Visual Language

Episode 127 · May 30th, 2020 · 33 mins 47 secs

About this Episode

Learning to use the visual elements and design principles in your work is often compared to acquiring vocabulary and then being able to use those words to communicate. It also means being able understand better what other artists have to say in their work. This understanding is basic and contributes to your growth for your whole artistic life. It also grows in tandem with intuitive responses and understanding. Yet many artists do not progress much beyond a limited vocabulary, used in only a few repeated combinations. Today we will give a perspective on the benefits of growing your visual vocabulary.

It’s hard to progress as an artist without a good understanding of the basic concepts of the visual elements and design principles. Although learning about the visual elements and design prinicples can seem academic, a working knowledge of these widens your range of ideas, helps you to evaluate your work as you go, and helps establish personal voice and direction. Basic concepts are vital at any stage, and even very experienced artists benefit from revisiting them often along with changes in your work.

So many aspects of art involve balancing different approaches, and it's important to note that intuition plays as much a role in manipulating elements of our work as does more objective knowledge. Knowledge itself is not inhibiting. It leads to understanding that is implanted in your creative approaches, a basis that once solid you can step away from more easily. Explore what works for you, starting with your natural inclinations toward particular elements and compositions. It is an exciting journey involving an infinite number of combinations and interactions,

As a beginner, you can learn about the visual elements (line, color, value, shape, and texture) and the design principles (which describe ways of combining the visual elements into compositions) in many ways. You can find resources online, in books, and in workshops or classes. But practice and exploration in the studio are essential. Working not only with the elements and prinicples that appeal to you strongly but also those that are more difficult offers a lifetime of creative challenge and oppotunity.

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The Messy Studio is a CORE Publication MGMT production.