This step is meant to slow your pace of looking at the art. Instead of giving it a quick glance and saying, “I like it” or “I don’t like it”, this step slows you down to look at the art and really see it.
Don’t use emotional words at all in describing the work of art. Instead of “I see a sad woman”, you would say “I see a woman”.
Don’t make assumptions in your description. Instead of “I see a mother and child”, you would say “I see a woman and a child”
Mary Cassatt, Baby Reaching for an Apple. 1893. Oil on canvas. 100.3 x 65.4 cm (39 ½ x 25 ¼ in). Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA.
In judging a work of art, you need to look at your reaction to it. Sometimes you can dislike a work of art and still think it is successful. Artists sometimes deliberately try to evoke a negative reaction.
Again, there is no right answer!
Pablo Picasso, Guernica. 1937. Oil on canvas. 349 × 776 cm, 137.4 × 305.5 in. Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid.