A Few Thoughts On the Psychology of Painting

ArtHearty Staff Nov 24, 2018
The thought and attitude that go behind painting lead to an imitation of reality that creates art in unique ways. Read on to know more about the psychology of painting.
Van den Steinen is mentioned by Henri Delacroix in his essay entitled "The Psychology of Art" ("Psychologie de l'art"), when referring to the study of some Brazilian tribes and how they envisioned the whole process of painting. Den Steinen expressed the idea, the genius of visual arts resides in the gesture of imitating.
This is obviously noticeable, in his opinion, in the primitive man's act of quickly drawing the sketch of an animal in motion or expressing a certain attitude. This sketch is almost the continuation of a gesture and the gesture is almost the continuation of the perception's constitutive movements.
There are 2 types of languages within this process of imitation: an abstract language and the vivid, concrete language of art itself. An artist's writing originates in the child or the primitive man's way of drawing. According to Delacroix, child analysts have noticed some things. So, when observing a child who draws, some elements should be considered.
A child who draws has 2 tendencies: a descriptive tendency and an indicative tendency. In most situations, a kid uses drawing as a means of indicating a certain place or thing that is there in his mind. As Rouma once put it, a child's act of drawing could be considered similar to producing a sort of graphic language.
As they grow up, many children develop some other tendencies which are usually typical of drawing beginners, such as the tendency to describe. This may result from the child's effort to dominate his intellectual scheme and to reach the object's concrete reality.
Then the child can launch onto the synthetic representation of the whole, upon the exact pointing out of the details, or upon the attempt to create the perfect construction. Of course, there are many imperfections at first.
Primitive art also oscillates between schemes and imageries. The concrete realism and the vivid expression of reality sometimes make their way through the abstract conventionalism, by defying the abusive stylization which tends to turn art into a rather intellectual combination of elements.
The primitive artist actually discovered colors and landscapes at the exact time he discovered lines and contours. There was no psychological or chronological priority in this respect. In those ancient times, decorative arts implied a certain sense of regularity and proportion.
Among the most frequent forms of decorative art of the primitive age, one could definitely mention face painting. Delacroix says that even the incisions made during the process of creating a visual art piece had a certain rhythm for the primitive man.
Imitation, pointing out, self-exposure were all combined at the very beginnings of visual arts. It's most obvious that visual arts developed its techniques and conquered its means of expression only gradually.
One certainly can feel the difference between Greek primitive sculpture and great epochs, a primitive and modern painting. But no matter what the differences in the techniques used, especially in their improvements are, visual arts operate upon certain basic data, and their relation to the artist's intention helps create the aesthetic and artistic pleasure.
The components of painting are on one hand, drawing and shape, light and colors on the other hand. The shape of things can very much influence our practical behavior and our calculating intelligence.
Philosophers have clearly expressed the connection between geometry and practical, day-to-day life. The same as colors, shapes also can influence our state of mind and way of thinking. For instance, a round room can create a sensation of space and freedom of spirit that a right-angled room may lack, and so on.
Greek painters were very much relying on beautiful shapes. Their painting style resembled sculpting. Words like: contour, line, feature, plan, elevation, section, weight, caliber, profile, silhouette, scheme, and so on, served to designate a shape, when this shape was effectively limited by a certain trajectory.
Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, a neoclassical French painter, said that painting makes up three quarters and a half of what the actual paining supposes. Drawing is more than merely representing contours. The line, which helps represent certain shapes, is an abstraction of the model.