Seeing into drawing :perception and communication.

Riley, Howard (2015) Seeing into drawing :perception and communication. Art & Perception, 4 (1-2). pp. 57-71. ISSN 2213-4905

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Abstract

The central theme of this article proposes that an amalgamation of aspects of visual perception theory and visual communication theory can inform the pedagogy of drawing in an art school context, and can empower the drawing practices of art students. The article explores James J. Gibson’s (1979) insights about how information contained within the structure of the arrays of light arriving at the eyes may be converted into geometric constructions used to represent our three-dimensional world upon a two-dimensional surface. The structure of these ambient arrays can be observed through three ways of seeing — modes of attention — that inform teaching strategies in the art school drawing studio. Roman Jakobson’s (1960) model of communication is introduced and adapted for use within a teaching programme that facilitates students’ understanding of how their compositional choices, informed by the three ways of seeing, and made in the process of drawing, can position viewers in terms of their mood and attitude towards the subject matter represented. These modes of attention are introduced to students as channels of vision through which they may focus upon levels of information pertaining to specific properties of the environment under observation. For example, we may notice some of the features of the constantly-changing arrays of light arriving at the eyes which afford us information about the nature of surfaces in the world — haptic values — softness, hardness, rigidity, plasticity. At another degree of abstraction, features affording information about our spatial position relative to surfaces and edges may be noticed: in general, the mode of attention tuned to information based upon distance-values. Some other features within the arrays of light relate to the interplay of line, shape, tone, texture and colour at the level of pattern and rhythm divorced from three-dimensional form: proximal values. The article is illustrated with student drawings and those of the author.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Systemic functional semiotics, Modes of attention, Haptic digital and proximal values
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NC Drawing Design Illustration
Divisions: Institutes and Academies > Wales Institute for Science & Art (WISA) > Academic Discipline: Art & Media
Depositing User: Professor Howard Riley
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2017 14:30
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2020 13:53
URI: http://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/758

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