Firstly, it helps to build an awareness of elements within creative works.
Visual elements: these can include line, shape, colour, space, texture, value and form (see above). The elements can vary between disciplines. For an explanation, see these useful handouts on the elements of art and the visual elements in photography.
Composition: this is how these elements are arranged. See the principles of design from Getty Museum (2011).
Watch the video below to find out more about the elements of art.
Apply critical thinking to images. This does not mean being negative or attacking someone’s work.
It begins with descriptive questions such as What? Who? When? Where?
Go deeper by analysing and evaluating: Why? How? What if? So What? What next?
Look at the diagram and questions below for guidance.
What is it?
What is the subject matter?
Who was it created for and by?
When was it created?
Where was it created or first exhibited?
Which materials or techniques were used?
4. Critical Analysis
Why was it created?
So what might it represent?
How are the visual elements and composition used for effect?
How does it relate to your practice?
Use the PDFs below to find more questions. Aim for greater amounts of critical analysis in writing.