Choose one your fellow artists’ work. Go through the process of critiquing art

Choose one your fellow artists’ work.
Go through the process of critiquing art – describe, analyze, interpret and summarize.
Describe the artwork.
Analyze the visual elements and
Interpret – What is the artist trying to convey?
Summary – Did what the artist was trying to convey communicate to you. Why? How?
Use your visual vocabulary.

Critiquing Art LectureDownload Critiquing Art Lecture

Art Critique Text PDFDownload Art Critique Text PDF


Describe what you see. This is the objective part of the art critique. It involves a technical description-nothing more. To start, identify the genre of the artwork (portrait, still life, landscape, abstract etc.) Identify the style of the artwork. The description should include a statement about the materials, technique and colors used as well as the shapes, lines, texture, light, shadow, saturation and value. Comment on the predominant mood and visual effect. Note the characteristics of the artwork that first jump out at you. Explain everything you see even if you aren’t sure what it is.


The analysis analyzes the use of visual elements in artwork. Carefully examine and analyze the relationships of all the visual elements and how they are used in the structure of the artwork. Describe how the elements within the artwork are organized as a complete composition. How do the technical element contribute to the mood, meaning and aesthetic sensation of the artwork? How are lines, shapes and colors and textures used in the piece of art? Look for a center of interest (focal point/eye grabber) Is there one? What is it? Is there a special balance, or “weight,” among the elements? What mood does it create? Do the proportions look normal, ideal or unusual? Are any elements repeated to create a pattern? Where? What visual rhythms or paths of movement do your eyes follow? Are there elements that are unified with the work? What elements add variety?


This part of an art critique is more subjective than the others. Use your analysis of the technical aspects of the piece of art to apply your own supposition to the artist’s intended purpose for the artwork. What is the artist trying to communicate or describe? Use the information you have gathered to tell what the work means to you. What does the work make you think or feel when you look at it? What is happening in the artwork? What is the artist saying? Consider not only the literal descriptions but also the emotional content and the use of symbols and allegories to arrive at the message or meaning in the work. Explain what you feel the artist’s intended purpose, concept or message is for creating that particular artwork. Examine why the artist made the choices in technique, materials and subject matter and how they relate to the intended purpose. Examine the expressive qualities you find in the work and how those elements convey meaning to you. What expressive language would you use to describe the qualities (i.e., tragic, somber, uplifting, funny, calming)? Does the work remind you of other things you have experienced (i.e., analogy or metaphor)?


This is a summation of the art criticism process leading up to this point. Use your description, analysis and interpretation to draw conclusions about the artwork. Give your opinion on what the work conveys to you. What qualities of the work make you feel come to your conclusions? State what you think the artwork’s value is. For example, its value may be to evoke nostalgia, to incite anger or to impart beauty. Explain the strengths and perhaps weaknesses of the artwork. Explain the criteria you’ve used to draw your conclusions. What is the best thing about the piece? How unique is the work? Why do you feel this work is or may not be unique? How is this picture unique in its composition? Summarize the strongest message the artwork conveys.