Blog Post 4: Formal Analysis

Formal Analysis is when you visually describe the element in a work of art. When writing a formal analysis for a piece of work it is best to decipher the piece of art. Having background information such as the time of place the piece was made in can a give a historical insight. While analyzing the painting try to ask yourself who is the center of the piece? Is the artist trying to focus on one person/object or is it a bunch of things that the artist wants you to focus on? This is called the CENTRAL FOCUS. Although you may not have answers asking a bunch of questions that will help you understand the piece of art and will help your imagination run wild. Evaluate the art work. What is this art work? While analyzing the work of art always keep in mind to SHOW not tell. Show the class where exactly are there soft lines or where in the art there are structured lines. By doing this your formal analysis will consist of depth.

In order to understand truly whats occurring in the piece of work we first have to find out what is the central focus of the art work. Once that is figured out we then look at formal properties. Formal properties consist of contrast, size/scale, composition (is it chalk work? oil painting? water colors?) position, material, and illusionism (how “realistic” (mimesis) does an art work look, line, and color). The second part of a formal analysis is finding the answers to the questions you have asked earlier. Where does this take place? Who was the painting made for? Was it a commissioned painting?  What is the message of the painting? Answering and including all of this in your formal analysis will help you understand the elements of the art work and how the art work came to be.

Formal Analysis

Formal analysis is the interpretation and explanation of an artwork. When referring to formal analysis, the analyst considers different components identified in the work, and then draws out a summary of their findings. There are many components to formal analysis. Some examples include: historical context, materials, color schemes, and composition. Historical context is one the most important part in conducting a formal analysis. Understanding circumstances surrounding the time period the art was created, can give an indication to the analysis what exactly the artist was trying to convey and why certain elements, such as colors, expressions, and/or techniques, were used in the final product. Colors in general play a huge part in influencing the emotions of the viewer. Depending on the intended emotion, the artist will use specific colors that correlate with said emotion. For example, when using dark, dreary colors in art, this often gives the viewer a sense of sadness or even tragic, depending the contexts of artwork. Composition is arrangement of elements in an artwork. It can be used to bring attention to a specific element, contrast the context, convey depth in 2-dimensional art, or to bring the whole painting together. These components and many others when interpreted together, give a formal analysis that provides a better understand of the artwork as well as the artist and their mindset.

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Well, to be honest, I’ve learned to look at art with a whole new perspective. Most of us just look at art and say wow what a splendid piece of work or etc. Due to learning about formal analysis, it actually helped me, well, give art a more thoughtful meaning for me. It inspires me to take more time to evaluate art in it’s meaning and why it was created. I was actually quite inspired with learning about formal analysis because it kinda gave special meaning rather than just calling it looking at a painting. I feel like the word “formal analysis” gives the definition more meaning and I guess it gives me inspiration to actually maybe do some formal analysis of my own when I go to a exhibit. I found learning this to be the most important in my opinion.

Formal Analysis

Formal analysis is basically looking towards a piece of art and trying to figure out the meaning, purpose and positions for why inspiration has taken place for these artworks. It’s the process of trying to skim the surface of what the artist is trying to express and display for the viewers. We look at  the parts in which catches our eyes, parts in which expresses brighter colors  than others. We look for the explanation in parts that we are able to question and observe and sympathize with the artist on their choices for each stroke. We could only infer what the artist could imply by their choices of scales in light or dark colors, or even warm or cold colors. Trying to see their composition and how we could read the story they’re trying to tell from their creation.

Formal Analysis

The Formal Analysis of a painting is the physical look of the painting.  There are many different properties (ie: line, color, size, material, composition, etc.)

Not only do you have to discuss what you see, but also figure out what  the image is portraying and analyzing the meaning.  By looking at the physical features and focusing on exactly the way they are placed within a piece of art might give you insight of why the artist placed it there.  Most of the placings are intentional and you will turn up understanding the artists mindset by just looking at the physicality of the piece.

