The Midterm Paper is will consist of a 1-2 page written description and analysis of a work of art using terminology from Chapters 2-5. You will find an outline of the
terminology to follow in the Midterm Paper Outline.�������
This is an assignment to help you recognize visual elements and principles of design in works of art. For this assignment, you are to discuss the form, content, and
subject matter of a work of art and how they relate to each other. I chose Diego Rivera. The Liberation of the Peon. 1931. Fig. 23.18, pg. 423. Which is attatched in
files for picture etc
This is not a research paper, you will not need to do additional research. This paper is about looking and seeing, and is based on your observations of the visual
elements and������� principles of design from Chapters 3 and 4, Style in Chapter 5, and the discussion of the relationship between form and content from Chapter 2.�������
Select a work of art:
Select ONE of the following listed works of art. Analysis papers submitted using a work of art other than one of those listed will not be accepted.
The Approach of Krishna. c. 1600 – 1670. Pahari region, India. Basophil style. Fig. 18.10, pg. 309.
Thomas Cole. The Oxbow. 1836. Fig. 21.6, pg. 365.
Vincent van Gogh. The Sower. 1888. Fig. 21.29, pg. 384.
Pablo Picasso. Violin, Fruit, and Wineglass. 1913. Fig. 22.17, pg. 403.
Diego Rivera. The Liberation of the Peon. 1931. Fig. 23.18, pg. 423.
Any paper submitted that does not analyze one of the works listed above will be returned for re-submission.
In the first paragraph, called the introduction, you will include:
An identification of the work of art you selected: The name of the artist, title (which is underlined or italicized every time you use the title in your paper), date,
and medium.
Your initial interpretation of the subject – what is this piece about?
A very BRIEF visual description of the work.
Thesis statement – usually the last line or so of your first paragraph clarifying the type of paper you are writing. What is this assignment, therefore your paper,
Your formal analysis should include a description of the piece using terminology (Visual Elements and Principles of Design in the order they are listed in the outline
provided), and details of the work that have led you to come to some understanding of what the artist is communicating. Your analysis should have a sense of order,
moving purposefully through your description, from one term to the next, with regard to each specific element. How do the visual elements and principles of design work
within the work of art to create the meaning you are addressing? Remember that your analysis should not be just a mechanical, physical description. Please use
descriptive language and adjectives to describe your work.
To aid in writing a formal analysis, you should think as if you were describing the work of art to someone who has never seen it before. What do you see? When your
reader finishes reading your analysis, she/he should have a complete mental picture of what the work looks like. This section is the most IMPORTANT part of this
Your conclusion should consist of a restatement of your thesis and your initial response to the piece. After your analysis, has your initial interpretation of the
meaning changed? If so, in what way? If not, how has your analysis reinforced your initial interpretation?
One to two pages (not including title page or images if you choose to include one or either), double-spaced, 10 or 12 point type (Times or Times New Roman only), 1������
��������� margins. Address each visual element and principle of design in the order they are listed in the outline. You can write in paragraph form or simply list each term
and address how it is used in the work you selected from the list.
Make sure you proofread your papers for incorrect grammar, spelling, punctuation, and other errors. In addition, make sure your paper includes a thesis statement. Your
grade will reflect your ability to follow these guidelines.
The preferred format to complete the Midterm Paper is Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx). If these formats are not available, other acceptable formats are ASCII (.txt),
rich text format (.rtf), and Open Office (.odt).
If you reference a source other than the text (not required), please cite this reference according to the MLA, APA, or Chicago Manual of Style. The use of any
secondary reference without providing citation is plagiarism and will receive a score of 0. Repeated incidents of plagiarism are reported to the Academic Affairs
Office and the student receives an ����������������F ����������������grade in the course
Papers submitted with terms addressed in a random order will be returned for clarification and reorganization, and considered late. Additionally, papers submitted
analyzing a work not listed in the rubric will also be returned for re-submission and considered late.
Visual Elements
Line: what types of lines do you see in the piece? Provide examples. Are the outlines (whether perceived or actual) smooth, fuzzy, clear? Are the main lines vertical,
horizontal, diagonal, or curved, or a combination of any of these? Are the lines jagged and full of energy? Sketchy? Geometric? Curvilinear? Bold? Subtle?
Actual and Implied Line – look for both types of lines
Shape: what types of shapes do you see? Provide examples.
Geometric Shapes
Organic Shapes
Mass: How is mass implied?
Space:������� how is the illusion of space created in the piece? How did the artist convey the idea and illusion of space? What type of spatial devices are used? What is
the relation of the main figure to the space around it? Are the main figures entirely within the space (if the artwork is a painting), or are parts of the bodies cut
off by the edge of the artwork? Is the setting illusionistic, as if one could enter the space of the painting, or is it flat and more two-dimensional, a space that one
could not possibly enter? Consider the following spatial devices in your analysis:
Two-Dimensional Space
Illusion of Depth – Implied Depth
Overlapping, Diminishing Size, Vertical Placement
Linear perspective
Atmospheric or Aerial Perspective
Time and Motion: are time or motion evident? If so, how are they conveyed?
Implying Motion ������������������ if evident, how is it implied?
Actual Motion
Light: How is the illusion of LIGHT created? Are shadows visible? If so, where? Are there dark shadows, LIGHTshadows, or both? How do the shadows, of present, effect
the work?
Seeing Light
Value (or tone)
Implied LIGHT
Strong Value Contrasts
Minimal Value Contrasts
Light as Medium?
Color: Is color important in the piece? How is it used? What type of colors are used in the work – bright, dull, complimentary? Does the artist use colors to draw your
attention to specific areas of the work? If so, how?
Texture: Is texture actual or implied? If a sculpture, is the surface smooth and polished or rough? Are there several textures conveyed? Where and How? If a painting,
is there any texture to the paint surface? Are the brushstrokes invisible; visibly brushy, sketchy, loose and flowing; or tight and controlled?
Principles of Design
Unity and Variety – How is the piece unified? What elements offer some variety?
Balance: how is balance created?
Symmetrical Balance or Asymmetrical Balance
Emphasis and Subordination:������� what is the focal point?
Emphasis ������������������ what is emphasized?
Subordination ������������������ what is subordinated?
Directional Forces:������� do lines or repeated elements create paths for the eyes to follow? Directional forces typically direct our eyes to the area of emphasis.
Contrast: any variation of value, color, or SCALE, for example, creates contrast.
Repetition and Rhythm – Do elements repeat? If so, describe what is repeating and how this works in the piece you selected.
Scale and Proportion: How big is the artwork? Are the figures or objects in the work life-sized, larger or smaller than life? How does the size affect the work? Does
the whole or even individual parts of the figure(s) or NATURALobjects in the work look natural? Why did you come to this conclusion?
A reminder: you should conclude your paper (final paragraph) with a brief restatement of your initial response to the piece. Has your first impression of the work has
changed now that you have taken a closer look? If so, how? Review your thesis statement and share ways in which your impression of the work has changed.


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