The thing that makes an art paper different than any other writing assignment you may encounter may also present you with your greatest writing challenges: when you are tested with how to write an art essay, you will be required to write an account of what you see and to justify your analysis of that art. Essentially, your task is to use words to explain images. From the beginning of learning how to write an art essay, you must be able to grapple with the language of the craft – you must be knowledgeable of the terms and precepts if are to learn how to write an art essay.
More significantly, when you are have become skilled at the task of how to write an art essay, you will be able to properly describe the image before you but also to offer a complete description, offering a valid defence for your perspective of the art. Your paper cannot contain just a random description of the various aspects of the artwork, whether it is a sculpture, building or painting. You need to know exactly what you will say regarding your particular topic, using your ability to both analyse accurately and to properly describe the artwork which you have selected to describe.
Types of Art Writings
If you following the writings of Sylvan Barnet, you will see that he has identified five primary types of art papers. When learning how to write an art essay, it is beneficial to use these different categories to best understand your instructor’s expectations with any of your possible assignments. Of course, if the assignment is at your discretion you may chose to utilise these writing types as a means of brainstorming or exploring the some ideas for the topic of your assignment.
The Sociological Essay examines a specific era in history and suggests how that particular era may have influenced the topic of your discussion. It is possible that your discussion will also raise some more generalised questions regarding social influences, including such topics as the impact of economics on the art, the challenges facing woman seeking recognition in the field, and so on. As an example, your essay may focus on the way the rural farm photography of Walker Evans may have influenced Roosevelt’s desire to develop the Farm Security Administration.
Image Writing (better known as iconography) is the type of writing that chooses to define images through the in depth exploration of the various symbols noted in an artwork selection. For instance, the author points to the subjects in Rembrandt’s “The Assassin” as likely citizens of Holland. But through a more critical examination of the symbols in the painting may actually reveal that the characters in the painting may indeed be recognised as saints.
Formal Analysis will ask the student who has decided to learn how to write an art essay to examine the more formal aspects of a piece of art, and from that to develop a dialogue regarding these parts in a unique or creative fashion to help others see and understand the artwork being examined.
Biographical Essays will allow the writer who has learned how to write an art essay to examine the artist’s personal life and how it influences his or her work. Barnet gives the example of how Ansel Adams had influenced the photographic career of Harry Callahan.
The Iconological Essay (study of an image) uses a variety of texts and literary examples to completely interpret a selected piece of art. As an example, the person who has learned how to write an art essay may chose to use ancient renditions of various Greek mythological tales to enlighten readers on the images representations of that myth as depicted in archaic forms of Greek art.
Strategies Prior to Writing the Essay
Examine the medium – Determine the rationale of the artist for selecting a certain medium, including its advantages and even its limitations.
Use of lines – Did the artist use heavy or light lines? Do the lines run vertically or horizontally? Are the lines curved or straight? Is there a specific goal or outcome achieved by the use of these lines?
Coloration – Does the artist use realistic colours, or are the colours more expressive in nature? Does the colour give the sense of being warm or cool? Perhaps the colours are bright or subdued. If so, what is the overall effect of those colours?
Light – How does the artist employ light? Does the artist use shadows? Perhaps there is a play or interaction between the two, and what message is communicated to the audience of the work?
Space – Is there any sense of space within the work you have selected? Does the visual plane show great depth or is it shallow? What is the arrangement of the shapes used within the space of the work? How does the application of sense impact the artist’s subjects? How might that use of space influence your own response to the art?
Style – Are there any elements within the work which identifies the artists’ specific style, whether it is unique to that artist or common to a specific period?
Composition – Are there any formal aspects or elements of the work which interact with each other? Does the composition of the work convey the theme or idea of the artwork? Does it make your eye travel in a consistent manner across the piece of art? Does the composition of the art influence that movement?
One must always examine the context of the work. Consider when the work was painted, who is the artist and where was the work completed? How have culture or history influenced the work? Does it address any specific historical or cultural matters? As you are learning how to write an art essay, consider writing down questions that you may chose to answer within the scope of your essay. These questions will likely guide your examination of existing library sources. You may also desire to examine and keep any documentation or brochures that the gallery or museum may have available.
Advice for Writers
The student who desires to learn how to write an art essay can approach the work in much the same way he or she may write any other paper. You will need to stay focused on the topic, which includes creating a thesis sentence. You also need to settle on a specific structure. As always, you need to employ proper grammar and organisation, including writing clear and understandable paragraphs.
Yet, when you have learned how to write an art essay, you will also need to understand the conventions utilised in the world of art If you are finding it difficult, take a look at our assignment writing service. However, here are a few tips you may consider when writing your own art essay.
Don’t just describe your work – analyse it as well. One common complaint from university professors is that their students frequently describe the artwork without taking any consideration of the argument which they hope to make. Always consider the final purpose of your writing and then choose to outline the details of your description, allowing them to illustrate both the artwork and your analysis.
One of the common formats used by students who have learned how to write an art essay is to construct the paper so that the actual theme or topic sentence is located at the end of the essay. The traditional student is trained from early on to construct their compositions with the opening paragraph as the holder of the topic sentence. When you know how to write an art essay, you will recognise that it is important to ensure that your details are logical and selected with care and that they help to build to the main point you are attempting to make.
Consider the structure of your writing. If you are discussing a specific art movement, you may desire to use a chronological format. However, if you are discussing the specific elements you see in a piece of art, consider a spatial format for your writing.
And with any piece of quality writing, avoid using “I”. Any student who has mastered the art of how to write an art essay can ensure you that using “I” will detract from your efforts to create a formal piece of writing. That doesn’t mean that your opinion isn’t important, but that your opinion must be stated in a critical and scholarly fashion. You explain your response to the artwork, not your opinion of it.
For further information see http://www.academicsciences.co.uk/how-to-write-an-art-essay/