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The Written Critique

Being a successful artist is not just about making quality works of art. In order to be successful, you need to be able to speak and write about your work.

Frank Korb

on 1 November 2013

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Transcript of The Written Critique

Preliminary Work
TWO PAGES is a minimum. I know bad writing when I see it... you know bad writing when you are writing it.
4 Parts to a CRIT.
The FINAL Crit. (critique...)
The Artwork!
Things to Ask before writing
(cc) photo by Metro Centric on Flickr
(cc) photo by Franco Folini on Flickr
(cc) photo by jimmyharris on Flickr
(cc) photo by Metro Centric on Flickr
The Elements
of Art

The Principles of Design
Shape and Form
Movement and Rhythm
What is it that makes a SUCCESSFUL WORK OF ART?
How did you make plans for your art work?
The DESCRIPTION is where you will write out a detailed overview of all the parts of the composition. JUST THE FACTS MA'AM. What is it you see in the work? No emotion, no happy, no sad, just the items, objects, the subject matter of the work.
Analysis is the part where you will discover how the work is organized and put together. This is THE PLACE to use the big art terms called the ELEMENTS and the PRINCIPLES. Do you remember those? This is also a GREAT place to talk about the PROCESS you went through. Look back over your goals and the reflection statments in your sketchbook!
Interpretation is a great place to let your mind explore the possibilities. Make sure you are using the facts in the work as well as your personal understanding of the topic at hand, the world at large, and your personal experiences. How do you YOU interpret the work? What sort of mood or message do you think the ARTIST was trying to say? Use your educated and creative mind to take care of this aspect of the critique.
What do you especially like or dislike about the art wok in front of you? What are the ARTISTIC, AESTHETIC (the study of beauty) or other merits (qualities) of the work? Is this SUCCESSFUL as a work of art. WHY? Do NOT just say that you like the work, but give your own educated explaination as to WHY it is successful (or unsuccessful).
How did those plans for making the work help you in the beginning? How have you PROGRESSED through the preliminary work to the final work?
What is the subject matter of the work?
What is its title and does it help you interpret the work?
Can you imagine different ways to approach this piece?
What ELEMENT is dominant in the work?
Is it consistent with traditional laws of perspective?
What is the figure ground relationship in the work?
How does VALUE function in the work?
What is the predominant color scheme of the work?
How are these Principles used to organize?
Is there visual rhythm and repetition?
Is the composition balanced?
Does the composition seem unified or not?
What is it that makes an UNSUCCESSFUL WORK OF ART?
Your typed critique will be formatted:
Standard Microsoft Word Formatting
Double Spaced
Times New Roman, Palatino, other SERIF font
10, 11, or 12 point font
Titles in Italics

Header in the upper right corner:
Title of work or project name, last name, page number

Upper Left Corner
(Single Spaced):
Formal Insructions
Let's look at Vincent Van Gogh's oil on canvas "Bedroom at Arles" from October of 1888.
Full transcript