The Psychology of Sculpture

The Psychology of Sculpture

Art is an expressive way of communicating what we feel, as well as an excellent way to explore, heal and broaden horizons.

Psychology of Sculpture refers to the study of how art affects human perception, cognition and emotion. For years this field has been recognized for its contributions and includes some of the world’s leading scholars as scholars in it.


Sculpture is an artform that employs three-dimensional forms to express emotions and feelings in a tangible and visible manner. As an expression form, sculpture appeals strongly and directly to both tactile and visual sensibilities in all humans.

Through history, artists have used sculpture to convey an array of feelings ranging from tender and delicate to violent and exuberant. Artists do this by drawing inspiration from nature or their surroundings or even just the world at large and then translating this inspiration into their studio practices or using existing forms as models for new sculptures.

Creativity is the process by which artists develop ideas or plans without restriction or limitations. While creativity can be an amazing way to produce works of art, its uniqueness can make it challenging for many individuals.

Creative process can be a complex one, but there are some basic stages that most people go through when making something new. Graham Wallas described these stages to help explain what happens during art creation.

First and foremost, you need an idea for what you wish to create. This could be anything from something straightforward like creating an outline to more involved concepts that require extensive research and brainstorming sessions.

After selecting your project material, the next step should be sourcing it. This could range from something as basic as paper to more intricate options like metal or clay.

Once that is accomplished, the next step should be finding an outlet for what is in your mind. This part of the creative process may prove challenging and taking some time before coming up with an effective idea emerges.

The creative process is an intricate part of art that should be investigated more in-depth. Researchers must be able to identify its various stages so as to gain more insight into how creativity operates and is affected by various external forces.


Whenever we encounter works of art, they have significant meaning for us in different ways. You might enjoy viewing an abstract painting because it reminds you of a time in your life or maybe simply for its aesthetic value; whatever your preference, understanding its significance to you is vital in making informed choices regarding purchases and investments.

Psychologie de l’art refers to the study of human perception and experience when exposed to visual art, music, film, performances, literature, design or the environment. This field is concerned primarily with perceptual, cognitive and affective dimensions associated with these forms of expression.

Historially, aesthetics was studied through philosophical lenses and contemplative meditation. With the arrival of experimental psychology in the 19th century with its focus on quantitative methodologies, aesthetics was forever transformed by providing an approach for studying art that was rigorous and analytical in approach. Psychophysical theories emerged to provide this methodology of studying aesthetics.

Gustav T. Fechner was instrumental in pioneering this psychological approach to art (see Foundational Works).

He established an array of experimental procedures to investigate human perception and experience of art. These included studies of stimulus factors like colors, forms, and spaces; as well as mediators such as arousal levels and hedonic value.

His most iconic work, “The Psychology of Art,” laid the groundwork for a new science of art. A pioneering study, it considered art from multiple perspectives: artist-creator, viewer-perceiver and audience-perceiver.

Vygotsky explores various artistic works from Shakespeare to Picasso in this book. He combines analysis of each work with ideas about human consciousness to demonstrate how art can arouse emotions in its audience.

Vygotsky states that art does not revolve around an author-creator or reader-subject relationship, but instead involves aesthetic symbols that elicit emotion in an audience. He contrasts this view with traditional formalistic views of art as comprising form and material components.

Utilizing research from visual science, psychology and neuroscience, this introduction to cognitive psychology of visual arts explores topics like figure-ground relations, perceived contrast levels, visual ambiguities illusions perspective as well as observer factors like memory and expertise in the arts.


Value is one of the key components in art; it defines light versus dark in an artwork by creating contrast in terms of texture, form, and contrast.

Understanding value through scales is one of the easiest ways to grasp its concept. Denman Ross first introduced this method back in 1907 and its usage remains common today in helping artists recognize different shades and tones.

Gradations adds depth and three-dimensionality to an artwork by creating subtle variations in value that create an optical illusion of depth. This can be accomplished using contrasted areas of light and dark values or by merging values together.

An alternative way of understanding value is through looking at paintings “en grisaille”, or artworks painted using shades of gray paint, such as those by Rubens. This technique can be seen in numerous other artworks as well.

Black and white photography provides another form of illumination, where various shades of gray represent planes, textures, and value transitions.

Art value can be defined in various ways, from technical considerations to more subjective emotional ones. For instance, color and contrast numbers could help determine its worth as a piece of artwork; or monetary, social, and political circumstances might come into play here as well.

However, intrinsic or inherent values of artworks can be the most challenging to assess. These valuations can be determined based on how an artwork makes you feel, any sensations it produces and more importantly your overall perceptions of its meaning and purpose.

These factors all can have an effect on the value of a piece of art and may fluctuate over time. Furthermore, buyers’ and sellers’ motivations when purchasing or selling may also play a part – for instance a buyer might purchase because they enjoy its subject matter while sellers might look for investments or a chance to sell for profit.


Emotions play an integral role in art criticism. They help you understand a work of art more profoundly while making its significance clearer.

Some believe that for art to be considered valuable, it must evoke emotions in its audience that correspond with its creator’s feelings.

Abstract paintings can help evoke emotions like fear and anger through colors, brush strokes and symbols such as squiggly lines that mimic feelings of uneasiness and red can represent feelings of outrage and despair.

Many artists utilize emotionalism when creating works of art.

Empathy is another emotion; it involves being able to understand other people’s emotions such as anger, love or sadness.

These feelings depend on how an individual perceives an object of emotion, and can range in strength from mild to extremely strong.

Studies have demonstrated that our enjoyment of an artwork can be affected by our emotional responses (Gerger et al., 2017) as well as by its context (Leder et al., 2004).

Researchers have recently found that art activates regions of our brain associated with feeling and reward, providing potential benefits to both mental health and well-being.

Relationship between emotions and art is an intricate one, involving many mechanisms such as contagion, regulation, pleasure and reward.

Gendler’s thought theory suggests that these mechanisms find their basis in the neural circuitry involved with emotion processing and reward, in particular those related to believing the object of our emotion exists and is real.

As such, our emotions can seem epistemically justified or appropriate; for example, sadness when one thinks about their lover possibly passing or happiness when thinking they will see another friend again are epistemically acceptable responses as the object of our emotional arousal – in this instance a lover – is real and meaningful to us in some way.