Analyze A Representational Painting

Now that we covered all the elements and principles of design put your expertise to use! 

This lesson will help you analyze and explain the visual elements and principles in a work of art. You are essentially dissecting the art. Figuring out how the artist put the work together, will bring you further understanding of the work, the reasons behind the choices the artist made, how the elements and principles work together in that particular work, and insight into the concept of the piece.  Discuss your analysis to broaden your understanding of the work. Be specific as to what effect that element or principle has on the image.

**Remember art can range from aesthetically pleasing to commentary whether political, social, ecological, etc.  Also we all take our own experiences and cultures with us when viewing artwork.  This lends itself to some variation in interpretations.  Try to be as objective as possible.

Here’s how to complete the assignment:

  1. Look up the image, The Ballad of the Jealous Lover of Lone Green Valley by Thomas Hart Benton.
  2. Analyze the work, finding the elements of art and principles of design and functions of art that are used in the work.
  3. Decide what elements and principles to emphasize in marked up images of the painting and what text to include to complete the presentation in google slides or powerpoint or other slide program. (See Birth of Venus Analysis Video in Resources module for examples of marked up image).
  4. Make one slide just for the main shape analysis. (Guernica example预览文档 shows implied shapes)
  5. Make another slide for a value pattern analysis. It shows how the artist organizes the composition through lights and darks. (If you squint your eyes at the Benton painting it helps to see the reduced values.) ValuePatternEx.pdfPreview the document. Actions
  6. Create 1 or 2 other slides to add to your analysis, include visual aides  to make your point. (For example, putting arrows on the image to show the direction your eye follows when looking at the painting. Where do you look first? Where does your eye go from there? Why?) *What other elements or principles do you see in the work?
  7. Import the images into a slide program and mark up.  (it can also be done outside of the computer, printed image and marker for example, and photographed or scanned back in)  Identify, show and discuss the main design elements and principles of the composition- How they contribute to the composition, how it works to enhance the meaning of the piece and to how does it move the viewer around the piece in an orchestrated way. 
  8. Include text slides (they can be bulleted, but should be concise) with main comments to take us successfully through your analysis of the piece. Do a thorough job.  You should have 5-8 slides.
  9. Save the slides as a .pdf, .jpg, .pptx, ppt only.
  10. Post the presentation to the assignment.  

Tools for the assignment if you need them.

  1. Google account to use google docs and google slides if you’re not using powerpoint.

Tutorials for google docs and slides:

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