Art 200 Visual Analysis

If you are unable to see an artwork in person you can do this assignment virtually. You can “attend” the virtual online art show at JMUs ArtWorks student gallery. You still must include an image of the artwork as well as the date you visited the virtual gallery. Here is the link: (Links to an external site.) *Most art galleries are open now including the ones on the JMU campus. Please follow guidelines for safety including wearing a mask social distancing etc. If you have any issues with visiting a gallery or museum in person please contact me as soon as possible for an alternative assignment. Below is a good reference to aid you in observing the artwork and writing your Visual Analysis: VISUAL/FORMAL ANALYSIS OF WORKS OF ART A work of art is the product of the dynamic interrelationships between the various art elements and principles as they are utilized by the artist. As you engage yourself with a work of art ask yourself why do you think the artist made such choices? By using concrete elements and principles to make ourselves look more closely at works of art we may further understand the artists intended vision and will notice how the artwork often reflects the time and place from which it came. ART ELEMENTS Line – Do you see any outlines which define objects shapes or forms? Are lines used to emphasize a direction (vertical horizontal diagonal)? Describe the important lines: are they straight or curved short or long thick or thin? How do you think the artist utilized to emphasize certain objects forms or people? Are any invisible lines implied? For example is a hand pointing is the path of a figures gaze creating a psychological line or is linear perspective utilized? Do the lines themselves even have an expressive quality as in Van Goghs Starry Night? Shape/Form – A 2D object such as a drawing of a triangle is called a shape. A 3D object such as a pyramid is called a form. What shapes or forms do you see? Are the objects in the work (for a painting or drawing) or are the objects themselves (for a sculpture or architectural work) flat or volumetric? Organic or geometric? Actual or implied? For representations of people how does shape lend character to a figure? Are these figures proud or timid strong or weak beautiful or grotesque? What is the size of all the forms and how do they relate proportionally to one another? Are they located in the foreground middle ground or background? Why do you think the artist placed them there? Space – How does the form created by shape and line fill the space of the composition? Is there negative or empty space without objects? If the object is three-dimensional how does it fill our space? Is it our size or does it dwarf us? If a two-dimensional object is the space flat or does it visually project into our space? How does the artist create depth in the image (layering of figures/objects linear perspective atmospheric perspective foreshortening of figures)? Volume/Mass – Forms (3D) have two fundamental attributes: volume (the amount of space a form occupies) and mass (a volume that has or gives the illusion of having weight density and bulk. Does the artwork accentuate weight and solidity or rather openness and weightlessness? Is the mass asymmetrical suggesting dynamism and change or balanced suggesting regularity and timelessness? Light/Value – For a two-dimensional object is a source of light depicted or implied? Is it a natural light source or artificial? Are the shadows created by the light true to life or does the artist distort them? How does the artist depict shadows? Through line or color? If a three-dimensional object how does the object interact with the light in its setting? How do gradations of shadows and highlights create form or depth emphasis or order in the composition? Color – Which colors are dominantly used in this depiction? If the object is black and white or shades of gray did the artist choose to do this because of the media he was working or did it create a certain mood or effect? Color can be best described by its hue tone and intensity. The hue is its basic name blue or red. Does the artists choice of color create a certain mood? Does the artist make use of complementary colors (red/green violet/yellow blue/orange)? Or analogous colors (those next to one another on the color wheel)? Does the artist utilize colors which are warm or cool? Where? Is atmospheric perspective utilized (in which cool colors recede creating a blurred background and warm bright colors fill the foreground)? Texture – What is the actual texture on the surface of the object? Is it rough or smooth? What is the implied texture? Are patterns created through the use of texture? Time/Motion – Is the artwork kinetic or static? If static has the artist found ways to suggest activity the passage of time or the appearance of motion? Is time/motion implied or actual? Are movement and change significant aspects of the artwork? ART PRINCIPLES Emphasis/Focal Point – The emphasis of a work refers to a focal point in the image or object. What is your eye drawn to? Does the artist create tension or interest by creating more than one area or interest? Or is the work of art a afocal? That is the viewer cannot find a particular place to rest the eye. Is there even a psychological focus created through the elements of art? Balance – Balance is produced by the visual weight of shapes and forms within a composition. Balance can be symmetrical in which each side of central line is the same or asymmetrical. How are opposites utilized (light/shadow straight/curved lines complementary colors)? Unity/Variety – When looking at the composition (the overall design or organization of an artwork) is it unified—creating order harmony or wholeness—or is it varied emphasizing uniqueness and diversity? Does everything seem in its proper place or if an element was changed or moved would it affect the overall design? Scale/Proportion – Scale is the size of an object relative to another