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Dubois Elementary School

120 South Lincoln Ave
Springfield, IL 62704
ART CRITICISM: Using the Right Tools to Talk About ART

When looking at art work we can initiate an organized procedure known as art criticism. The following steps of art criticism allow each viewer to become more involved in the processes of perceiveing and responding to the Art that they see. 


DESCRIBE:  The viewer lists all the apparent things in the work. Naming and describing the obvious allows the viewer to set a base for the brian to think about what is seen.


ANALYZE:  The viewer considers the way the artist has used the elements of art and principles of design to create the work of art.

How has the artist used line, shape, color, texture, space and value?
What is the emphasis in the work of art?
What kind of balance is used?
Do you see variety, unity, or contrast?


INTERPRET: The viewer considers the meaning or message the art work may infer.
It is an interpretation based on , feelings and life experiences of the viewer. This interpretation is also based the knowledge gathered in the first two steps of art criticism.

What is happening in this work of art?
What might the artist be trying to say to us?

DECIDE: There are aesthetic decisions young students can make.

The viewer make say the work of art is successful because the objects are realistically portrayed, The subject matter is clearly identifiable. (Imitationalism/Realism)

The viewer may say a work of art is successful because the artist has used the elements of art and principles of design in an effective manner. (Formalism/ Composition)

The viewer may sat the work of art is successful because it creates a strong emotion affecting the feelings of the viewer. (Emotionalism/Feelings)

The more the viewer interacts with a work of art, the better the chances of being involved in a meaningful artistic experience.