Elements of Art: Form | KQED Arts


[ MID-TEMPO DRUM BEAT PLAYS ] [ MID-TEMPO MUSIC PLAYS ] Narrator: THESE PAINTINGS ARE
ALL EXAMPLES OF THE GENRE OF ART CALLED TROMPE L’OEIL. TRANSLATED FROM FRENCH, TROMPE L’OEIL LITERALLY
MEANS “FOOLS THE EYE.” IT’S A STYLE OF ART
THAT MAKES YOU QUESTION IF WHAT YOU’RE SEEING IS REAL. IT’S THIS ILLUSION OF DEPTH THAT ARTISTS CREATE
WHICH TRICKS OUR EYES. WHEN SHAPES GET THIS
THIRD DIMENSION OF DEPTH, THEY BECOME FORMS. FORM IS ONE OF THE SEVEN ELEMENTS OF ART, ALONG WITH LINE, SHAPE, TEXTURE, VALUE, SPACE, AND COLOR. WHEN GIVEN FORM,
CIRCLES BECOME SPHERES, SQUARES BECOME CUBES, TRIANGLES BECOME CONES
OR PYRAMIDS. FORM TAKES UP SPACE IN EITHER
A REAL OR IMPLIED WAY. IN PAINTINGS AND DRAWINGS,
FOR INSTANCE, FORM IS IMPLIED BECAUSE IT’S
AN ILLUSION OF THREE DIMENSIONS. WITH SCULPTURE,
ON THE OTHER HAND, FORM IS REAL BECAUSE IT TAKES UP
THREE-DIMENSIONAL SPACE. VISUAL ARTISTS USE LIGHT
AND SHADOW EFFECTS TO CREATE THE ILLUSION
OF THREE-DIMENSIONAL FORM. A STRONG SENSE OF FORM
CAN ALSO BE CREATED BY INCREASING CONTRAST BETWEEN
HIGHLIGHTS AND SHADOW AREAS. STREET ARTIST BANKSY
USES THIS TECHNIQUE A LOT. NOTICE HOW THESE HUMAN FORMS ARE
MADE UP OF ONLY WHITE, BLACK, AND ONE SHADE OF GRAY. SOMETIMES FORM
CAN EVEN BE CREATED BY AN ARTIST’S USE OF COLOR. ARTIST AAKASH NIHIALANI
OFTEN JUXTAPOSES BRIGHTLY COLORED FORMS
AGAINST NEUTRAL BACKGROUNDS TO CREATE THE ILLUSION OF DEPTH. NOTICE HIS FORMS DON’T
INCORPORATE ANY SHADING AT ALL. THESE ARE JUST A FEW WAYS
ARTISTS CREATE FORMS AND INCORPORATE DEPTH
INTO THEIR WORK. WHAT ARE SOME OTHER WAYS
THAT ARTISTS CREATE FORM? IS THERE A PARTICULAR STYLE
OR TECHNIQUE THAT DRAWS YOU IN
AND CATCHES YOUR EYE? MASTERING MANY DIFFERENT
APPROACHES TO MAKING FORM WILL GIVE YOU UNLIMITED OPTIONS
WHEN CREATING YOUR OWN ARTWORK AND WILL ENABLE YOU
TO FOOL VIEWERS’ EYES IN ANY WAY YOU CHOOSE.

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