What is Aesthetics?
Usually referred to as the judgments of sentiment and taste, aesthetics is the study of emotional and subjective values. Aesthetics help in studying how artists create and imagine, as well as what we feel and think while reading poetry, listening to music, or admiring an art. It can also be a reflection of basic attitudes and moods, which most of us experience.
Usage of Aesthetics
Aesthetics are of use in a plethora of fields such as literature, architecture, nature, clothing designs and patterns, art, math, music, and even hatred. As per some experts, aesthetics can be classified into various universal signatures, including style, criticism, imitation, and other facets.
Origin of the Term
It was in the eighteenth century that ‘Aesthetic,’ the word, first appeared. It was in the study of philosophy. British philosophers used it for referring to ‘a kind of object, a kind of judgment, a kind of attitude, a kind of experience, and a kind of value’. It was a derivation of the concept of taste as a reaction to the emergence of rationalism during that time.
Aesthetics in Movies
Movie-makers play with their characters’ focus, depending upon how they want to shift the audience focus from one character to another. The focus lies on the main character when s/he speaks. It also makes the other characters fuzzy in the background. When a person from the background has a crucial line, that individual is suddenly brought into focus by the camera. This is known as racking focus. It changes the focus at multiple points in a particular scene. When two or more characters need emphasis in a specific scene, both of them are brought into focus.
Techniques to Focus
Primarily, there are three primary methods used by the movie-makers for getting the right focus. Firstly, it is the distance between the subject and the lens. The closer the subject and the lens are, the narrower will be the depth of the field. Secondly, the choice of lens is essential as well. The longer your lenses are, the more limited will be the appearance of the field depth. Thirdly, the choice of the aperture will control the amount of light that will fall on your subject.
Usually, the frame is rectangular and holds a particular image. It ultimately depends on what the movie-maker wants to achieve in the end. It centres around numerous aspects such as how realistic the tones and colours are, what the movie-maker wants the audience to look at while watching their film, is the frame close to reality, and so on.
Flux is the changes that occur over different frames. There are several aspects that are kept in mind for adding a superior aesthetic value to the end product. These include methods used for transitioning from one scene to another, the movement of the camera as well as the actors, the change in lighting between the scenes, the difference in sound, and so on.
Sound, again, depends on what the movie-maker wants to accomplish. Does s/he like a sound that contradicts the scene or goes nicely with it? Is s/he going to use music, narration, or both? Also, the sounds need to be realistic to the audience’s ears. A good movie-maker always goes for a sound that affects not just a particular scene but the whole movie in its entirety.
‘Mis-en-Scene’ is a French term that translates to ‘placing on stage’ in English. It refers to every single element that ends up in a particular scene. It includes the interaction of a component to another, their arrangement and appearance, and their role in accomplishing the movie-maker’s objective. It is a rarely verbalized term but is crucial, nevertheless, for achieving the desired outcome.
Point of View
While making a movie, every shot is framed from a particular POV or point of view. Most tales are told from a specific point of view. It is up to the relationship between a character and the observer that determines the choice of POV.
Usually, either inside or outside POVs are put to use. The inside POV will help you in making the audiences empathize with your character in a better way. Although it limits the audience’s view, it lets them see things from the character’s perspective. It makes the character a lot more relatable to the audience. Outside POV, on the other hand, can move anywhere whenever it is needed. It is because the outside points of view are not participating in the action of the scene. For example, if a procession on the road is shot from above, it makes the entire spectacle visible to the audience. This is how an outside POV is used.
Story points of view are associated more with the script than anything else. Just like the camera POV, a story POV can also change at any time throughout the movie. While deciding on which POV would be the best for a particular scene, you can consider things like- the point of view is presented through whose eyes, as the story point of view is at a higher level. One movie, for instance, is watched and narrated from varying points of view. It means that every character has a different story to tell. It is because perceptions differ from one person to another. It is due to the simple fact that this affects how a story is told.
Types of POV
In the first person POV, the story is seen through the protagonist’s eyes. The audience might not even get a glimpse of the protagonist unless s/he looks at their reflection. In complete omniscience, the story and camera move everywhere. Hence, the audience is more aware than the characters when it comes to what is going on in that story. Limited omniscience occurs when the audience is withheld from the ending of a story, and they are clueless about what is in store. In a quasi-first person POV, it is usually the protagonist involved, and the audience is made aware of everything through the protagonist’s point of view. They know all that the protagonist knows and nothing else.
