Looking at Art
WHO? WHAT? WHY? AND HOW?
WHAT ART IS SAYING

 

 

    Where and when was the art work produced? What was the prevailing social political, economic atmosphere or lifestyle of the time?   (Do not be too vague or too brief.) What were some recent contemporary events occurring around that time? Times change peoples attitudes. Were there prevailing technologies that might have affected the artistic interpretation or methods? 

Form and Design Features of the Work
Use visual art terms to describe the content. <visual elements: shape, surface, size, mass, color, tone, texture, line, movement, space, light/shadow; or design elements e.g.: balance, contrast, rhythm, harmony, emphasis, figure/field, repetition, tension, movement, etc.> 

Form in Space Does the art suggest 2 dimensional or 3 dimensional space? 
Hint: 2 dimension space has a flat and cut out look such as a silhouette. 3 dimensional art has modeling, roundness, and depth. 
    Some pictures show great distance or depth others are “shallower” and do not go back very far into the distance. 

Design Features 
Design introduces the idea of composition or organization. Design generally attempts to achieve variety, harmony, contrast, etc. within the work. Design is about relationships of parts to each other. Visual Elements in art use terms like "shape" or "color". But in design we get into the EFFECTS of the interplay between elements, like "rhythm." Rhythm is an effect caused by repeating shapes or lines; Another effect is "contrast" caused by comparing two elements like the colors black and red. 
       Describe a contrast feature; Describe a rhythm feature; Describe variety features; How is unity achieved in the work? Is repetition used by the artist to achieve harmony? What forms or elements are repeated. See “visual elements” named above. 


  RETURN TO INDEX TO ART LESSONS

 

 

First Reactions: 
Consider first impressions. What strikes you as interesting? Unusual? What attracts you to the work. What technology or methodology may have influenced the work ?

Meanings: 
What does this picture seem to be about? Does the work appear to have a theme? Does the art work tell a story? Or express a feeling or mood? Explain what you actually see in the work that makes you say this. What do you think the intention of the artist was in selecting the forms, colors and style that you see? 

Visual and Pictorial Content: 
List the content of the picture, name as many things as you can. Naming things is the usual way we describe pictures. This may work on realistic kinds of art. But how do you describe art that is not normal in appearance or abstract? An abstract or unrealistic picture is still full of visual material but it must be identified in a different way. 

Visual Art Vocabulary
Use visual terms to describe the content. <visual elements: shape, surface, size, mass, color, tone, texture, line, movement, space, light/shadow; or design elements e.g.: balance, contrast, rhythm, harmony, emphasis, figure/field, repetition, tension, movement, etc.

Looking at "performance" 
skills and methods

Consider the technique the artist used. What can you point to that seems to indicate a good application of skills. (Each art form has its own set of skills.) Can you see a place where "performance" is at a high level. Consider for example, musicians who play with skill or figure skaters who skate with skill. 

 





2009