Describing, Analyzing, Interpreting, and making Judgements about works of art.

Children can learn to talk about and better understand a work of art through the aesthetic scanning approach as described by Harry S. Broudy in "The Role of Imagery in Learning", Occasional Paper 1, The Getty Center for Education in the Arts, 1987, pg. 52. The following is an interpretation of Broudy's approach. The idea is to get the student to analyze and talk about the sensory, formal, technical and expressive properties of a particular work of art.

Each property is briefly described below followed by a series of questions that are designed to aid the child to understand the property through verbal answers.

Sensory (descriptive) Properties:The art elements of line, shape, texture, and color. large and small size, deep and shallow space, dark and light, etc.

1. What colors do you see? 2. Are there any lines? 3. Can you see a round shape? 4. Is there a dark color? 5. What is the biggest shape? 6. How deep is the perspective?

Formal (analysis) Properties: The way the art work is organized. Unity, repetition, balance, contrast, dominance, rythm, variety, etc.

1. Are there repeated shapes? 2. Are there opposite things? 3. Is one thing more important? 4. Can something be changed? 5. Is the color needed over here? 6. Are there light/dark things?

Expressive (interpretation) Properties: The mood, feeling or philosophical concepts of the work.

1. Is this a sad/happy work? 2. Why did the artist make it? 3. What is the artist telling us? 4. Would you like to have this? 5. Does it make you feel good/bad? 6. Would your guardian (s) like it?

Technical (judgement) Properties:How the work was created. The medium used (watercolor, oil paint, acrylic, bronze, wood, etc.). The tools used (brush, pencil, crayon, ink, pen, printing press, camera, ect.). The method used to make the work (drawing, photography, painting, sculpting, printing, ect.).

1. How did the artist make this? 2. How did the artist make this part look so rough? 3. What kind of tool did the artist use? 4. Do you think the artist used crayon to make this? 5. What is the difference between a pencil drawing and this work? 6. Do you think the artist drew a picture before making the painting?

James H. Brutger ... Harry S. Broudy (Interpreted)

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