How the image is put together. Where things are placed in relationship to one another. The main parts of the composition are the foreground, middle ground, and background.
What is the main figure or object? How are the other figures or objects placed in relation to the main ones? What is left out? Is the overall scene symmetrical or asymmetrical?
The way different parts of an image are put together draws the viewer's attention to some parts more than others. It also creates tone, mood, and meaning.
Elements of Design
The different aspects the artist can use to put together the image.
Which elements of design are the most important in the piece (color, line, texture, shape, form, value, size, text, movement, etc.)?
Meaning comes from what the artist uses and also what the artist doesn't use.
Where your attention is drawn to first in a work of art.
What is the focal point? What elements of design does the artist use to create the focal point?
Understanding the focal point helps you understand the meaning of the picture.
All of the colors as well as black, white, and neutrals. Primary colors are red, blue, and yellow, Secondary colors are green, purple, and orange.
What colors are used? How do these colors affect the tone and mood of the image? Are colors used in predictable or unpredictable ways?
Color can create moods, highlight particular parts of the image, connect different aspects of the image, and be symbolic.
Actual lines in the picture plane created by the placement of figures and/or objects.
How do lines draw your attention toward or away from certain objects in the image?
Lines are used to guide the viewer to the most important parts of the image.
It is how rough or smooth something is. It can also be a pattern. It can be real in three-dimensional art or referential in two-dimensional art.
Where is texture in the image and how does this texture enhance the work of art?
Texture links images to real objects and forces the viewer to use other senses than simply sight in engaging with a work of art.
The way in which the artist uses circles, squares, rectangles, and other shapes in art.
How are shapes used in the work of art? Are they geometric or abstract? Where do shapes or relationships between shapes help your eye to focus?
Our eyes tend to focus on familiar shapes first.
How light and shading techniques make a two-dimensional object seem three-dimensional.
Where has the artist used shading or light to highlight some aspect of the image? Do aspects of the work of art seem three-dimensional?
Form can make an image seem more realistic
Degree of light and dark in different parts of the work of art.
How are light and dark used in the work of art? Is there symbolic use of light and shadow in the work?
It can be used along with color. Extreme changes in values create contrast which
The overall size of the work of art and the size of the subject depicted.
Why did the artist choose this size for the work of art? Is it life-size? Are there differences in the sizes of the elements in the work of art?
Variations in size and shape can indicate significance
Specific parts of the work of art that have symbolic or historical meaning.
Are there any aspects of the work of art that may be symbolic?
Symbols draw on cultural meanings and add a deeper layer of understanding for a viewer.