600 words

Follow Directions: How to Critique an Artwork 

Description Describe the work without using value words such as “beautiful” or “ugly”: 

? What is the written description on the label or in the program about the work? 

? What is the title and who is (are) the artist(s)? 

? When and where was the work created? 

? Describe the elements of the work (i.e., line movement, light, space). 

? Describe the technical qualities of the work (i.e., tools, materials, instruments). 

? Describe the subject matter. What is it all about? Are there recognizable images? 

Analysis Describe how the work is organized as a complete composition: 

? How is the work constructed or planned (i.e., acts, movements, lines)? 

? Identify some of the similarities throughout the work (i.e., repetition of lines, two songs in each act). 

? Identify some of the points of emphasis in the work (i.e., specific scene, figure, movement). 

? If the work has subjects or characters, what are the relationships between or among them? 

Interpretation Describe how the work makes you think or feel: 

? Describe the expressive qualities you find in the work. What expressive language would you use to describe the qualities (i.e., tragic, ugly, funny)? 

? Does the work remind you of other things you have experienced (i.e., analogy or metaphor)? 

? How does the work relate to other ideas or events in the world and/or in your other studies? 

Judgment or Evaluation Present your opinion of the work’s success or failure: 

? What qualities of the work make you feel it is a success or failure? 

? Compare it with similar works that you think are good or bad. 

? What criteria can you list to help others judge this work? 

? How original is the work? Why do you feel this work is original or not original?