object. How does the scale of the work communicate ideas? Is the work small scale suggesting intimacy and delicacy? Is the work large scale conveying larger ideas heroism or epic virtues? Is hierarchy of scale used? Is proportion (the sizes of different parts of a work) significant? Are the parts of the artwork in proportion to each other suggesting unity? Or are the parts out of proportion creating contradiction and discord? Rhythm/Pattern – Rhythm is created by repetition. What repeated elements do you see? Pattern is an arrangement of predictably repeated elements. Does the repetition create a subtle pattern a decorative ornamentation? Does the predictability of the pattern imply unity? Or does it create an intensity a tension? Does the rhythm unify the work or does it seem a group of disparate parts? MEDIA AND TECHNIQUE Is the object two- or three-dimensional? What limits might the chosen medium create for the artist if any? Painting – How did the type of paint effect the strokes the artist could make? Was it fresco oil tempera watercolor? Was it a fast-drying paint giving the artist little time to make changes? What kind of textures and lines was the artist able to create with this medium? Does it create a shiny or flat look? How durable was the medium? Does the work look the same today as when the artist painted it? Drawing – Consider the materials utilized: metal point chalk charcoal graphite crayon pastel ink wash. Is the artist able to make controlled strokes with this medium? Would the tool create a thick or thin line? Defined or blurred? Was the drawing intended to be a work of art in itself? Or is it a study for another work a peek into the artists creative process? Printmaking – What is the process the artist undertook to create this work? Did he need to carve or etch? Did the medium require a steady hand? Strength or patience? Sculpture – Is the sculpture high or low relief or can we see the object in the round? What challenges did the material present to the artist? Was the object created through a subtractive process (beginning with a large mass of the medium and taking away from it to create form) or an additive process? What tools did the artist use to create his form? If a human form is the artwork life-size? Requirements: Essay | 1 pages Single spaced Two typewritten double-spaced pages (approximately 500 words) minimum; the analysis can be longer than this. Image of the artwork taken by you with a label of the title artist date and location of art museum or gallery Proof that you went to a museum or gallery. This can be a “selfie” of you in front of the artwork or art gallery or have someone take your picture with the artwork.* You will need to upload your Word doc and two images into Canvas by midnight on the due date. Be sure to use a strong internet connection when doing so. I will accept late papers but 10 points are deducted per day late.Assignment:Go to any art gallery or art museum.* Choose one specific art object on display. The object can be a painting sculpture drawing craft object or any other type of artwork that can be found in a professional venue (such as a gallery museum arts space—not in a home or office setting). It can be from any time period—from prehistoric to contemporary—and from anywhere in the world. This must be an ORIGINAL artwork not a reproduction. A visual analysis requires you to look closely at a work of art for a period of time so plan on spending at least 15 minutes studying the work.Write a visual or formal analysis of this artwork. A visual analysis considers only those aspects of the work of art that can be directly observed; anything beyond the visual “boundary” of the work is irrelevant to this paper. Consider such aspects as its form technique material space color composition texture line size and emphasis. Attached is a list of key elements principles and media/techniques. You can use this as a guide but not as a checklist. Choose the elements and principles that are the most apparent to you and try to figure out why the artist made those artistic choices in creating the artwork. At least three elements and three principles of art should be identified and analyzed. Please underline or bold these terms in your paper. Also you should discuss the medium (materials) and technique (how it was made).The analysis should be written as a coherent well-organized essay using complete sentences and paragraphs. You should begin your essay by introducing the title (italicized) artist date size (if provided; if not estimate) medium and location of the artwork as well as a basic description of the work – what does it physically look like? Describe the subject of the artwork in a sentence or two.The bulk of your essay should be the analysis portion. In your analysis you should demonstrate that you know how to look at art in a sophisticated manner – not just describing the work but choosing the elements and principles that seem to be the most important to the artist and figuring out why. For example this is description: “The ceramic jar has a line painted on its surface.” Here is an analysis: “The ceramic jar employs a thick curved blue line on its surface that diagonally moves from left to right. This prominent line creates a sense of fluidity and implied motion. The painted deep blue color of the line conveys coolness and its bold curves seem to emphasize the roundness of the vessel.” You might begin by noting where your eyes are drawn to first and what elements and principles the artist employed to create this visual emphasis and focal point.This is an exercise in looking and visually analyzing. Therefore any discussion of the artists biography historical context or the meaning or symbolism of an artwork will not be counted towards the word count. This is NOT a research paper; however if you do consult outside sources to assist in your analysis please be sure to cite them with a footnote or parenthetical citation. ‘

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