Writing a formal art analysis essay often seems challenging for many students. This is because an art essay differs from regular papers and requires you to showcase critical and analytical skills.
This article will cover the guidelines and best tips to help you create a quality art criticism essay.
What is an art essay?
An art essay is an academic paper that analyzes different types of art to examine their relevance and impact on the audience. These essays analyze the elements of artwork and the aspects of the art following the period of its creation.
A good art essay should highlight the small details encompassed in a piece and how they contribute to a certain theme. This challenges your reader and highlights various explanations of the creator’s purpose.
How to write an art essay
When writing an art essay, the key elements to consider are the structure and defining features of your art’s design.
Some of the general information to consider when preparing an art essay include; the artist’s information, the date the artist created the art piece, the provenance, and the current location of the piece.
Brief description of the work
After your introduction, you should analyze various artwork elements to determine why it is appealing to the audience. Some of the elements to consider when writing an art essay are:
Color: When describing an art piece, highlight the colors in the picture and how various colors are used to show different themes. We may talk about its hue, value, and intensity when defining color.
Lines: Lines are the primary elements to study in an art essay. You may use Lines to convey emotions, motion, or moods. Lines are analyzed depending on their composition. Horizontal lines can show calmness while analyzing diagonal lines to define a movement.
Texture: this refers to the surface appearance of your art piece. Texture can be observed in 2-d art and felt in 3-D pieces.
Space refers to the space between and around objects depicted in your art. Space can be defined as negative or positive and provides context for your piece.
Shape: Like lines, shapes can relay emotions and aid in analyzing artwork. Various shapes were historically associated with various attributes and could thus shed some light on what the creator aimed to achieve with the piece.
Steps for writing an essay about art
Similar to other academic papers, limiting your art essay to a few characteristics that support your thesis statement is crucial. When handling a ‘why art is important essay;
- Examine the artwork
Analyze various elements and principles embodied in the artwork and your feeling on the overall quality and message of the artwork. When examining the art, be keen to confirm the subject matter, artist, date of creation, and the current location of the piece.
This information helps you structure an informative introduction before presenting your thesis.
- Write your thesis
After examining your study piece, brainstorm on various ideas that you could address regarding the art piece. Next, note your points down and research to weed out topics that have been covered extensively.
Preferably, cover a topic that can be fully covered from analyzing the piece or one that empirical data on the topic can support.
- Body paragraphs
Within the body of your art analysis essay, expand on your claim and show how various elements and principles support your claim as exhibited in the art piece. Like other papers, the body should be structured into paragraphs containing a unique idea.
The paragraphs should start with a topic sentence, provide an argument for your claim and highlight the relevance of each section to the thesis.
- Prepare a conclusion
Finally, cover the main points of your essay and show how the paper supports your thesis statement. Be keen not to introduce new ideas into the conclusion section, as this may cause confusion and limit your overall performance.
Art essay topics
If you struggle to select a topic for your art history essay, here are some ideas to inspire your topic selection.
- Elements of Egyptian sculptures
- Fashion designs in African cultures
- Analyzing ‘The Last Supper by Leonardo DaVinci
- Features of 18th century English portraits
- The representation of women in ancient art
- How Claude Manet embodied impressionism
We hope that this guide has helped you to approach your art essay. Feel free to engage our experts for further assistance.