Exploring Different POVs
When it comes to camera or story POV, most of the movies use various points of view all through the film. It all depends on what goes well with what is in the movie-makers minds. For exploring any of the constituents more exclusively, all you have to do is watch a film frame by frame, scene by scene, and so on. You will learn a lot this way. Understand the POV and question yourself why the creators made a particular decision on pace, effect, transition, colour, music, etc. Try to understand how and why a particular option was chosen. This is how you will get better at determining what is best for the movie in terms of aesthetic value as well as the overall impact. (See15 Types of Snails and Facts about Them)
Aesthetics in Literature and Landscape
Many literary texts depict a lot of involuntary depiction of emotion such as crying, blushing, sighing, and even frightening and fainting. Added to that are scenes of prison and deathbed. You will also find numerous examples of a bad boy transforming into a good boy, and tales of rags to riches are also in abundance. Sensibility, in literature, is often depicted to be contagious. However, it is also about performance and truthfulness.
Sensibility refers to the human capacity to feel and to experience various emotions. People who feel very strongly also have a higher sense of taste. It is because all the senses get affected by the greater sense of feeling. Hence, when it comes to literature, sensibility usually involved a higher emotional response towards almost everything.
Whenever we hear about the genre of pastoral, images of milkmaids and shepherds, cross our minds. We usually associate the pastoral with the simple joys of rural life. Most often, pastoral aesthetics are used for indicating a nature-based or “natural” setting. As per an expert, this aesthetic can conceal the negative aspects of a scene or a person. While portraying the pastoral aesthetic, one attempts to offer just the good connotations while avoiding the negative ones.
The Beautiful Aesthetic
Sublime is considered masculine, while the aesthetic of beauty is seen as its feminine counterpart. Beautiful aesthetics is all about powerlessness and softness, where overwhelming people with their vastness and power get sidelined. It also gives us an image of the need for being protected. The beauty adds attractiveness and symmetry, and other traits and makes people submit and fall in love as per experts.
The Gothic Aesthetic
The gothic form is used in architecture to represent cultural nostalgia and a fascination with chivalry, superstitions, haunted buildings, the ‘un-modern,’ and violence. It began in the mid-eighteenth century and still holds an obsession with things outside the social order realm. Psychological repression, as well as political oppression, is two of its examples. It is often difficult to control, assimilate, or even represent gothic aesthetics.
The Picturesque Aesthetic
Picturesque aesthetics are all that we imagine when we think of a gorgeous landscape painting. Be it a painting of the deep blue oceans, winding streams, mighty mountains, quaint cottage at the hills, or architectural ruins. The picturesque aesthetic is always in action here. There was a time when unique hand-held mirrors were sold specifically to view a landscape and admire its scenic beauty. This aesthetic pleases the eye while piquing one imagination. It also gives birth to a specific kind of explicit pictures in our minds. One can not stop admiring and enjoying this form of aesthetic.
The Sublime Aesthetic
The sublime aesthetic is associated with the feeling of power and vastness. For example, while looking at the majestic Himalayas, we feel incredibly tiny. While seeing sublime subjects or reading sublime poetry, we draw a level of satisfaction through them. We also get the feeling of being more enhanced after that experience. It fulfils our soul while leaving us in a state of upliftment. Conditions like uniformity, terror, power, the magnitude of a building, magnificence, etc., contribute to several perceptions of the sublime aesthetic. The basic conditions are related to discontinuity, light, colour, as well as sound. While looking at a painting, consider its barrenness and landscape if you are in search of the sublime.
Look for strong forces such as fires and earthquakes as well as mountains, ruins, and rocks. ‘Sublime’, as a word, refers to such beauty and grandeur that it evokes feelings of awe, admiration as well as inspiration. It can mean noble, elevated, and majestic. You can apply this to various fields such as literature, architecture, philosophy, and even your favourite rock bands.
Aesthetics in Art
The primary objective of an artwork is to elicit a particular emotion in its viewer, be it positive or negative. It also aims at communicating an obvious or extreme emotion. Art has to depend on the visual aesthetics for eliciting emotion. Hence, it demands detail-oriented work, and it can get quite challenging to achieve.
Emotionalism in Art
The expressive aspects of artwork become the most important when it comes to emotionalism. The artwork needs to have a vivid quality that can explicitly express moods, ideas, and feelings. While looking at a painting of a woman with a certain expression on her face, the viewer can easily tell that she is attempting to convey, or even an artwork that depicts the impact of a road accident; these are examples of the use of emotionalism in the artwork.
Formalism in Art
As an art form, formalism focuses on aspects that are entirely visual; if one paints something that emphasizes shapes, textures, colours, and lines, then it is an artwork of formalism. So then, other things such as its historical background and other forms become of less importance. You can choose any form or medium of art, but it’s the compositional elements that are prioritized over historical significance or social context when it comes to formalism. Design and balance are also important here.
So, while looking at a work of art, you can see its exceptional visuals as well as intriguing visual traits. Formalism is usually pretty fun as everyone can enjoy it as it is visually exciting and aesthetically pleasing.
