Discover the Arts, vol.1: Intro, Visual Art, Music and Dance

Visual arts encompass drawing, printmaking, sculpture, photography and painting. The study of visual arts is an excellent place to begin the discovery of ALL fine and performing arts. Almost every art form has a visual aspect, and in many ways, all require visual art in their creation. For instance, in dance and theatre, choreographers block out movement on a stage and think about the way things look, a set designer creates a blue print and model before building a set, a musician develops a composition written music that can be shared and understood with other musicians, and a film maker may start with a storyboard of images they wish to recreate or capture in their film.   

This text on the Visual Arts will introduce key concepts applicable to all fine and performing arts. The elements and principles of composition, while specifically discussed in relation to visual arts, can be applied to art in all forms. Additionally, the study of how to respond, analyze and criticize visual art has application to other forms. Other universal ideas discussed in this text include interpretations of artistic “style” or artistic genres. This text serves as a bold first step into a world of discovery.

Timeline of Art

This timeline of art by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York shows art and historical events together.

Visual Art Textbook

These chapters are excerpts from the original textbook which is linked in the Attributions:

Download: Table of Contents, Chapter 1: What is Art?

Download: Chapter 2: The Structure of Art: Form & Design

Download: Chapter 3: Describing Art: Formal Analysis, Types, and Styles of Art

Download: Chapter 4: Meaning in Art: Socio-Cultural Contexts, Symbolism, and Iconography

Download: Chapter 5: Connecting Art to Our Lives

Elements and Principles

Elements of Art

Principles of Art

Print Making

Watch this video to learn about the process of lithography

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