essay

The Main Characteristics of an Impressive Picture Analysis Essay


A picture analysis essay differs from other types of analysis essays. Neither the topic nor research statement is given to you to start with; you just have to interpret and analyze the artwork, and decide on the topic and content yourself. Usually, it appears to be quite a daunting task for most students, especially if they do not consider themselves as being experts in art. If you want to write a good and impressive picture analysis essay, be prepared to work well with the two key characteristics of this essay type. They are: your interpretation of the artist’s visual communication techniques and your well-performed analysis essay structure.

Analysis and Interpretation


Give answers to the following questions:

  1. What did you feel after looking at the picture for the first time?
  2. When was the picture created? What is the era it was made in? What styles and techniques dominated that period? What is the era it can be referred to?
  3. Why did the artist create the artwork in this particular fashion?
  4. Is the picture representational by nature?
  5. What are the picture dimensions? How do these dimensions influence the overall impression?
  6. What is the composition of the picture? Is it crowded or sparse, animate or inanimate, symmetrical or asymmetrical, etc.?
  7. Are there any cropped elements (the elements that appear partially in the picture)? What do they communicate?
  8. Do color, texture, tone, and space evoke any emotions in the picture? What emotions and ideas do you have?
  9. What is the general idea the artist tried to convey in the picture?
  10. What do you feel when you look at the picture now and after the analysis was made?
  11. Do your initial and secondary feelings coincide, or are they different? If they differ, why did it happen?

Structuring your Essay


  1. Choose an appropriate thesis.
  2. Make an outline. Write down all the ideas and thoughts about the picture that you accumulated in the process of your analysis and choose the strongest one. This will be your thesis, and you are going to communicate and assert it in your essay.

  3. Make the initial paragraphs of the essay both assertive and creative. Start every paragraph with a topic, stating your assertion.
  4. Develop an assertive tone in the later paragraphs. Make your statement even more authoritative by citing concrete examples that support your opinion.
  5. Restate your thesis statement in the conclusion. Specify what has been proven in your essay.