Figurative art often refers to paintings and sculptures that are distinctly derived from real object sources. Figurative art is contrasted with abstract art in modern times, due to the arrival of abstract art and this term is used where there are strong references to the real world still.
Figurative art is a form of modern-day painting and sculpture that can be distinguished from abstract art due to the latter’s arrival in our time. Figurative artwork often refers back to real-world sources, making it different than its counterpart abstract art, the omission of which allows for open interpretation and use of symbolism. Figurative art can be a very effective style to use as it gives viewers easily identifiable imagery that they can relate to or enjoy without having to decipher symbols in order to. Figurative artists may also produce work that must be viewed from a certain angle or distance in order to be fully appreciated. An example of this would be a sculpture showing two faces, one not visible until the viewer is at eye level with it. Figurative art often becomes very detailed, sometimes even replicating textures and materials that you find in real life. Figurative artwork enables freedom of expression that is often difficult or impossible when using abstract forms such as geometric shapes and lines.
Figurative art is not limited by a need for realism, instead relying on the artist to use his/her creativity to come up with forms that can be easily identified or relatable. Figurative artists may also choose to incorporate abstract elements into their work in order to add more meaning and emotion. Figurative painters rely heavily on observing real life objects in order to produce artwork that appears almost photographic in quality.
Figurative artists feel that they are able better showcase who they are as an artist than by using abstract methods of paint and line. Figurative paintings usually contain scenes from everyday life, such as people at work or play; still lives of flowers, fruit or food; portraits of family members and friends; and scenes of rural life. Figurative sculptures often consist of portraits, figurines or smaller representations of beings as well as animals and other objects of our world. Figurative sculptors usually begin by choosing the object that they will later be sculpting. Figuring out how to translate their thoughts onto a 3-D structure can take some time, but after deciding on what they wish to represent to others, an idea for a foundation is necessary in order to make this possible.
Figurative artists generally work from photographs using pencils and pastels rather than paint brushes and palettes. Figurative art is especially popular with outdoor garden enthusiasts who spend time creating realistic pieces made from steel or stone, lighting them up at night so that passersby can enjoy them both during the day and in a more intimate way at night. Figurative artists are also known to base their artwork on varied subjects such as portraits, Biblical scenes, and other religious imagery or even common objects like flowers, plants or animals that people can relate to.