How Should We Look At Art
TEKS 1B, 3A, 4B
TEKS 1A, 3A, 4B
•As a student I will use description,
analysis, interpretation and
evaluation to critique artworks
•I will explain how art critics use the
criteria of design quality,
expressiveness, and originality to
description: the facts in an
art work, such as objects,
people, shapes and colors.
elements of art: the building
blocks of art: shape, color,
form, line, space, texture, and
Analysis: the examination of the relationships among the facts
(objects, people, shapes, colors)in the artwork
Principles of design: Balance, emphasis, rhythm, movement,
repetition, contrast, and unity
The methods or techniques that artist use to organize or design
artworks by controlling and ordering the elements of design
(Line, color, shape, space, form, value, texture).
Composition: The act of organizing the elements of an
artwork into a harmoniously unified whole.
The first step in criticism:
Description: stick to the facts-no opinions
Auguste Renior: Luncheon of the Boating Party 1880 oil on canvas
What objects do you see?
How many objects do you see?
What colors, shapes, and line do you see?
Read the first two paragraphs on page 20 and print what you
actually see in the picture.
Using the Elements and principles of ART
•What colors are used?
•How many people do you see?
•Did he use white areas?
Notice how many different colors are seen
in the foliage
•What type of clothing are the people wearing
formal, casual, informal, winter, summer, spring, autumn
•Where are the people located?
•Locate some of the most important lines?
•Are the colors warm or cool?
•Is there a secondary color?
•Is there a mood?
•Is there unity and balance?
•What is the subject of the work?
Look at the different depictions of light reflected in the
white table cloth and napkins, What other colors does
Renior use to convince you the table cloth is white and
the napkins are a different white?
Ask yourself these questions…
What is the relationship among the objects (principles of design)
Do they clash or harmonize?
Are they balanced?
Is there variety?
Is there unity without monotomny?
How do the lines of sight among the three people
add interest to the composition?
Notice how the group below form a triangle.
a systematic discussion of the characteristics of an art work, usually
involving four stages: description
What will you be describing as you analyze the
composition of an artwork?
Principles of design or how the artist relate things to each other in the art
Asymmetrical: a feeling of balance attained when the visual
units on either side of a vertical axis are actually different but are
placed in the composition to create a “felt” balance of the total
Symmetrical: a balanced arrangement in which
the parts of a composition are organized to that one
side duplicate or mirrors the other
a systematic discussion of the characteristics of an art work, usually involving four
explanation of the meaning of the artwork
Using the ART
What is going on in Renior’s Luncheon on the Boating Party?
What is the relationship between these people and why?
What is the spirit of the painting?
Unity: describes they way in which an artwork is treated as a single,
Variety: describes the differences within the artwork, subject matter, visual elements,
This abstract painting offers the viewer
multiple optical effects.
Why isn’t balance an issue in this work?
Josef Alerts, Homage to the
1966 Acrylic on Canvas
The pond in the center of this painting
serves as its dominate element.
What is it that draws your attention to this
Robert S. Duncanson, Blue Hole, Flood
Waters, Little Miami
1851 Oil on Canvas
•How did Renior create unity with so many shapes and objects?
•Identify the groups of people in this painting?
•Which shapes and colors are repeated?
•What do the lines lead your eyes to?
•What area or part of this painting seems most important or dominate?
•Which paintings are symmetrical?
•What is a metaphor?
•Name some metaphors?
•Print 5 metaphors?
•Select a painting from this chapter and print a metaphor for that
•What is the style of this painting?
•Why do you think the artist included the glimpse of a river view?
•How does the river view help you to understand the painting?
Renior included his friends and fellow impressionist in the Luncheon of the
Boating party. They would often gather in the village of Chatou on the Seine River to rent boats
and dine at Maison Fouranise.
Occasionally Renior traded his paintings for lodging at this restaurant and small hotel. He
probably painted this picture while visiting and revised it at his studio.
•Evaluation: the process to determine the quality or lasting
importance of a work
•Formalism: a way of using the elements of art and the principles of
design to evaluate art.
•Expressionism: how effectively the work reflects a theme or worldview.
•Aesthetics: appreciating something for its sheer beauty.
•How important is the monetary value of a work of art?
•Print three critiques of Renior’s Luncheon of the Boating Party, from
the three different perspectives:
• Formalist, expressionist, and someone who treasured originality
•What do the three art works on these pages have in common?
Supper at Emmuas 1601
Luncheon of the Boating Party 1880-1
Back Yard 1976
•How do you think the later artist might have been influenced by the
•In what ways is Georges’ painting original, even though it explores a
•History: Supper at Emmaus illustrates the biblical story in which the recently crucified but risen
from the dead Christ blesses the bread, thus revealing his identity to the two men whom he had
joined as they walked to Emmus. Michelangelo was criticized for his use of common people as
models and making his painting too realistic. Caravaggio led a violent life. He went from one
scrape with the law to the next and finally fled to Rome when he killed a man.
•Four steps to critiquing art:
•How does this model help you to learn
more about Renior’s Luncheon of the
•Critique the following works of art using the four steps of art
Lapstake granite 1987
Hana-Ogi of Ogi-Ya 1794
My Backyard 1937