Students will compare and contrast drawings and sculptures, employing formal analysis and comparison skills.
National Core Standards
Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work
Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work
One class period. Possibly additional time for revision
Paper and pencils
Reproductions of works of art
As an introduction to the compare / contrast essay format, discuss the different essay structure possibilities. One option is block, and the other is point by point. First, students should identify what the elements have in common. There should be enough similarity to hang together. For example, if your parents are going to buy a car, they would realize that both the Ford and Honda small SUVs have similar features such as size and possibly color. But then they would want to compare differences: 1) gas mileage, 2) safety, 3) cost. They could either compare these three items in a block format, looking at the Ford’s statistics first and then Honda’s, or they could list the three items and consider Ford and Honda’s performance for each point. Stress that these structures form the basic organization of paragraphs and the reader expects a logical progression.
Transition to the idea that compare / contrast essays are used in many disciplines, especially art and art history. Consider the UMMA images of sculptures and drawings created by the same artists (Arp and Hepworth). When thinking about sculpture and drawing together, we often believe that drawings were preparation for the real work of sculpture, but this exercise helps to see that each work can stand alone.
Study the Arp works. What holds them together? Even though they are different media, they share similarities such as curving form. Then brainstorm together which specific points could be discussed (line, texture, color, positive / negative space). Do the same with the Hepworth drawing and sculpture.
Students then create an outline in either organizational format and begin to draft their responses.