What is an art critic?
What do you think of
when you think of a
Do you think of
someone who is mean
and finds everything
they can wrong with an
Anyone can be an art critic!
Art criticism is the
process of evaluating
The process does not
have to be negative.
In art criticism you
follow four steps to
make a judgment about
an artworks success.
Why art criticism?
Art criticism allows you to
judge an artwork more
This allows you to make a
judgment that is based on
factual information instead
of simply opinion.
Making judgments based on
fact instead of opinion is
much stronger and more
thorough way of looking at
When do I use art criticism?
Art criticism is appropriate to use whenever
you are asked to judge an artwork.
With a few changes it could also be used to
judge music, literature or drama.
The process prepares you for making other
judgments such as decisions about major
purchases such as cars and homes. The
more you practice making a educated
informed judgment, the easier it will be for
you to make important decisions!
Four Steps to Art Criticism
Step One- Describing
Step Two- Analyzing
Step Three- Interpreting
Step Four- Judging
Click on any of the links above to jump directly to that step or just advance the
slide show to go through each step individually!
Step 1- Describing
In the first step you give a description of the artwork. You
Size, Medium, and Process (found in credit line of artwork!)
Subject and Objects in the artwork (tell what you see)
3 Elements of Art (be sure to explain how the artist used
For a reminder of the seven elements of art, use the
following link to Mrs. England’s website to view an element
of art PowerPoint!
Back to Steps!
Step 2- Analyzing
In this step you explain how the artist organized the
artwork (the composition.)
Choose three principles of design and be sure to
explain how the artist used them with the elements
For a reminder of some of the principles of design
follow the link below to Mrs. England’s webpage for
a PowerPoint on the principles of design!
Back to Steps
Step 3- Interpreting
In this step you explain the mood or meaning of
Be sure to explain and justify your answer,
don’t just put “the artwork looks sad”!
Back to Steps
Step 4- Judging
In the final step you make a judgment of whether or not the
artwork is successful based on one of three aesthetic
View #1- Subject- The artwork is successful only if it is
View #2- Content- The artwork is successful if it creates
a strong mood or feeling.
View #3- Composition- The artwork is successful if the
artist successfully used the elements and principles
together to make a good composition.
Remember you only pick one view and you justify you
Back to Steps
Now you try!
Use the artwork on the next slide to complete
the four step art criticism process!!
For even more practice follow the link below to
Mark Harden’s Artchive website, choose your
favorite artist and artwork and try it out!
George Caleb Bingham, Fur Traders Descending the Missouri,
1845, oil on canvas, 29 x 36 1/2 “, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New