Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Assignment #2

“Green Marilyn” by Andy Warhol in 1962 and “George Washington” by Gilbert Stuart in 1795 are both portraits of famous Americans. The first is a silkscreen on synthetic polymer paint on canvas and the second is oil on canvas.

Contour lines, lines drawn to record boundaries (83), are used to set off their subject’s faces. Warhol uses a well defined the line between the face and hair along the forehead making the hair look like a cap, not apart of the face. Stuart uses blurred lines to outline the entire portrait from the background.

Both artists utilize chiaroscuro, Italian for light/dark (92). Warhol uses it to show the lighting coming from the upper left by showing shadows under the eyelashes, and below the chin. Washington’s face is lit from the front right, as if with a spotlight, made obvious with shadows.

In both portraits the face is a figure, a shape used to detach and focus on, and the ground, the surrounding visual information the figure stands out from (89), is plain. This makes the face the focal point.

The major difference between these works is the use of color. Warhol uses mostly tertiary colors, mixtures of primary color and adjacent secondary colors on the color wheel (95). The colors are also very intense, pure colors not mixed with much grey (96). This combination makes color the most obvious aspect of the work. Stuart uses varying degrees of white and black and values of red. Values of color refer to relative lightness or darkness (96). Red is mixed with grey to come up with skin tone, cheeks and a small amount in the background to highlight the face.

1 comment:

charlannebrew said...

Dear Chad,

this essay satisfies the components for the assignment.

Purpose: Terms are defined and appropriately applied with few errors. The page number citations are utilized correctly.

There appears to be some difficulty in describing line in Stuart's work -

there are no "lines" that is why. What try to put something there if it's not there?

Stuart employs value, shading, and implied light to create the look and feel of 3 dimensions on a 2-d surface.

Warhol does not.

Color they both use green and red. Only Warhol uses them in the pure forms and Stuart ?

What are red and green in terms of color relationship? where are they on the color wheel?

Warhol does not use chiaroscuro.


What is the thesis of this essay?
Artwork information is complete.
Avoid writing out the essays like a grocery list.

Critical thinking:

How do you know that Stuart used grey to mix with read to get skin tone?

Has some difficulty transfering information.