READING A PIECE OF ART WITH STUDENTS

by Robert Anderson

    STUDY THE PAINTINGS IN ADVANCE
    PLAN A SERIES OF QUESTIONS THAT ADDRESS VARIOUS ASPECTS OF THE     PAINTINGS
    RESPONSES OF STUDENTS SHOULD BE GUIDE TO PROGRESS

DESCRIBE THE PIECE OF ART

    What is your first impression?    What do you see?
    Are there people, objects or actions that you can describe?
    Are there things in the art work that you recognize?
            People shown?     Doing what?    What objects are shown?
            Is a time, or a place or an event shown?
       
        How about the way the art was made?
        What kind of colors, or shapes, or lines have been used?
        Are any of these repeated?         How?         Where?

        What was the first thing you noticed in the art work?
        Why was this so?

    INTERPRET THE MEANING OF THE PIECE OF ART
   
        What mood or feeling seems to be expressed?
        Does the art work seem happy or sad, silly or serious?
        Does the art work seem friendly or frightening, energetic or dreamy?
        Are words like brave, powerful, mysterious, haunting appropriate?
        Is it lighthearted, serious, gentle or rough?

        Are there other words appropriate to express to express mood or feeling?
        How has the artist suggested this?
        Is there a deeper meaning or message in the art work
        What do you think the piece of art means? Why?

    ANALYZE THE PIECE OF ART

        How is the art work organized?         How was it made?
        Are there relationships among things in the work?
        Are things repeated?         What effect does this have?
        Is there a suggestion of motion?
        Study the figures, objects & activity!
        Note & comment on their size, placement and proportion!
        Are objects near or far?
        How is the work balanced?         Symmetrically? Asymmetrically?
        Does the artist's technique influence the work?
        Is it painted in smooth or rough brush strokes?
        Is the painting like others in the gallery?

    EVALUATE THE PIECE OF ART

        What do you know about the life & work of the artist?
            Who is the artist?
            When was the work painted?
        What was happening at the time he /she painted the picture?
   
        Is the art work important or special in any way?
            What are your reasons?
        Is it a good piece of work?         What are your reasons?
        What do you see in the art work to help you judge?

        Is it special because of what it means?     Or what it does?
        Why do you feel this way?

ringlingdocents.org