-Blog 4: Formal Analysis

What is formal analysis? In your own words explain what we mean when we say formal analysis and what its components are

With art, there are various forms of descriptions which can be given on an item. However, formal analysis focuses specifically on visual descriptions. Overall, it breaks the artwork down to a core. In many ways it is quite subjective and based solely on what the individual is visually experiencing. In other words, formal analysis can essentially be viewed as formal properties. Components of this includes contrast, size/scale, position or composition, material and also illusionism. In addition, the subject matter can also be discussed. Formal analysis is an essential part of the understanding of really any work of art. It is important for one to truly understand what it means to them and what they see. For example, the painting “Venus of Urbino” which was shown in class served as our first opportunity for formal analysis. The color scheme of the painting featured many browns and reds. It did not feature many sharp lines, mostly more rounded lines. Extensive texture and detail was presented throughout. This was shown through the bed sheets and drapes especially. Overall, these components of formal analysis are what make each work of are unique. More than likely, every work of art will feature different formal properties. Therefore, formal analysis aids in the uncovering of how every piece differs. 

Formal analysis

Formal analysis is one of the main ways of discussing and critiquing a piece of art. Formal analysis consists of examining how the artists uses color, patterns, shape, tone, and the lines in their artwork. In addition, subsections of these main concepts such as contrast, size, scale, primary/ secondary colors, position, composition, material and depth are also used in analyzing artwork. Using these components to compose a formal analysis answers many questions such as why the artist positioned his model a certain way It is the first step into really understanding why the artist decided to create this piece, who was the intended audience, etc. with formal analysis we also take into account the era that the artwork was created as well as the origin and what influences might be included in the piece. 

Blog 4 – Formal Analysis

Formal analysis is a way of examining and evaluating the aspects of a work of art. Through this, the observer tries to understand the underlying meaning that the artist may have intended for the work of art to have. When formally analyzing a work of art, you must pay attention to components such as color, size and scale, lines, and symbolism. When looking at color, you must pay attention to the types of color schemes and the range used. You must identify whether they are light or dark colors, whether they are primary or secondary colors, and whether the colors contrast with one other depending on their position in the work. When looking at size and scale, you must observe where any subjects or objects in the work are positioned. You also need to note the size of the objects. For example, noting whether the main subject is the largest thing in the work, or if there are things larger than the subject. Lines are a way of identifying the techniques an artist used in a painting. Some parts of a painting may have been painted using stronger strokes or different types of strokes than other parts of a painting. This can perhaps tell how the artist felt about the specific object he was painting. Finally, moving away from the physical aspects, symbolism is a strong component of formal analysis because it allows the observer to understand what the artist intended on saying, without actually saying it. By inserting specific colors, shapes, or objects, the artist can convey a certain emotion, reaction, or thought without having to write or say anything.

Formal Analysis

Formal analysis is a way of visually describing things with careful examination. Often when using formal analysis it “concerns the visual and physical aspects of the work of art” (23). When using this method of analysis, usually the purpose is to get ‘the bigger picture’… literally. It SHOWS rather than simply telling us; and as the viewers, we’re trying to see what the artist was trying to get at and what the picture means and how it may effect the viewer- it extends further past it’s physical description.

Formal analysis is unique because it’s very open to interpretation, as each viewer will interpret differently and get different meanings from the paintings. Things like color, lines, space, scale, dimension, etc can all play into the visual exploration, and should all be considered when examining a painting- as they all play into decoding the painting and hopefully providing us with a meaning or explanation of what may have occurred at the time or the artists’ minds.

Formal Analysis

A Formal analysis is a method that we use to describe a person’s art. For example we observed the artwork from our point of view and not from the artist. A formal analysis uses color, patterns, shape, tone and the lines in the artists artwork. The color in a formal analysis is like the artworks shading. Chiaroscuro (light and dark), bright colors to show the tone of the setting in the scenery. We the person looking at a piece of artwork should try to analyze what the message that the artist tries to display. We all have our opinions because we can see the artwork differently from person to person. We use our judgement to understand what the artwork is trying give out to us. For example, the video that we watched in class explain how to do a formal analysis on one of Goya artwork. The person describing the artwork shows each step of how he/she sees the work and giving their opinions and judgement.

Formal Analysis

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Formal analysis is an explanation of structure in ways which visual elements function with a piece of work. The purest form of formal analysis is defined to what the viewer sees because that’s how the eye looks at art. Visually speaking there are numerous of ideas and images we see off a piece of art. We use different components such as line, shape and form, space, color, and texture to evaluate what the art means. These components break down the significance of what the artist is truly trying to depict. Also, there are different characteristics and concepts in the components that can describe what is happening. Formal analysis can help us understand a piece of art better by asking us questions and thinking about things we usually wouldn’t.