Formal Analysis - Final Due February 22, 2012
Choose a original work of art that you wish to write about. Spend about an hour examining it, taking brief notes about its size, form, composition, and subject matter. Think about how your eye moves across or through it. What causes your eye to do that? Look away and then back, where does your eye first rest? Once you feel that you can describe the work without looking at it again you are ready to write. Describe the work in such a way that you can recreate it for someone who cannot see it. You should start by giving an overall description of the form, shape and size of the piece then give a rough outline of the composition. If it is a landscape painting, for example, you should start by saying something like: “A landscape dominated by a large tree in the central front of the picture plane and level ground stretching away from the tree on either side as far as the horizon line in the middle of the picture plane half way up the canvas. Several figures are arrayed around the tree, some sitting, some standing.” After you have given the reader a general idea of the image describe the most salient visual details that draw the eye around the image. These details can be the light, color, careful design, striking facial features or gestures etc.
Note: Your paper should include footnotes if you have read anything about the image you are analyzing. Your paper should also incude a good copy of the image with the source of this copy cited in the paper.