About the Visual Arts and Why They Are Important

Direct Knowlege Contributor Taylor Bauer
  • By Taylor Bauer, Technical Writer & Digital Marketing Expert
  • Taylor is a writer and SEO manager with a B.S. in Political Communication from Illinois State University. He also received his M.S. in Communications from Illinois State. His background comes from journalism, working at an NPR member station for three years before transitioning to blogging and search engine marketing. He lives in Illinois with his wife and two Toy Australian Sheppards.

About the Visual Arts

You might appreciate a Van Gough painting, or maybe the Mona Lisa. These works of art are known as visual arts. Beyond masterpieces you and I both know, there are several main types of visual arts that fall under this category. The subject and main types of visual arts implore characteristics of beauty and emotion. The importance of different visual arts careers in the field makes it a highly influential practice.

Visual arts are crafts in which humans create something out of something else. The subject includes paintings, photography, sculpting, and many other celebrated art forms. Visual arts utilize beauty, practicality, and other characteristics of art to convey meaning and emotion. Popular subjects of the field are useful for entertainment or educational purposes.

To understand the impact of the subject, you want to start from the beginning. Moving through history and its main types, the study of these art forms emerge as meaningful examples of human creativity throughout time and society.

Visual Arts Through History

Humans have an incredible innate ability to perceive the world around us through the use of our senses. Although what qualifies as a sense is up to some debate, many understand that the five primary senses are sight, touch, taste, hearing, and smell. The use of these senses has helped us survive over the millennia and also helped us enjoy the time. We create skills, hobbies, competitions, and visual arts careers by perfecting various uses of the senses. The characteristics of visual arts, appealing primarily to the sense of sight, have existed since the dawn of humankind. They use various materials to create objects and images, often integrating meaning into the visual expression. Explore this subject and its rich history through the range of visual arts articles in this category.

The earliest origins of art consisted of paintings and drawings on the rock faces of rocks and walls of caves. These pieces of art date back to over 30,000 years ago, usually depicting human figures and local animals. The type, medium, topics, and other aspects of art were all different depending on the period, location, and civilization. Specific trends emerged and faded over time, each bringing with it distinct styles and distinguished artists.

Various interpretations

The work of these artists often held deep meaning relating to the society around them. Some were openly rebellious by critiquing the current societal or political problems; others told stories or expressed their feelings towards essential parts of society such as religion or other personal beliefs. The same occurs with art today, and we still analyze the various interpretations of current and historical works in visual arts careers, such as those found in this category.

Main Types of Visual Arts Careers

The final product of visual art appeals primarily to sight but can use all senses, both information, and appreciation of the art piece. The visual arts articles found on Direct Knowledge break down the area into fine arts, applied arts, and artistic disciplines. Fine arts create visually stimulating but otherwise static objects with little practical use. Applied visual arts careers apply creative aspects to more useful objects, and artistic disciplines combine innovative methods with other non-visual art forms.

Fine Arts

There are many different art forms involved in this subject. The main types of visual arts include various materials and styles for creating artworks. Here are a few to consider in your studies.

Painting and Drawing

Painting and drawing technically have different definitions based on the type of pigment and method of application to the medium of presentation. However, in the general artistic sense, both can create images on a surface that express ideas, feelings, and general aesthetics. They both contribute to the importance of visual arts throughout history.

Sculpture

One of the main types of visual arts, sculpture, works in three dimensions, known as plastic art. It involves carving and modeling of practically any material from wood and stone to chocolate or ice. In addition to painting, the sculpture has been a prolific visual art. Its impact carries throughout history all over the world. You can check out some famous sculptures in the importance of visual arts articles in this category, including more than just marble carvings of beautiful humans.

Photography

As a technology, modern photography originated in the 1800s. It soon became an art form, progressing from still to moving subjects, black and white to color, and paper to digital media. This visual art focuses on capturing images of the world; and using them for the artistic expression of certain emotions or viewpoints.

Video and Filmmaking

This visual art takes the basic principles of transferring an image to a presentable media, but this time adds in the aspect of movement and even sound. The practice can add many layers to the art. A film can involve the creation of scripts, special effects, editing, and various other characteristics of visual arts within it. Through all of these aspects, films can tell stories and evoke emotions that other art forms can’t. Storytelling is especially true in films that use digital methods to make use of drawing and even CGI. Some of the main types of visual arts articles here take a look at these unique aspects that can bring a story to life.

Ceramics

Another plastic art, ceramics, is visual art that can be purely decorative or useful in industrial and practical settings. Ceramic art consists of various inorganic compounds, but most commonly consists of clay with varying degrees of processing. Historically, ceramics were most frequently used to make pottery and decorative items such as figurines.

Printmaking

Printmaking is similar to drawing and painting in that it is a method of putting an image onto a medium for display. Rather than using a brush or pencil, the image is part of a matrix that can transfer it in its entirety to a surface. The model can then create additional nearly identical prints through the same method.

