Optical illusions

Coursework 1.2, Creative Arts 1.2 Creative Arts Skills, Creative Arts BA (Hons), Project 2: Developing Creative Skills

Today, I researched the optical effects used by various artists to create movement and depict the effects of light, focusing on Impressionists, Post-Impressionists, Neo-Impressionists, and Op artists. In particular, I studied the Pointillist technique used by Paul Signac and Georges Seurat and looked at the work of Bridget Riley, an Op artist.

Paul Signac and Georges Seurat:

  • Both artists aimed to create a new way of representing colour and light by exploiting the principles of human perception.
  • They developed a technique called Pointillism, which applied tiny, disconnected dots of pure colour onto a white ground.
  • The intention was for the viewer’s eye to mix the colours through a process known as optical mixing, producing a more vibrant and luminous effect than traditional painting methods.
  • Notable works by Seurat include “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte” and “Bathers at Asnières,” while Signac’s works include “The Pine Tree at St. Tropez” and “Port of Marseille.”

Bridget Riley:

  • Bridget Riley is a British Op artist known for her optical art, which creates the illusion of movement and depth through the use of precise patterns and colour.
  • Her work aims to challenge the viewer’s perception and create a dynamic visual experience.
  • Riley’s early work focused on black-and-white geometric patterns, while later in her career, she started incorporating colour and curvilinear forms.
  • Some of her notable works include “Movement in Squares,” “Cataract 3,” and “To a Summer’s Day.”

In studying these artists, I learned about the importance of challenging traditional methods and the role of human perception in creating captivating artwork. These artists’ techniques, such as Pointillism and optical art, demonstrate the power of experimentation and its potential to revolutionize artistic practices. In my own work, I can take inspiration from these artists to explore innovative approaches to colour, light, and composition.

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