(Paraphrased from Art: Images and
Ideas by Laura H. Chapman)
When you use your eyes to see
as artists do, you look for qualities of line, color, shape, texture
and other visual elements. You will notice small differences in
Scientists say that the normal
human eye can see thousands of color. Experiments have shown that
your perception of one color comes from comparing it with others
around it. Your mind makes these comparisons.
Unless your mind is ready to
look for subtle (small, fine) differences in colors, you donít
notice them. All you see is a kind of ďaverageĒ color, which you
might interpret as red or blue, when youíre really seeing a reddish
orange or bluish green.
This connection between your
mind and eye is important in art. How you see your world is
dependent on how alert you are. It also depends on what your goal,
task or purpose is.
Like other skills, your
perceptual skills for art can be improved through practice. They
can also be used in so many ways that each personís insight into art
is unique. Even if you donít plan on pursuing art, the perceptual
skills you develop can make your life richer.
Check for understanding:
How good is your perception?
Look around the room. Choose one color and try to find as many
different shades of the same hue. How would you describe them and
how many can you find?