sculpting
3. Define crafts. Name three categories
of functional crafts.
4. Define architecture.
glass. The straight limestone blocks con-
trast with curved and bent titantium
panels giving the building the look of a
huge abstract sculpture.
LESSON 3 Technological Media 57
rtists try to communicate ideas through their art, and as they do so,
they constantly seek out new media. In recent times, technological
advances have allowed artists to create new and exciting forms of art. In
this lesson, you will learn about photography, film, video, and computer art.
Photography is the technique of captur-
ing optical images on light-sensitive surfaces.
Photographs are all around us. Newspa-
pers, magazines, and books are full of
them. Almost everyone has a collection
of snapshots that they’ve taken. It is
hard to imagine that photography
started out as an expensive, difficult
process only 150 years ago.
Although anyone can point a camera
and click the shutter, photography as art
requires more than simply recording
images. As photographic media and
processes have improved, some photog-
raphers have begun exploring photogra-
phy’s potential as art. They have gone
beyond simply taking pictures of inter-
esting images. Works by Dorothea
Lange (Figure 3.18) and other photog-
raphers are carefully composed just as a
painter composes an artwork. This artis-
tic composition makes photography a
fine art like painting or sculpting.
In recent years, some artists have
combined painting and photography to
create a new kind of visual expression.
Look closely at Figure 3.19 on page 58.
Notice how the artist has modified a
black-and-white photograph of an auto-
mobile in front of a house. The finished
work combines familiar images from
the real world altered according to the
photographer’s artistic vision.
Technological Media
3.18 Dorothea Lange did more than take a snapshot of
this family. By moving her camera to get just the right angle and
waiting for the right moment, her photograph reveals a lot about her
subjects. What does the expression on the mother’s face tell you?
What emotions do the children convey with their body language?
Dorothea Lange. Migrant Mother. 20.3 25.4 cm (8 10). Courtesy of the
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
digital system
multimedia programs
58 CHAPTER 3 The Media and Processes of Art
The Media of Photography
The idea of capturing an image on
film is very old. Attempts to do so date
back to the Renaissance, but the first
permanent photograph was not made
until the nineteenth century. L. J. M.
Daguerre invented a process of creating
silvery, mirrorlike images on a copper
plate. This was called a daguerreotype.
Daguerreotype was a time-consuming
and very expensive process. In the
1850s, the wet plate method was
invented. It used glass coated with
chemicals to record the image, which
was then transferred to paper or card-
board. As with contemporary pho-
tographs, the wet plate photos used
negatives, the reverse image of the object
photographed. Today, newer and better
methods of making film have been
invented. The process is simpler and less
expensive. Photographers have many
media and processes available to affect
the look of a finished photograph.
A movie, or motion picture, like any
work of art is created for others to enjoy.
However, when you watch a movie,
you may not be aware of all the work
that went into making it. Filmmaking
is a collaborative process involving
many different artistic and technical
The Media of Film
Filmmaking only became possible
about 100 years ago, after photography
began to catch on with amateur hobby-
ists and professional artists. This encour-
aged the development of different types
of film and the invention of the film
camera. Unlike still cameras, motion pic-
ture, or film, cameras have a mechanism
that moves the film through the camera.