Segments in this Video

Elements of Design (01:53)


Elements give the artwork feeling; they are present in every work of art but often prioritized differently. These include color, form, shape, line, space, texture, and value; see examples.

Thoughts on Composition (01:12)

Composition is the placement of elements in a work of art. Alberto Aguilar compares composition to cleaning a garage. See a visual survey of composition.

Thoughts on Line (00:42)

Tony Lewis grounds his work in drawing; line is one of the strongest fundamentals. See a visual survey of line.

Thoughts on Texture (00:42)

Light and texture are intertwined. See a visual survey of texture.

Thoughts on Color (00:50)

Paola Cabal is interested in what light looks like when it comes into space from outside at night. See a visual survey of color.

Thoughts on Space (02:04)

Titus O'Brien states that space is in the use of color, composition, and pictorial space. See a visual survey of space in paintings and sculpture. See a list of resources for studying art.

Principles of Design (00:42)

Design principles describe the use of design elements and include: balance, contrast, dominance, gradation, harmony, movement, repetition, scale, and unity.

Thoughts on Balance and Harmony (01:44)

Lewis states that questions of composition dictate balance and harmony. Understanding the strongest principles allows him to "play" with the artwork. See a visual survey of balance and harmony.

Thoughts on Movement (00:48)

Stephen Eisenman discusses the structure and hierarchy of 17th century landscapes. See a visual survey of movement.

Thoughts on Repetition (00:56)

Lewis states that drawings contain patterns and formal repetition. Pattern is most prevalent when it appears in several drawings. See a visual survey of repetition

Thoughts on Dominance (01:09)

Albert Aguilar discusses composition in Picasso's "Mother and Child;" he cites the elevated design principles. See a visual survey of dominance.

Thoughts on Scale (02:07)

Lewis gravitates to large scale because of his original perceptions of drawing. See a visual survey of scale and a list of resources for studying art.

Description versus Analysis (00:38)

Describing artwork involves identifying physical characteristics. Analyzing artwork involves assessing the artist's choices and the composition's overall impact.

What is a Description? (00:52)

A description is the basic examination of an artwork's elements and structures; it requires a detailed look. Eisenman provides tips for examining a work of art.

What is Analysis? (00:60)

Analysis is the detailed examination of an artwork's elements and structures. Historical analysis evaluates artwork in the social and cultural context in which it was created.

In Summary (01:20)

Formalism evaluates the formal elements of line, shape, color, and material in an artwork. Close analysis of an artwork will reveal the historical meanings. See a list of resources for studying art.

Techniques and Materials (01:07)

Different materials and processes and can mean and do various things. Peter Fagundo cites perception differences between large and small scale. Media can complicate an audience's understanding of the artwork.

Perspectives from Three Artists on Media (04:21)

Cabal tries to make light substantial without being "too clunky;" she has rigorous rules for how form emerges onto the surface of her material. Aguilar wants to "keep things fresh;" he changes mediums. Nazafarin Lotfi works with objects she has in her studio. See a list of resources for studying art.

Artistic Process (00:45)

Approaches to creating art include: concept leading to product, response to materials or processes, and commission.

Conversation with Two Artists: the Concept (00:48)

Cabal considers how she can create a lasting intervention that will draw your attention to something that was always there and you had not realized it. Lotfi thinks about her work with text and paper.

Conversation with Two Artists: the Process (03:42)

Cabal's first step for several commissions was intensive study of the space; she chooses materials and techniques for approaching the space. Lotfi works close to her paintings that lie flat on a table; texture is the residue of her process.

Conversation with Two Artists: the Final Product (01:06)

See works of art by Cabal and Lotfi and a list of resources for studying art.

Practicing Formal Analysis (00:43)

Fagundo lists the four steps of formal analysis that leads us from form to content and quality.

Describe the Work (01:15)

O'Brien states the first question is, how are you reacting to a work of art? Eisenman suggests discussing the larger forms within an artwork before moving on to smaller details.

Analyze the Work (01:44)

O'Brien states we understand the heart of an artwork through the way it looks and what tools were used. Eisenman states that formal analysis is the first step every artist takes; meaning often follows.

Interpret the Work (00:49)

Consider what the art form is and what it means. Eisenman wants to understand the social, political, and psychological location in which an artwork was created and see it in context with other works.

Judge the Work (Quality and Value) (02:07)

O'Brien considers value in terms of inquiry and self-expression— what is the quality of an artist's investment in the questions they are asking? Eisenman values a work of art by determining how the artwork affected particular audiences. See a list of resources for studying art.

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Introduction to Art: Visual Analysis

Part of the Series : Introduction to Art
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



This video defines the elements of art and principles of design and shows how they are used when describing and analyzing works of art. Learn the distinction between different media, techniques, materials, and processes used in art making and their practical and symbolic implications of each. Finally, experts discuss the components of a formal analysis of a single work as well as a comparative formal analysis of two or more artworks.

Length: 38 minutes

Item#: BVL117883

Copyright date: ©2012

Closed Captioned

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Not available to Home Video, Dealer and Publisher customers.