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In genre terms, it might be a narrative history work, a portrait, a genre-scene, a landscape or a still life.It may be painted using encaustic, tempera or fresco paint, oils, acrylics or watercolours, or any of the new contemporary mediums.The finished painting may be wholly representational and naturalistic - such as those of the photorealists (eg.Richard Estes) - or wholly abstract - comprising only geometric shapes (like those by Piet Mondrian, or Bridget Riley) - or anywhere in between.Renaissance pictures, such as those by Old Masters such as Botticelli, Leonardo and Raphael , often took the form of highly complex allegorical works, a tradition that was maintained throughout the succeeding Baroque and Neoclassical eras of the 17th and 18th centuries.
During the Renaissance, the art of painting, (colorito in Italian) was considered secondary to the art of drawing (disegno): for example, fine arts classes at the Academies were devoted to draftsmanship and rarely dealt with the use of colour pigment.Linework fixes the relationship between adjacent or remote elements and areas of the painting surface, and their relative activity or passivity.(2) Shape and Mass includes the various different areas of colour, tone and texture, together with any specific images therein. The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci) are optically arranged around geometric shapes (or a mixture thereof).Negative space can also be used to emphasise certain features of the composition.(3) Not surprisingly, given that the human eye can identify up to 10 million differing hues, colour has many different uses.The history of art is full of examples of interpretive content.For example, Egyptian art is noted for its iconographic imagery, as are Byzantine panel paintings and pre-Renaissance frescos.