Friday, February 10, 2012


  The illusion of 3 dimensional shape is called formShading, perspective and color properties are all in the toolkit artists use to "form" objects.  

  Color temperature is a good way to suggest form.  Warm plays next to cool to create vibration and separation.  Cool can recede and warm proceed towards you, except where other drawing tricks overcome these "rules."  Note how the color temperatures, along with shading, create form on the trees in this pastel.

But wait, there's more!  Form relates to the formal aspects of painting, which is our broader topic in these lessons.  The form of an artwork is the piece in its rudimentary state: unified, visual, and independent of the meaning or context.  Take away Norman Rockwell's narrative of a family at Thanksgiving (pregnant with meaning) and observe the way his objects work together to make a fine painting.  These are the formal aspects, and the holiday sentiment is the informal aspect of this iconic painting.

Study Hall:


Linda Roth said...

A primary form, the central table, reinforced by the guests' heads lining the sides, lead us up to the focus (and the meaning) of the painting, the turkey--"freedom from want." The server's arms, and the central head of the host with eyes cast downward, make sure viewers look down at the roasted bird. Excellent composition. Rockwell spent a lot of time at museums noting the masters' works, then using what he learned in his own paintings. He was amazing. We just had a Rockwell show at our museum last spring. His work was spectacular.

Casey Klahn said...

Good evaluation, Linda. I'm an NR fan, too.

I notice a hierarchical layout. First, the vertical shape of the opening. That is reinforced by the sort of upside down U or maybe an H that is described by the dark masses (the heads and the walls around the very bright window and white tablecloth.

Grandpa's head is the apex of a triangle, which creates symmetry. He is centered, as is the turkey central to the whole. Content is reflected by form.