A visual analysis (sometimes called a formal analysis) describes and evaluates the visual aspects of a work of art.

Visual Analysis of a Painting

Hi, Here is the instruction, this essay is no research and focus on visual identity( like race, social class )

Description: A visual analysis (sometimes called a formal analysis) describes and evaluates the visual aspects of a work of art. These forms give the work its expression and meaning, but their analysis is separate from its subject matter. This analysis begins from the supposition that a work of art is a constructed object that has, for the purposes of this course, been formed communicate meaning around identity categories. To aid in writing a visual analysis, you should think as if you were describing the work of art to someone who has never seen it before. Yet this analysis is, for this course, more than a description of the work. It must include a thesis statement that reflects your conclusions about its meaning. The thesis is the key element of the paper. The body of the paper builds from it, and the visual evidence – your observations – support it. I’ve provided an

example of a successful paper on BB. You MAY NOT use its content or language directly. Rather, look to the objective of each paragraph and bring your work into alignment.

In the first paragraph of the first paper (the introduction), you will include:

  • the name of the artist (if known), title (which is underlined or italicized every time you use the title in your paper), date, and medium (if known), and the current location of the work
  • a brief description of the work that leads logically to…


  • a thesis statement—the last few sentences of the first paragraph. Your thesis should state what you think the artist intended to convey about identity, using the visual evidence you’ve observed.

Basic thesis templates, to be expanded into a few sentences: “In this work, [visual evidence] argues [what] about [identity categories].” Or… “The identity categories of [name them] are explored by the artist of this work using [visual evidence] to convey [what]. Your thesis should be more than one sentence in length: do not jam all points together, for it will convolute rather than complexify the statement.

From that point, the analysis will include observations that support the thesis. It will have a sense of order, moving purposefully through identity categories, in an analytical mode, with regard to visual evidence. Finally, your conclusion (the final paragraph) should end your paper with a restatement of the thesis and briefly reiterate the evidence.

It is important to remember that your interest here is strictly visually interpretive: no research will be used in this phase of the project. You will rely on your ability to visually “read” a work of art and make interpretations about it based on your analysis. You may very well find in the research phase, which comes next, that this original thesis is not tenable. That’s perfectly fine and part of the point!

Things to consider when writing a visual analysis (in no particular order); remember that you should carry your thoughts on the below forward, to consider their relationship to identity – how they might help to express or contest it, for example.

  • Do not use the word “piece” to describe the artwork. Use “work,” “artwork,” or a term that correctly identifies the medium, such as painting, sculpture, print, etc.
  • Record your first impression(s) of the work. What stands out? Is there a focal point (an area to which the artist wants your eye to be drawn)? If so, what formal elements led you to this conclusion?

Your impressions can help you reach your thesis.

  • Subject: What do you think it is, without having done research?
  • Composition: How are the parts of the work arranged? Is there a stable or unstable composition? Is it dynamic? Full of movement? Or is it static?
  • Pose: If the work has figures, are the proportions believable? Is the figure active, calm, graceful, stiff, tense, or relaxed? Does the figure convey a mood? If there are several figures, how do they

relate to each other (do they interact? Or not?)?

  • Proportions: Does the whole or even individual parts of the figure(s) or natural objects in the work look natural? Why did you come to this conclusion?
  • Line: 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?
  • Space: If the artist conveys space, how would you describe it? What is the relation of figure(s) to the space? Are the 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 more two-dimensional, a space that one could not possibly enter?

  • Texture: 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? Brushy? Sketchy? Loose and flowing? Or tight and controlled? Think

about how these questions apply to other media, if your work is neither a painting nor a


  • Light and Shadow: Are shadows visible? Where? Are there dark shadows, light shadows, or both? How do the shadows affect the work?


  • Size: 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 messaging of the work?
  • Color: What type of colors are used in the work? Bright? Dull? Primary? Complimentary? Does the artist use colors to draw your attention to specific areas of the work? How? If a sculpture, examine the color(s) of the medium and how it affects visual communication.
  • Mood: Do you sense an overall mood in the artwork? Perhaps several different moods? How does this help you to interpret the work?

Thinking about what you observe not as a random list of points but rather as evidence will help you to develop a thesis that makes an argument about identity, as per the above templates. Once you have thoroughly analyzed your work, see if your first impression has changed. If so, how? It may be necessary to revise any preliminary thesis statement you developed.


and here is the artwork that i choose named blue morning by George bellows

and you can try to focus on the gap between the social class, like the different between big city on the background and these worker

it should be size 12 single space two pages

7 hours ago


American University              visual analysis

Art & Design

Answer preview……………………..

apa 1261words

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