Feldman’s Model of Art Criticism: Quick Guide
1) Description: Look at the artwork. Describe what you see like a good reporter or detective. Use objective, factual
a) What can you learn from the title of the artwork?
b) What subjects in the artwork can you recognize?
c) Looking at the elements of design, describe what qualities you see?
Line, Shape, Color, Value, Form, Texture, Space
d) What media and techniques did the artist use?
2) Analysis: Analysis means you look for relationships. To find relationships among visual elements, look to the
principles of design.
a) Emphasis: Is there a dominant element or focal point that you see first? Why?
b) Balance: Is there a special balance, or “weight,” among the elements? What mood does it create?
c) Proportion: Do the proportions look normal, Ideal or unusual? Why?
d) Pattern: Are elements repeated to create a pattern? Where? Why?
e) Rhythm or Movement. What visual rhythms or paths of movement do your eyes follow? Where? Why?
f) Unity and variety: What elements bring together, or unify, many parts of the design? Why? What elements add
3) Interpretation: Use the information you have gathered to tell what the work means to you. Use analogies and
language with adjectives and adverbs. Example: “The lively, angular shapes seem to be dancing.” State main themes,
or hypothesis, that could explain what the artists wanted you to see and appreciate. .
a) Is there symbolism in the artwork? What do you think it means?
b) What feeling do you think the artist wanted to give the viewer when looking at the work?
c) Does the work remind you of other things you have experienced?
d) How does the work relate to other ideas or events in the world and/or in your other classes?
4) Judgment: Give your opinion on the work's achievement or failure. Consider why you are judging an artwork and the
criteria, or standards, you should use.
a) What parts of the work make you feel it is a success or failure?
b) What criteria (think of the style of the work) can you list to help others judge this work?
c) How unique is the work? Why do you feel this work is or isn’t unique?
d) What are some improvements you feel the artist could have made to the work?