Imitationalism in Art
Imitationalism is also called representational art, and it aims at making art appear realistic. To put it more simply, imitational is an art that represents all that the common masses get to see in the real mundane world. Hence, artists making a painting or sculpture using imitational will come up with something that depicts exactly what s/he wants the viewers to see. This form of artwork is purely objective, where your only intention is to sculpt or paint a figure, building, or an automobile just the way it is, nothing else. This art has objects that are very easy to recognize, but it would look different from how it looks in the real world.
For example, in imitational, a tree will look like a tree, but if the artist wants, s/he can give the tree colourful leaves. Its primary objective is to be easily understandable and easily recognizable.
Instrumentalism in Art
Instrumentalist art focuses on a specific purpose or message and has a goal to influence our society. It is incredibly visual and functional. Also known as functionalism, instrumentalism depends on the skills of an artist over anything else. It is not possible to mass-produce this type of art. Instrumentalist artworks are one-of-a-kind and very unique. The talent of the artist gets exemplified by his/her work here. (See 21 Types of Spaniels)
Acid wash is used for giving stones a natural look. For this process, it lowers the degree of sawn marks which are shown. Bush hammering gives a coarse appearance by using a hammering tool with several heads. The heads differ from very coarse to a fine-point. Usually, they leave light-coloured marks on the stones. The face method is used for giving more indentations and cleavage to the rock. This technique uses a chisel or any other metallic object. The fine-rubbed process frees the stone from any flaws. It makes the stone shiny and smooth. The thermal or flamed method changes the colour of a stone. A mechanically-controlled device is used at high temperatures over a plan surface for acquiring uniformity. The process of gauging with the help of a machine grinds the stone to give it a specific thickness.
Honed is a technique that uses abrasive heads for getting a dull sheen with no reflection. The range of the sheen can go from heavy to light. A natural cleft takes place when you work at achieving a certain thickness which also results in the formation of a cleavage face. The planned technique is generally applied to the slate.
Other Techniques on Stones
With the help of a metallic scraper, it gets rid of a stone layer, making it flatter and smoother. The polished look always gives sharp reflections with high gloss. Sandblasting provides a coarse look to the stone and also gives it a light colour after an abrasive is blasted. Sawn refers to the slabs coming from gang saws. Water and fine grit are used for applied blades to the stones. Translucence, very aesthetically pleasing, occurs in various marbles that are lightly coloured or white. It lets the light transmit all through the stone in different degrees, giving it an attractive appearance. The tumbled technique puts stones inside a container of sand, and then the box is rotated. This gives a chipped look to the corners and edges of the stones.
The variegated technique is frequently used in stones like marbles and refers to the naturally occurring variation in style and colour. It works wonders when used on home décor and exterior. The water-jet flamed finish is pretty textured and uniform. It makes the natural colours of the stone shine through.
29Aesthetics in Zodiac Signs
Aries is depicted by the concert aesthetic. Its examples include ripped fishnet stockings, hand waving in large crowds, intense performances, and beer cups scattered all around, and so on. For Taurus, the aesthetic is of health. Here, the examples will be braided hair, meditation, yoga pants, bowls of fruits and salad, oats, nuts, nature, etc. Gemini gives off a hipster aesthetic. Plaid shirts, large piles of books, coffee mugs, comfortable sweaters, cats sleeping in blankets, etc., are few examples. Cancer has a pastel aesthetic. Few examples would be lace dresses, frilly bows, overly-decorated phone cases, pastel hair, and so on. Leo has an aesthetic of romance.
The examples include deep gazes, playful wrestling, kisses in the rain, biting lips, intimate cuddling, and so on. Virgo gives off a vintage aesthetic, and the examples include old photos, corsets, gramophone, sepia-coloured things, garter belts, and so on.
Other Zodiac Signs
Libra has a fashion aesthetic. Its examples would be full-length mirror selfies, eye makeup, high heels, gold rings and jewellery, expensive makeup, and so on. Scorpio has a black-and-white aesthetic. Its examples are animals, horror, gore, blood, hickeys and bruises, and so on. Sagittarius gives off an aesthetic of nature. Its examples include sunsets, landscapes, decaying buildings with creepy foliage, wildlife close-ups, broken fences, and so on. Capricorn has the city aesthetic. Zooming cars, tacky subway stations, blurred crowds, street art, and skyscrapers would be some of the examples. Aquarius has a grunge aesthetic.
Its examples include scraped knees, teens chilling together, black lipsticks, dyed hair, neon signs, and so on. Pisces has a Disney aesthetic, and its examples would be romanticism, Disney princesses, flower tiaras, black-and-white or soft filters, quotes from Disney movies, tattooed characters, and so on.