final paper 404

Introduction

Your final paper is going to focus on using what you’ve learned by evaluating a single piece of art (sculpture, craft, painting, installation, etc.). It’s the reason why I’ve had you evaluate pieces of art so often in your Art Conversations. For this, however, the grading criteria is going to be far more strict. I am looking for strong, specific language. Avoid being vague. What is vague? The use of “maybe”, “could be”, “might be”, “possibly”, etc. Be confident in your observations. If you see something in the piece, state it with strong language. I am asking for your evaluation of the piece, not anyone else’s. Don’t worry about what the experts “might” say.

As far as specific language, I am looking for key terms from the textbook. When talking about lines, use “curvilinear” or “linear”, if applicable. Are the colors cool, warm, or a contrast of both? What specific techniques are used to communicate space, size, or proportion? Is there overlapping or perspective? Be specific and do not leave me with phrases like “there are a lot of lines the artists used” without describing what exactly those lines are doing to help the composition. Or “the artist communicates a sense of calm” without describing how the form and elements of art contribute to that. Are the colors and lighting soft? Are the shapes a bit fuzzy or well defined?

Also very important is to make sure your formatting is accurate. Use MLA or APA format to write your paper. I will be grading on proper citation and I will be running these all through a plagiarism checker. This is your one warning now: you will get an automatic ‘0’ if you have not cited correctly, especially if there are large parts of directly copied text. Academia takes this very, very seriously.

Organizing Your Paper

You are going to use Edward Feldman’s Critical Analysis Framework to help guide your paper. Feldman created this framework to help create guidelines for consistency in a field that is anything but consistent. The four steps are as follows:

  1. Description: what the painting is (physically) and what is visible to the eye (not what a viewer interprets). This includes what medium is used (clay, metal, oil paints, pencil, etc.), the size of the piece (often in exact dimensions), what genre it is, and what is in the painting (people, animals, etc.). Don’t use terms like “beautiful”, “calm”, or anything that evokes emotion. This includes the subject of the painting. Be literal.
  2. Analysis: evaluating the artist’s use of the elements and principles of design. Where is the focal point? What lines, shapes, forms, or colors are helping identify the focal point or moving the eye through the piece? This is where you want to be specific and use the terms you’ve learned over this semester. Still try to avoid emotional language, that’s next. This is the form of the painting.
  3. Interpretation: Now that you have evaluated the piece’s literal description and the artistic methods used, what do you think the artist was trying to convey? What does the piece mean? How does the artist use the subject and form to convey that message? Now is the time to use emotional language. This is the content, the deeper meaning of the piece.
  4. Judgment: How artistically successful is the piece based on the above steps? Use the information from the framework to support your judgment.

 

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final paper 404 was first posted on June 28, 2020 at 9:02 am.
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