Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Primary Elements (part 1)

Every creative art has its fundamental building blocks. Writing has alphabets and grammar -- spelling and knowing how to parse a sentence gives rise to forms of communication, information, or entertainment. Visual arts, whether two-dimensional (drawing) or three-dimensional (sculptures, models, jewelry, etc.), have their own primary elements, each building on the other in increasing complexity: point, line, plane, and volume.

All things begin with a point, whether you're writing a letter or doodling in a notebook. It is a beginning and sometimes and end unto itself: a point can be a focal point, where your attention is drawn (whether it is because of color, shape of an object, its placement, etc.), or a point of departure that marks a transformation or transition (such as a parti diagram). A point can either be found in isolation, such as for emphasis, or located within a line, such as an orienting position on a floorplan or instruction manual.

Image credit: Bernstein, Fred. "The Good Earth." Metropolitan Home. March 2009. 66. (Overlay analysis mine.)


  1. You describe Point very well which relate to your image, too. However, I think this image the point is focus at the flower on the coffee table, also.

  2. Thank you. I agree about the flower, but it's not the first thing I notice. Since it is right under the lamp, my eye travels to that next -- you could say that whole area in general is a focal point, but to varying degrees.

  3. Your posts are very thought out and organized. I also noticed that you credited your images, which reminds me that I need to go back and do that. I agree with Paiir that the lamp is not the focal point in this image and I agree with you in that it's the whole general area. My eye is drawn to the fireplace wall. Beautiful picture!