Interview 3 students based on these Art Criticism questions

Art Criticism is a process of inquiry [questioning] or system of talking about art, supported by good reasons. This method is exploratory and the object is to share and extend ideas. Write short answer format, the first time, then essay format with full sentences the next time. Ask students to give evidence.


A. Description:

Take inventory of what you see? Give alternative answers to help. ADD PHOTO OF STUDENT WORK or MAKE A SKETCH

What is the subject matter?

What kind of painting? (landscape, still life, genre, portrait, cartoon, other).

What lines dominate the art work? (straight, curvy, other).

What shapes dominate the artwork? (geometric, organic, both).

What colors dominate the picture? Name them.


B. Analysis:

Design: Discuss how parts are arranged. Making relationships. Artists repeat lines, shapes, colors, and patterns in exciting ways to make an artwork more interesting.

What composition or layout did you use? (Symmetrical, triangle, vertical, circular, or grid). Use tracing paper to find the major directional flow.

What major patterns/textures did you use?

What is your color scheme? (monochromatic, analogous, complementary, triadic, other)

How is the space arranged? (flat (2D), overlapping, or deep (3-D low or high relief, in-the- round)?


Technique: Discuss your methods.

How did you make this picture? (draw, paint, collage, model or carve, other).

Is it 2-D or 3-D or some mixed media?

What media did you use (clay, wood, oil, acrylic, charcoal, other)?

Where did you start? [Base or armature?]

3-D FORM not SHAPE: Is it relief, in-the-round; concave or convex?

How did you build it? [Overlap parts, bottom-up, other]

How did you decorate it? [pattern, incise, applique, other]

What was the hardest part?

How did you solve the problem?

How did you finish it?(preserve or frame it, if applicable)


C. Interpretation

What does this work mean to you? ____________________________________

Give this work a title ________________________________________.

What symbols do you use? A symbol is something that stands for something else. A lion is a symbol of strength. ___________________________________

What do the colors symbolize? [For example, blue means loyalty).


How do the colors make you feel? (mood--happy, sad, other)_________________

How does it feel (touch)? Like ___________________________

How does it sound? Like ________________________

How does it taste? Like _______________________

How does it smell? Like ________________________


D. Judgment:

Discuss the theories. Choose the best reasons why this work is important?

a. Imitative or Representational. You tried to accurately describe the subject matter: the event, people, objects.

b. Formalistic. You experimented with the art elements (shapes, colors, space) in an unusual way.

c. Emotionalism. You emphasized the mood or symbols.

d. Functionalism. You intended the work to be useful, religious, educational, or propaganda. What function? What problems did you have and how did you solve them?


Suggested Criteria Complete the Project and Concepts Assigned

Craftsmanship? Explain

Originality [Stereotype, Common, Uncommon, Unique] Explain your choice.

Expressive Meaning communicated how? Explain [through color mood, expressive lines, exaggerated shapes, other]

Fulfill the assigned concepts, such as color harmony? Explain.

What is successful about the piece?

How would you improve it?



Barrett, T. (1997). Talking about student art. Worcester, MA: Davis.

Feldman, E. (1970). Becoming human through art. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall

Mittler, G. (1980). Learning to look/learning to learn: A proposed approach to art appreciation at the secondary school level.Art Education,