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Curvilinear Aesthetic in Chinese Art →

Sculpture and Painting

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Perhaps before we analyze how the two artistic practices are distinct from each other, we should first try and understand what actually they entail. Sculpture is mainly characterized by the use of one’s hands or a specially designed tool such as a chisel, to carve or model a form of relief representation of an object. Painting on the other hand, refers to the art of applying either paint or color to a specific base or medium. Normally the action together with its result is what gives meaning to the word painting. It is very important for one to realize that both practices are usually a true representation of the artists’ perception. They both help in bringing out inner feelings or emotions present in the artist. It is thus imperative to recognize how similar sculpture is to painting.

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Similarities between sculpture and painting

From a general perspective, painting may seem a little easier to many who are ignorant of art as a way of life. It may seem that even a kindergarten kid can draw of paint just as well as an individual who has majored in painting. This is a misconception of many members of the general public. It will be worth noting that every portion of color applied to a particular base was thoroughly thought of before the very action of painting. This is very similar to how one gets to shape or carve out a sculpture of and imagined object. From this argument, it is clear that both sculpture and painting are a time consuming art which demands enormous will of the mind coupled with intense concentration. Another similarity is the fact that both arts deal with object. One cannot form a sculpture from nothing. It usually entails a specific material from which the artist wishes to carve out the sculpture. These materials may include, metal, wood or even clay. Likewise, the art of painting requires a specific surface which will act as the base on which the paint or color will be applied.

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Differences between sculpture and painting

In as much as the two arts may be related to each other, there are some specific aspects that distinguish one from the other. While it is important to acknowledge that none of the two is easier to accomplish, it is also of importance to note that sculpture is relatively time consuming and may seem very involving compared to painting. It is also the general view of the public that painting does not actually involve high artistry; rather it can be done anywhere. Some individuals even practice the art of painting from the comfort of their offices and living rooms. This shows that in comparison to sculpture, painting is very convenient and can be done just about anywhere. Sculpture on the other hand, involves a lot of materials and tools which may take long to assemble before beginning work. This also throws into light the possibility of an imagined idea being lost thus only existing as an illusion.

The two arts are also distinct from each other in terms of the end result. It is possible to imagine that one can paint in any way and fashion and still image to stay artistic, but when carving out a sculpture, the true representation of the object in mind must come out clearly in the final product. This makes sculpture an artistic practice, influenced greatly by perfection and the desire to produce an almost true representation of a particular object. Another aspect that brings out the difference between sculpture and painting is the fact that one as a viewer, gets to get a three dimensional view of a particular finished sculpture. This is however not possible with painting as one has access only to the frontal view of the painting and thus is in one way or the other, limited. Below is an example of a sculpture.

What actually makes sculpture seem different from painting?

In my own opinion, I think that sculpture involves tangibility and vision. It is impossible to create a sculpture without actually having visualized the whole object in its final form. This is particularly different from painting in that in painting, one can choose to start the work from any point with room for future improvements. Also the fact that sculptures have the advantage of being tangible creates a feeling of reality from a viewer’s perspective. Because of the fact that the art of sculpture involves a lot of dedication, it may seem less appealing too many individuals who would instead prefer painting as it may seem more enjoyable. This goes to show that the art of sculpture requires a lot of motivation than painting. Although both arts are intense, individual character determines whether one is better from the other.

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