Applied Visual Arts Careers

The above main characteristics of visual arts are considered fine arts, which don’t produce objects with practical use. Applied arts design and decorate functional purposes to make them more aesthetically pleasing. For example, the interior design uses art to make the inside of buildings look pleasant; fashion uses a technique to make clothing appealing and trendy, and creativity in architecture makes buildings into more than just bland hollow blocks of materials that protect us from the elements. Much of the importance of visual arts articles found in this category look at the reasons behind specific techniques and how it did more than just please the eye.

Artistic Disciplines and the Visual Arts

Artistic disciplines have components of the subject that integrate with other art forms. For example, performing arts involve the movement of humans bodies and other props to create a visual spectacle. Conceptual art, on the other hand, focuses on the conceptual meaning propelling the craft, rather than the resulting aesthetics.

The articles in the category will delve more deeply into types of art and how they connect to society. If studying the topic or becoming involved in it on contemporary professional level interests you, stay tuned for future additions. And in the meantime, you might find inspiration from other contemporary artists.

Visual Arts Books Eye scanning

These categories include a range of activities that create something visual, which is typically either pleasing to look at or visually meaningful due to context (or both). The importance of visual arts can be useful in their own right, but even when they’re not, people tend to include as decoration or pastimes. The techniques provide us with a happiness that can sometimes be hard to explain, but the importance of visual arts books can help you make sense of it all.

Characteristics of Visual Arts

Unlike auditory arts that we hear, such as music, the visual arts are those that we see. They impact our lives, culture, and history because sight plays such a significant role in those things, too. Painting, drawing, architecture, sculpture, and photography are all part of the visual arts. You can find writing here that explores the details of these various arts and the artists who create them.

Practicality

Some of the visual arts are relatively practical, such as architecture and film. One provides buildings that we use, and the other provides entertainment and education. Some of the visual arts books here explore these topics for those looking to get into related industries. An Introduction to Technical Theatre delves into the logistical background of theatrical shows. Logistics include sound, lighting, scheduling, and even famous etiquette backstage. It’s a tremendous, straightforward reference for theater students in both high school and college.

For more advanced readers looking to get into professional fields, visual arts books like Exploring Movie Construction and Production may be a better fit. This book explores the process of making movies starting from the script and going all the way to the screen. You’ll learn about the essential details that make a perfect film, as well as the things to avoid. Readers stay engaged with concepts that relate to movies they’ve likely seen as well as other supporting examples that students can watch. They’ll see the ideas of the book come to life and start to notice them when watching new movies as well.

Beauty

Other characteristics of visual arts, like painting and sculpture, provoke feelings and thoughts in the viewers rather than provide tacit use. These feelings can relate purely to emotions themselves, or have deeper relations to the surrounding world. Much art has meaningful connections to the state of the world at the time of its creation. These connections can be political, scientific, creative, or create other commentaries from the artist’s view.

Looking at the history of visual arts is also crucial. You get an essential context about the meaning of the art and the effect it may have had on society. Keep an eye out for visual arts books here that talk about the many artists who have had such impacts on society and inspired entire generations. Da Vinci, Warhol, Van Gogh, and Picasso are just a few that have become household names due to their legacy.

Changes Through Time

The divisions of these types of arts aren’t always apparent, and they regularly experience change over time. Many people can’t even quite agree on the meaning of fine art today. Generally, arts like painting and sculpture are known as “fine arts.” The term initially distinguished them from more practical skills because only “fine” people outside of the working class could afford to do them.

However, the fine arts also include some non-artistic projects. These include auditory arts, literature, and performance art. Although performance art like dance and theater might seem like visual art, it does not fall entirely in this category. It does, however, share many attributes of the subject. But the terms and history of art are only part of it. In the books here, you’ll also find tips on how to make your creations and the motivation to start making them.

Visual Arts FAQ

Visual arts contribute significantly to the beauty of our world. If you want to learn more, then start with these frequently asked questions!

What are some examples of visual arts?

Examples of visual arts are paintings, sculptures, photography, and video. Visual arts include some human interaction with the creation of an object or thing. Some of the elements of the subject extend into many different art forms. Every artist uses their perspective to add and contribute to the visual arts. By doing so, they help develop a more robust subject and skillset.

What are the characteristics of visual arts?

The characteristics of visual arts are practicality and beauty. Artists embody the essence of practicality to convey a precise meaning. The beauty characteristic of visual arts moves audiences through emotional responses. Each work contains different elements of these characteristics to create original beauty and value. These characteristics of visual arts apply to several various art forms.

What is the importance of visual arts?

The importance of visual arts is to capture perspective and beauty and present them as a creative work. The visual arts hold significance over society by serving to tell stories and share emotions from the artist to audiences. By applying to all human senses, the importance of visual arts impacts everyone who interacts with them.

What are the main types of visual arts?

The main types of visual arts are paintings, drawings, sculptures, photography, and video filmmaking. Different visual arts use various elements of beauty and practicality. Every aspect of visual arts conveys meaning and emotion to audiences. Each separate part of visual arts contains intrinsic value through beauty, innate talent, and skill.

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