# Understanding Formal Analysis

The elements of art are components or parts of a work of art that can be isolated and defined. They are the building blocks used to create a work of art. The list below describes each element of art. Learn about the principles of design here. Download a student handout containing a list of the elements of art and their definitions. (PDF, 168KB) Line A line is an identifiable path created by a point moving in space. Horizontal lines suggest a feeling of rest or repose because objects parallel to the earth are at rest. Vertical lines often communicate a sense of height because they are perpendicular to the earth, extending upwards toward the sky. Horizontal and vertical lines used in combination communicate stability and solidity. Diagonal lines convey a feeling of movement. The curve of a line can convey energy. Shape and form Shape and form define objects in space. Shape has only height and width. Form has depth as well as width and height. Space Real space is three-dimensional. Color Texture Related:  research Visual ElementsArt Analysis

Composition and the Elements of Visual Design Proportion - Golden Ratio and Rule of Thirds Proportion refers the size relationship of visual elements to each other and to the whole picture. One of the reasons proportion is often considered important in composition is that viewers respond to it emotionally. Proportion in art has been examined for hundreds of years, long before photography was invented. One proportion that is often cited as occurring frequently in design is the Golden mean or Golden ratio. Many photographers and artists are aware of the rule of thirds, where a picture is divided into three sections vertically and horizontally and lines and points of intersection represent places to position important visual elements. On analyzing some of my favorite photographs by laying down grids (thirds or golden ratio in Adobe Photoshop) I find that some of my images do indeed seem to correspond to the rule of thirds and to a lesser extent the golden ratio, however many do not.

picturinghistory.gc.cuny.edu/item.php?item_id=180 John Gast, American Progress, 1872 Martha A. Sandweiss, Amherst College Historian Martha A. John Gast, American Progress, 1872. John Gast, a Brooklyn based painter and lithographer, painted this picture in 1872 on commission for George Crofutt, the publisher of a popular series of western travel guides. I use this image early on in my western history classes for several reasons. As students begin to describe what they see, they quickly realize that they’re looking at a kind of historical encyclopedia of transportation technologies. Then, of course, there is that “beautiful and charming female,” as Crofutt described her, whose diaphanous gown somehow remains attached to her body without the aid of velcro or safety pins. The ideas embodied in this painting not only suggest the broad sources for Turner’s essay about the importance of the frontier in American life, they suggest that his essay reached an audience for whom these ideas were already familiar.

Education Guided tours: Tuesday–Friday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Unguided tours: Tuesday–Friday, noon–5:00 p.m. Philadelphia Museum of Art Preschool program: \$80 per class K–12 programs: \$5 per student for Philadelphia public*, private, and parochial schools; \$7 per student for all other schools Rodin Museum Guided tours: same as rates for Philadelphia Museum of ArtUnguided tours: \$5 per person Museum memberships do not apply to school programs admissions. *Thanks to a grant, the Museum is able to offer free admission to a limited number of Philadelphia public school classes. No students may tour the Museum unchaperoned. All Museum programs are available to all students. Brown-bag lunch facilities are available for K–12. School groups are permitted to shop in the main Museum Store. One free-admission educator's pass will be sent to teachers with a confirmed booking. Buses will be directed by Security to the appropriate parking space upon arrival.

Similarity and Proximity SIMILARITY/PROXIMITY COLLAGE Make a collage that consists of a simple phrase of four or more words and a picture that illustrates the phrase. The words will be made using all different sizes, colors and shapes of letters cut from magazines. The letters will be chosen for maximum variety and no duplicate styles are allowed unless there are more than twenty letters in the phrase. There will be at least one word using each of the four proximity techniques to organize all of that word's letters into the word. All of the letters must be easy to see and the phrase must be easy to read. HOW TO START Find a phrase that you are interested in using that can be illustrated with a picture you can find (or make). Start collecting letters. Remember that the color of paper behind the letter will often show so make the shapes around the letters look like what you want to see. As you are looking for letters, look for an illustration to use. When you have all the parts start laying out the composition.

Ashcan School The Ashcan School, also called the Ash Can School, was an artistic movement in the United States during the early twentieth century that is best known for works portraying scenes of daily life in New York, often in the city's poorer neighborhoods. The most famous artists working in this style included Robert Henri (1865–1929), George Luks (1867–1933), William Glackens (1870–1938), John Sloan (1871–1951), and Everett Shinn (1876–1953), some of whom had met studying together under the renowned realist Thomas Anshutz at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and others of whom met in the newspaper offices of Philadelphia where they worked as illustrators. Origin and development Ashcan School artists and friends at John French Sloan's Philadelphia Studio, 1898 The Ashcan School was not an organized movement. The artists who worked in this style did not issue manifestos or even see themselves as a unified group with identical intentions or career goals. See also Notes