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ARTH110- Art Appreciation Module 1 Painting Discussion - Elements of Art

After reading Chapter 1.1 - 1.5 of your textbook and viewing the Learning Videos, you likely have some understanding of the “building blocks” of art and design. Now, we are going to put your understanding to the test. View Kyle Staver's Susanna's Hammock (2020, Oil on canvas, 50 x 68 inches) and write a discussion board thread in which you:

  • Choose 3 visual elements from this week's readings (line, shape, contrast, form, volume, mass, texture, value, space, and color) YOU think are the most obvious and the most obviously effective. You should also consider how the visual elements Staver chose were likely intended to aid in communicating the theme/meaning of Susanna's Hammock. After you list the 3 visual elements, you must then write a 300-word long thread that describes the characteristics of each element AND explains why they were chosen by Staver to creat Susanna's Hammock.

Even though I find all the building blocks of art are effective in different situations the 3 visual elements from this week’s reading that I found most obviously effective were line, shape, and color/contrast and value. I feel the visual elements I thought were the most effective are some of the ones Kyle Staver used in her art piece. The first visual element I noticed she used was color/contrast and value. Color is produced when a light hits an object and reflects a particular color. Color has different properties such as hue and intensity. Color also helps with contrast and value lending to the lightness and darkness of the piece and also if the piece is using complementary, primary, and secondary colors. These properties lead to a pieces mood, feel, and story. She uses colors that complement each other like the deep blue green background and the orange tigers. She also brings the green of the trees to the tigers eyes. That in my opinion helps pull the color throughout the piece and make the eyes pop off and have depth from the tiger. It makes them look striking and inquisitive. The light leaking through the trees helps aid the feeling of cooling off under a shady tree in the hot summer. And seeing the lighter blue shadows of the net on the ground make the piece seem lighter and airy. The light in the eyes,on her skin, and on the net is something that I really like in this piece. The next visual element I took note of was shape. Shape is a/the 2D area(s) the boundaries defined by lines or suggested in color and value changes. So a circle is a shape and when you add color and different values to change perspective or boundaries it is seen as a sphere. The use of shape in her piece is really interesting. She made presumably Susanna so round and shapely. It really separates her and makes her laid back and flowy looking. This also brings out how she painted the tigers more square and sharp. I think this helps portray their character along with Susanna's. In my opinion their personality seems smart but also the sharp edges push forward their intensity as creatures. Susanna just seems draped, elegant, peaceful, and indulgent. (By indulgent I am not referring to her shapely figure necessarily but her flow and how she is looking at her form and pearl necklace twisted in her hand with the mirror.) The last visual element I noticed was lines. Lines are a mark or implied one that defines boundaries and suggest color,shape,and value changes. Lines are so fundamental as not only the base of the art but the direction of the art. You can see in her piece with her cross hatching the hammock and its strings Susanna is on, her pearl necklace, the lines of her skirt/sash, the lines of the tiger both on them to represent markings but as the entire shape, the different lines that create the trees both light and dark with different thicknesses.

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