Archive for the ‘Visual Elements of Art’ Category

Hatching, Crosshatching, and Stippling

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Hatching is a technique using straight lines to make objects in a drawing look three-dimensional. It is often used as a technique for shading. There are more concentration of lines for shadows and less concentration of lines for light. Crosshatching is the same thing as hatching but using two lines instead of one. The two lines cross each other at an angle. Crosshatching is also used to depict three-dimensional objects by shading.

Picture by justinicus

Stippling is a technique using dots to make an object look three-dimensional. The sizes and concentration of dots vary according to shadow and light. For example, to make a part of the object look lighter, the dots are smaller and more dispersed.

Picture by Weshdim

Psychic Lines

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

By Leonardo da Vinci c. 1495-98

Psychic lines are where there appears to be a line but there really is not. In The Last Supper, one of the most revered paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, shows psychic lines where two of the apostles in the front of the picture are looking at each other. This is called the line of sight.  Also,  there is one of the apostles pointing up. This creates a psychic line going vertically up because, even though there isn’t, the viewer’s eyes tend to see a line going up. Lastly, there is a diagonal line next to the image of Jesus, which is often associated with the symbol for the Holy Grail. Aside from these, there are psychic lines from the eyes of many of the apostles sitting around Jesus.

Implied line

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Picture by DraconianRain   Picture by John-Morgan

Implied Line is a line which is not showing physically,instead , we use dots or broken line that the reader can read as a line. The most common example of showing implied line is raining drop. From both of the picture, we can see the rain are in different “line”, but the “line ” does not appear physically.


Wednesday, July 7th, 2010


Value is the lightness or darkness of a color. It is what makes two dimensional objects look three dimensional and what gives pieces of art a sense of reality.

Johannes Vermeer, “The Milkmaid”

A value study by flickr user “freeparking”.

actual line

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010
from the MOMA in new york

photo taken by scalleja

Agnes martin’s style with her art pieces tend to be very simple in design, where it is consisted of lines. The usage of lines in her art looks like math was involved in the creation of it. Although Martin’s color palette is mostly pastels, and softer colors, if you look closely, there are lines in between each color. Actual lines help to make seperations in similar colors more obvious.

Line Quality

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Paul Gustave Doré

Note the line quality in this illustration as depicted by Paul Gustave Dore. Dore uses thick lines to outline the shape of the feuding characters and various cross hatching techniques to create shadow and shading. The drapes are adumbrated lightly which brings about an airy and vague appearance. Line quality evokes emotion, and this line quality generates a harsh and haphazard look.

Philosopher in Meditation by Rembrandt (Light)

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010


Philosopher in Meditation

Philosopher in Meditation by Rembrandt


This piece uses dramatic shadows in contrast with light.  Light points out the focal points and the shadowed areas hide parts of the image.  The philosopher, the most important part of the image receives the most natural and the brightest light.  The woman in the corner receives a small amount of light from the burning fire.  She may receive less light because she is doing the menial task of lighting a fire and not using all her brain power to mediate like the philosopher.

Organic Shapes

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010


fractal flame

Fractal flame, Jonathan Zander

Fractals commonly include organic shapes. which by definition are based on nature and are irregularly rounded and curved.

Albrecht Durer’s Young Hare (Visual Texture)

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010


Photo Courtesy of Albertina Museum


Painted by the Northern Renaissance artist Albrecht Durer in 1502, this life-like rendering of a hare is  a fine example of visual texture. If examined closely, one can easily see each meticulously applied brushstrokes of the hare’s body, implying a soft, fluffy texture. Durer also uses varying brush techniques to give different textures on the animal. For example, the fine, delicate hairs on the ears in contrast to the thicker tufts of fur on its body.

Isometric Perspective

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010


Isometric perspective is when the smaller object is shown when distant forms are made smaller and higher than the smaller object. Also the lines are made to stay parallel when drawn. Most of isometric perspective art is seen in Chinese and Japanese art.