Elements of art:
• Lines — actual, implied, straight, curved; broken, simple, complex, vertical, bold, delicate, etc. Principles of design:
• Shapes — two/three-dimensional, representational, abstract, geometric, organic, open, closed, etc.
• Value — relative dark and light; value contrast; shading or gradations of value to show depth.
• Color — scheme (monochromatic, complementary); quality (warm, cool, intense, expressive, etc.).
• Texture — Involves our sense of touch: smooth, rough, hairy, scratchy, wet, etc.
• Space — space between shapes, volume, holes, relationships, spatial illusion (perspective), etc.
• Unity — holds together as a whole. Similarities:
• Variety — provides visual interest.
• Emphasis — something to hold the eye.
• Balance — formal (symmetrical) or informal.
• Proportion — relative sizes of images.
• Pattern — repeated motifs.
• Rhythm and movement — active or stable.
• Images that compare to each other in any way. Differences:
• Images that compare to other artworks, nature, or your experience.
• Contrast in scale, clarity, value, color, texture, or other art elements.Interpret
• Contrasts to other artworks.
Use as you see fit, and in any order that naturally occurs. Question:
What do I feel when I look at the artwork? What seems important? Free-associate:
What does the image bring to mind? No rules: let your mind wander where it will. Compare
to other artworks. Investigate
the historical context Eliminate
your previous observations:
• Eliminate the unimportant or uninteresting.
• Arrange potentially significant observations. Suggest
meanings the artist may have had in mind. Test
your ideas: review your description and analysis. Reflect
on spiritual and personal meanings for you. Evaluate Originality
• Is the image trite, or overused, formulaic or overly cute? Craft
• Does the artist offer insight, a fresh approach, a unique viewpoint?
• Does the image have a certain presence of its own?
• Does fine crafting support or distract from the immediacy of the image? Design
• Is the artwork loose, free, painterly, textural — or just sloppy?
• Does the work have balance, unity, variety, rhythm? Expression
• If the artwork is functional, does the form follow the function?
• Is the work readable? Does it have a focal point?
• If it is confusing, does the confusion seem to support the content?
• Is anything being expressed (not necessarily profound or serious)?
• How well do the physical elements — materials, media, shapes, colors — support the content?
• Does the work evoke anything in me?