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Lesson Plan Submitted by: Betsy Larson
Art criticism involves a specific way of looking at a work of art. You can make discernment about art without being a professional artist, all you need to do is learn to look (see) and think about what you are seeing.
Learning how to criticize artwork properly will allow you to better understand works of art and why they have become important.
The process of art criticism involves 4 actions. They are: describe, analyze, interpret and decide.
Some guidelines to help you are below:
Describe - what things are in the painting? Think of things like clothing, environment, etc.
Analyze - how are the elements of line, shape, form, texture, space and value used? How are the principles of unity pattern, rhythm, variety, balance, emphasis and proportion used?
Interpret - what is the artist trying to say to you? What is going on in the picture or artwork?
Decide- What do I think about this artwork? Do I like it? Why or why not?
How do I feel about whether the artist was successful in conveying an idea?
To better understand about deciding about how you feel about an artwork, it may help to take a look at the three common aesthetic theories below.
Is the artwork successful because:
Imitationalism/Realism - The artist rendered the images in a realistic manner. It is easy to discern the subject because of the realistic quality of the art.
Formalism/Composition - The artist was adept in using the elements and principles of design in the artwork. (This also refers to the placement, contrast, and interaction of all parts of the work.)
Emotionalism/Feelings- The artist did a good job of evoking an emotion or feeling from me.
See lesson on art criticism
Go to Art Criticism Assessment