Design & Composition Unit One

Visual Poetry & Music

1

TECHNIQUE: HOW TO CHECK A PAINTING FOR VISUAL POETRY
ILLUSION NO ILLUSION

The painting makes you feel the things represented are real. You feel a sense of place when looking at the painting. The figures look “right” and correctly proportioned. The abstract shapes give you a sense of a landscape or some real place and stimulate your imagination. The more you stare at the painting, the more your imagination “sees” things.
CONCEPT

The colors look “wrong”. Human figures look distorted or out of proportion. Something does not feel “right” or look real. It looks like a child’s painting. The abstract shapes do not bring to mind any real sense of landscape, place, or object. You have no idea what you may be looking at no matter how long you stare at the painting.
NO CONCEPT

The painting makes you feel something. You have an emotional response to the painting. The painting shows you how beautiful some object, person, or scene is, that you hardly noticed before. You start to invent stories behind the painting.

You feel nothing when looking at the painting. It just leaves you emotionally cold. You see a “pretty” picture with a lot of detail, but nothing specific captures your attention in the painting. You cannot tell what interested the artist. Nothing caught your attention when you first looked at the painting.

Edition 2.0

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©2008 Barry John Raybould

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