Leonardo de Vinci, “Mona Lisa” (1505), oil on panel – Louvre



Being one of the most famous paintings of all time, the Mona Lisa has a strong figure to ground relationship in that she is the figure in front and is distinctively separated from the ground in the back.



“Triumph of the Name of Jesus,” by Giovanni Battista Gaulli, on the ceiling of the Church of the Gesu



Creating illusionistic space is making a work that makes the viewer appear in the same space as the work. In this case, the viewer is in the chapel and the ceiling is made to look like a ceiling, but it has many heavenly bodies in it.


Compositional (Pictorial):

Raffaello Sanzio, “The School of Athens” (1511), Apostolic Palace, Vatican City



The idea of compositional space, or more commonly referred to as pictorial space, is that the piece can be “looked into.” Meaning that it has depth and space. this painting appears as though it continues on far aways into the back.



Leonardo de Vinci, “The Last Supper” (1494–1498), tempora on gesso – Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan



This famous painting shows the idea of perspective in that the back walls move back towards a single vanishing point, thus creating the illusion of space.




Unknown art students from SC, graphite


Implied texture is where the actual surface of the piece is just flat and only suggests the presence of a physical texture. These drawings are on flat pieces of paper but they look as thought they would be furry animals.



Slava Ilyayev, “Stroll in the Park” (year unknown), oil on canvas



This painting demonstrates texture by using actual texture. In a similar manner as Van Gogh, Ilyayev used heavy paint stroke and thick amounts of paint to help create depth and interest in his piece. The texture painting is actually there, it is not made to look like a rough surface.


Actual Line:





Sam Hallows, 2012, ink drawings, Image Source

These drawings illustrate actual line because they are made of actual, continuous, non-interupting lines that create the shape. The lines make up the entire drawing but we look at it like the object and not a bunch of lines.


Implied Lines:



Virgin of the Rocks by Leonardo da Vinci,c.1485, oil paint

In this painting, the implied lines are “seen” along the eye sight of the children as well as the yellow furl in the mothers dress. There is no actual line in this area but we imply it based on its surroundings.


Psychic Lines:



Renoir, “Le Dejeuner des Canotiers'” 1881, oil paint – Phillips Collection, Washington

Psychic lines are when the viewers follow the lines that are created through the eyes of the subjects in the piece. In this piece, we follow the eyes of all the characters all around the painting. This adds to the work by making the viewer look at the entire piece.


Schematic Lines:



Leonardo Da Vinci, “Vitruvian Man,” circa 1490, pen and ink on paper.

A schematic line is basically a sketch or pre-drawing. In Da Vinci’s drawings he made his sketches into a work of art. His drawings are a schematic, or mapping, of the human body


Extension Lines:



Nicole, student work, charcoal.

Extension lines area those that are used when creating in the beginning of a drawing or work that help to keep everything aligned and in place.  This student used extension lines in their work


Positive/Negative Shape:


Edgar Rubin’s Vase, 1915

This is an example of both positive and negative shape. The positive shape would be the vase, and the negative shape would be the two faces. Positive shapes are your figure or your subject, whereas negative shape is your ground or background.


Organic Shape:


Ernst Haeckel (Title, media, date, all unknown), Image Source

“Organic shapes are figures that have a natural look and a flowing, curving appearance. Different from geometric shapes, they are often also referred to as curvilinear or free form shapes, as they can be made of angles, curves or both. Examples are found in leaves, plants, and animals.” –


Geometric Shape:



Piet Mondrian, Composition with Yellow, Blue, and Red, 1937–42, oil on canvas

A geometric shape is one that follows the rules of geometry that mainly follows angles and curves. They create shapes that can accurately be measured. This example shows that simple shape like the rectangles and squares can still make an interesting and intriguing work of art.