Plastic arts


Art is a way of venting emotions and expressing oneself freely, when this manifestation is united with what is plasticity , which means forging and creating things with certain materials, thus resulting in the plastic arts.


What are the plastic arts?

The plastic arts are all those artistic manifestations of the human being, which use moldable and malleable material , in order to achieve a desired figure or final product.


What are the plastic arts?

The artist expresses his point of view through painting, sculpture, drawing, architecture , engraving, ceramics, goldsmithing , crafts and mural painting; It is not only based on sculptures, which is the first thing that comes to mind when talking about plasticity.


When an author is new to this type of art, he usually focuses on various branches of it, since they all start from similar principles, such as form, background, texture, color, depth and even movement.

History of the plastic arts

It arose during the nineteenth century, with the notion of distinguishing itself from the performing arts , however, with the arrival of the twentieth century, the previous knowledge about art came into conflict and was reformulated so many times that the plastic arts they ended up incorporating proposals such as graffiti and urban art . Today, this type of art is characterized by including all tangible works of art , that is, they can be seen and touched.


The main characteristics of the plastic arts are:

  • Figure / background: Psychology of form, Max Wertheimer , establishes that every surrounded surface becomes a figure, therefore, the rest becomes a background, in addition to this, there are other main laws that determine the phenomenon. Every sensible object exists against a background ; the figure has the quality of a thing, that is, everything else that is behind the figure is assimilated as a background . The figure is generally smaller, the color is more intense and compact in the figure than in the background.
  • Image: It is the result of a creative process, in which, by uniting materials , techniques and organization , perception changes, thus transforming sensory impressions, mnemic fantasies and in turn increasing the spectator’s experience by admire the work.
  • Perception: Perception is nothing more than the collection of data and how it is collected, in this way we experience, appreciate and capture our environment from different points of view. Perception is sensitive when new knowledge, new horizons are found, thus they merge with previous experiences; thus being born a new vision of certain things, which is sought in this type of art, expand and innovate.
  • Color: It is given to works with materials , which when exposed to white light absorb all the colors of the rainbow, except one, this color is what our retinas perceive.
  • Texture: It is appreciable by touch and also by sight, and is characterized by relief surfaces, roughness or smoothness, when observing the work, with its outer layer it transmits various sensations .
  • Movement: It is not only a way of emphasizing the work, but it is also the transformation of solidity to hypnotic shapes and colors that keep the viewer immersed in that type of art .

Types of plastic arts

Below we highlight the different types of plastic arts:

  • Painting: A discipline that through various mechanisms applies color to a smooth surface and a neutral background, such as canvas; creating in this way different realistic or abstract representations of the environment that surrounds us.
  • Sculpture: The artist uses his hands in this discipline, including other tools to mold, cut, polish and in this way give an expected shape to durable elements.
  • Goldsmith: The making of art by manipulating and melting precious metals, such as gold and the plant.
  • Drawing: With a pencil, charcoal , ink or other material that works for drawing, the artist is in charge of representing their perspectives with light strokes on the paper.
  • Engraving: This discipline prints gestures, letters or symbols on a hard and resistant surface.
  • Ceramic: A malleable element is given shape and eventually color , so that later when it dries it hardens and thus remains as a final, firm and shiny product.
  • Crafts: Using flexible materials and simple tools, objects or containers are produced, for everyday use by the artist.


In painting there are different techniques that work as tools for the artist, such as:

  • Oil
  • Watercolor
  • Tempera or temper
  • Encaustic or wax
  • Acrylic

However, engraving has the following techniques:

  • Embossing
  • Linoleum print
  • Fiber etching
  • Engraving against fiber
  • Fountain water etching
  • Aquatint engraving
  • Drypoint engraving
  • Halftone engraving

As for sculpture , we witness various techniques:

  • Clay
  • Stone
  • Iron
  • Wood
  • However, in goldsmithing, the technique that stands out and stands out above all is the glyptic, since it is one of the most used.

Differences between plastic arts and visual arts

The most relevant difference between these styles of art is the approach they have, the visual arts focus on the observer , aesthetics, on how the observer focuses his view to achieve contact with the beauty of the work, unlike the arts plastic, which focus on giving a glimpse of the perception of the artist or the creator and how he implemented various tools to reach the final project.

Artists (edit)

  • Picasso
  • Augusto Rondin
  • Théodore Deck
  • Voulvinus
  • Edgar degas
  • Prilidano Pueyrredón
  • Emilio Pettoruti
  • Antonio Berni


  • Guernica, Picasso
  • The Starry Night, Vicent Van Gogh
  • The Scream, Edwar Munch
  • Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo

Importance of the plastic arts

Without the visual arts, there would be no such dynamism between a work and the viewer , in addition to this, this style of art carries in itself many emotions, sensations and experiences , thus manifesting a creation that starts from the reality or imagination of the artist, inclusive, These situations can make the public identify with the work and, therefore, unite perceptions, transmitting a small part of themselves to the public , thus grouping the observers in a single movement for the enjoyment of the creation.

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