Academic Tutorial on How to Write an Art Critique Paper


When you are writing an art critique paper your goal is to offer a clear opinion. You must have:

  • An appropriate and interesting topic that coincides with the assignment. The topic must be well developed and make a clear argument with sufficient evidence to support it.

  • An organized paper that has an introduction and a conclusion to frame the critique. There must be a thesis that is direct. The paper must have paragraph structure that is logical and appropriate for the art critique.

  • An appropriate style. Your paper needs to note whether the piece was reflective or serious and whether it was creative or not. You should consider these elements when you start to write about the style of the piece.

Your art critique must be free from error and have proper punctuation and grammar of course. As you set out to complete your art critique piece you should take some time to ask yourself a few questions about the piece you are using for your essay. Ask yourself:

  • Does the work of art have a clear purpose?
  • Does the work of art avoid being too moralistic or is it intentionally moralistic?
  • Does the work of art have tension which resolves itself in the end?
  • Was the work of art well organized or is it hard to follow?
  • Does the work of art use good visual elements?
  • Does the work of art cause the viewer to feel emotions?
  • Does the work of art reveal to the viewer an aspect of the writer’s personality?
  • Does the work of art seem authentic?
  • Does the work of art show off creativity and passion?

Look for clues in things such as:

  • Color
  • Texture
  • Vibrancy
  • Dimensions
  • Images
  • Symbols
  • Style
  • Text
  • Images
  • Etc…

Make sure you are critical about the piece of art and that you can answer whether or not the piece conveys a subject or moral or feeling to the viewer. See if the piece offers insight into an event and if there is too little detail or too much. Was this done on purpose or not?

Your essay needs to offer a description of the piece you are critiquing. You must also clearly state the criteria you are using to evaluate the piece. You should note whether important details are left out or if it is interesting. You should also write about whether the artist effectively utilizes emotions and if their judgment is convincing.

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