Posted: November 18th, 2015

Audio tour of artwork "The Sword of Damocles"

1) Description:

Write this section as though you take a blind friend to the Ackland and bring him/her to the piece on which you’ll write your audio tour. Describe the work with complete objectivity. Remember, your reader cannot see the work; it’s up to you to re-create the piece through your writing but you do not want to bias your friend’s view of the work, so it’s important to maintain perfect objectivity. You want to list the things you see. Be careful not to interpret: for example, just say “black and grey clouds fill the sky” and not “it’s a stormy, dark day.”

Include the name of the work, the artist, the date, the media and where the artwork is (museum, etc) and/or was created.


2) Analysis:

Here you will look at how the elements used in the work shape the principles that determine the visual effects. How do the elements create emphasis, unity, balance, etc.? Point out here that the emphasis is on the face of the woman, for example, but don’t say why yet (that’s for the interpretation).


  • Line, (thick, thin, straight, create space),
  • shape/form,
  • value (lightness or darkness of a color),
  • space (negative or positive),
  • color (intensity),
  • texture (real or created from lighting),
  • perspective


  • balance,
  • emphasis (what is the center of interest?),
  • contrast (the differences in the elements of art),
  • repetition,
  • unity (how things work together),
  • proportion (ratio of things),
  • variety (notice difference more than unity)

3) Interpretation:

Here you decide, based on your analysis and description, what you think the artist is trying to say in the work. Infer from evidence in the text what’s the mood? theme? message? symbolism? Support your interpretation with evidence from the work.

4) Judgment:

Here you get to express your opinion about the work. Do you like it? Why or why not? What merits does it have as a piece of art? Do you like it because it evokes emotion? seems realistic? uses well the elements of art?

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