ART FOR MIDDLE
AND HIGH SCHOOL
IMAGINATION AND IDEAS
How to Develop Your Ideas
AN IDEA LIST CONCEPT: "Primary Breakup": (The content of Pictures)
Think of the whole picture space as a puzzle which has numerous pieces
which become the design of your drawing or painting.
Phase 2 is developing these areas with detail. In the attempt to become
more creative, the first consideration for you and me as artists is deciding
what to do. What will be subject of my work? The suggestions offered in
this lesson describe how you can change your thinking and your ideas to
make visual creations more interesting and more creative. One of the tell-tale
signs of unskilled and untrained artist is that their pictures often lack
creative Visual content.
Without Visual Content, pictures are not very interesting and do not engage
the interest of viewers. Simply put, without creative Visual content the
picture is BORING! Breaking up the Space is the beginning of developing
visual content. I refer to this stage of development as "primary breakup
forms or objects". You can think of this as part of the creative process.
It is idea development. It is thinking through the image content in a
picture. A less creative, less interesting, picture will have a short
list. Following is a sample of the idea building process where we actually
think about what goes into a picture:
Sample of how to develop an Idea List:
Selection of Forms or Objects: What will I choose for my theme? You are
now faced with an infinite set of choices. You need to target one. What
is current in your life? What do you like? What do you know something
about? What is meaningful or expressive to an idea or attitude?
WHAT?? Here is one random example. I choose "Garden Patch" as the subject
or main idea of the picture.
Primary Breakup Form 1 foreground earth with a watermelon (If we stop
with that one watermelon it will be very boring.)
- - - - - -Form 2 Interesting tree -- others further away
- - - - - -Form 3 Flowers or Vines
- - - - - -Form 4 A interesting fence
- - - - - -Form 5 Bird on Fence
- - - - - -Form 6 Scarecrow
- - - - - -Form 7 Distant Hills
- - - - - -Form 8 An old tractor
- - - - - -Form 9 Skyline
- - - - - -Form 10 Clouds in Sky
"brainstorming" the list like the one above, we can think about how place
and organize these forms in our picture. Each object listed will have
its own space, size and qualities.
use of the space, the size and position of these objects, and detail.
This problem is focusing on PRIMARY BREAK UP. Therefore, do not worry
too much about detail today. The final part is the step of filling in
the open areas of the primary breakup form. This phase can be called development
where you add your interpretations of color, tone, texture or detail so
that your spaces become rich and visually interesting. If you look at
a picture by Maxfield Parrish you will see the simplicity of the basic
primary break up but the developed pictures are AMAZING because of the
wonderful color, detail and textures that he uses inside of the primary
ON A 8 x 11 SIZE PAGE
Make a list that is similar to the example above. List your main theme
object, and then think of other objects which can fit in the environment
of the theme object.
Interpretation of Themes:
About ideas: Any
idea when transformed through a medium can become art. But --No idea,
no art. Ideas are not hard to find. They come from our reactions to life.
The following list came from a single brainstorming session. When one
brainstorms you come up with a whole lot of ideas, some will be useful
others may just be discarded.
as time: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer; A season to --- (plant, harvest,
build, grow, suffer, destroy, want, plenty, trials; Time as Age; age of
innocence, golden age, in the prime, old age; Time the destroyer, victim
of time, man's dilemma in the age of machines.
Love: Self absorbing
love, brotherly love; Love as lust; Lust for --- (money, power, fame,
blood) Love unrequited love, unloving, love goddess; Love of --- (country,
justice, peace, security, etc;
Places, Realms: Realms as rooms; Old rooms, large rooms, small rooms,
pool rooms, bar rooms, school rooms, light rooms, dark rooms; Realms as
worlds; new world, old world, day world, night world, business world,
other world, other worldly; Outer space, Fairy land,
Mother Goose land, --- Sea places, air places, rocky places, sandy places,
glassy places, grassy places; mountains and seas, animal homes, the realm
Feelings: Joy, Sorrow,
Loneliness, Longing, Longing for --- , Confusion, Frustration, Hatred
of -- Social Concerns:
Roles of people; Issues of life and death; Heaven and hell; Peace, Security,
Being with people; Parties, Wild or interesting characters, Caricatures;
Mothers, Fathers, Clergy, Human rights, Generation gap;
Institutions: Home scenes; Sport scenes; Entertainment industry; Hospitals,
Politics, Religious themes; Art Abstraction:
Abstract art can
be of several kinds, One kind is "expressionistic" a category of art that
brings emotional expression through distortion and extreme colors. Color
can become symbolic such as green for envy and red for passion or energy;
At times expressionism appears distorted or chaotic and quite out of control.
This kind frequently gets a response like, "My two year old kid could
do better than that!" In cases like that the view is probably missing
a lot of the visual content within the work.
Another kind is intellectual
abstraction that tries to develop a sense of relationship between lines,
forms and color. Relationship can be such as small to large, dark to light,
rough to smooth, curved to strait, etc. Sometimes this kind of art can
be very precise but yet hard to interpret. Symbolism is another area for
free interpretation. The actual content may use objects to represent other
meanings than "reality."
Art Ideas: Viewing
and Interpretation Reality Real subjects taken from Nature provide an
unlimited source for drawings, paintings and design.
Human beings have interpreted the natural world since before the
Egyptians. Approaches to interpreting reality can vary a lot. From photo
realism to semi realism. Some artists use nature for a source of "Motifs'
which are then used in a decorative crafty way. Clay designs with fish
on them for example or clothing printed with flower patterns. Being able
to draw or paint realistically is not the only basis for 'good work' from
nature. It is an even more important to bring out a personal viewpoint
or interpretation than to make it look like a photo. Ordinary sights from
everyday life would be a great treasure if we only had them from some
observer who lived hundreds or thousands of years ago. Likewise your own
every day life and environment would be a treasure to anyone who might
wonder what life was like when you went to school as a young person.
Human subjects: Working, Playing, Studying, Working out, Playing
a sport; The very fact that the action is so common place usually makes
it a very good candidate for a picture. But at the same time, because
it is so common we think it is not a good idea.
Treasures from everyday life might include your mom in the kitchen
with an apron, your father on the tractor with his cap. Your little brother
sprawled in front of the TV, your sister styling her hair with a blow
dryer. Outdoor Subjects (landscape scenes)
Places in the wild, out of doors; Buildings, Fields, Trees, Fence
Rows; Rivers or Lakes; Natural park; Townscapes or Cityscapes are details
of buildings and streets; Views of the streets and store fronts. Indoor
Subjects, (Interiors) Interesting places seen from the inside; Living
rooms, dining rooms, ball rooms, bedrooms, basements, bathrooms, studios,
deserted rooms, malls. Still life Subjects, all sorts of objects,
flowers, fruit, vegetables, non living forms, displayed for composition
for paintings or drawings.
Return to Art Lesson Index
on pages below
Challenges of The Creative Process
Art?? Why Art in School
Art Graduation and Achievement Projects
Art Skills Map forTeachers
Skills, Skills for Art Proficiency
Challenges of The Creative Process
7, 8 Art Class Assignments
Links to some Great Art on Net
Artwork by Students
Ideas -Concepts to Aid Creativity
Basics of Composition Organization in Art
Beginning A Picture, Checklist
7, design, " breakup"
Additional Clay Designs slab and coil
Cropping, finding a Picture Inside a Picture
Little Things Make Interesting Pictures
& Invention things which enhance creativity
& Imagination, Exercises
General Info for New Students
How to Transform 2d to 3d
How to look at Art
Ideas for Art
Development in Art
Index of Design Lessons
to Look at Art, Part one
Learning to Look at Art, Part Two
Painting and Color Assignments
Students at Work or - -