Critical Thinking Skills
Active Critical Thinking Skills
- Listening is the active cognitive process that organizes data via the hearing mechanism.
- Observing is the active process of looking, noticing and noting something with great care.
- Describing is an account of things seen through observation. In relation to visual art in particular it involves people, objects, locations, color, line, shape, relative size, light/dark, movement and texture.
- Comparing is the process of showing similarities.
- Contrasting is the process of showing differences.
- Inferring is the act or process of concluding something from what is suggested or implied.
- Analyzing is the process of breaking things down into parts.
- Generalizing is the process by which a general truth or law is derived from a number of cases.
- Predicting is the process of postulating what will happen in the future.
- Synthesizing is the process of combining different ideas, objects or influences into a new whole.
- Concluding is the process of coming to an end or outcome based on logical judgments.
- Evaluating is the process of examining something in order to judge its value, quality or importance.
Four Steps to Reading Art
Step 1: Tell
- What is the name of the artist who created the artwork?
- What kind of an artwork is it?
- What is the name of the artwork?
- When was this artwork created?
- Name some other major events in history that occurred at the same time this artwork was created.
- List the literal objects in the painting (trees, people, animals, mountains, rivers, etc.).
- Consider the significant art elements that are present in this artwork and describe them:
LINE TEXTURE SHAPE COLOR
FORM VALUE SPACE PATTERN
Step 2: Scrutinize
- Consider the most significant art principles that were used in the artwork.
- Describe how the artist used them to organize the elements:
BALANCE CONTRAST EMPHASIS HARMONY VARIETY
UNITY GRADATION MOVEMENT RHYTHM PROPORTION
Step 3: Deduce
What do you think the artist was trying to say? Why did the artist create this artwork? What do you think it means? What feelings do you have when looking at this artwork? Do you think there are things in the artwork that represent other things such as symbols?
Step 4: Conclusion
Do you like this artwork? Do you think it is a good artwork? Do think it is an important artwork? Would display this artwork in your home? Is this artwork good enough to put in a museum? Justify your opinion. Explain why you feel the way you do about this artwork based on what you have learned about it.
The Art Critic: After going through the critical thinking process, write a critique about the artwork using the information you have gathered.
- Tell about the artwork.
- Scrutinize the artwork
- What does the artwork mean.
- Make conclusions about the artwork and back it up with good information.