Art as Imitation


(Paraphrased from Art: Images and Ideas by Laura H. Chapman)

Some philosophies say that art is a way to imitate what you see.  Accuracy and honesty in art are highly valued.  A work of art might be judged good if it met many of the criteria listed below:

First Impression:
The work looks real.
  • The proportions of parts, colors and other elements seem natural and lifelike.
  • The work is planned around pattern, rhythms and forms you see in nature or the human-made environment.
  • The subject or theme seems to be based on a real event or something the artist observed.
  • The subject or theme is more realistic than abstract.
  • It is honestly shown, not idealized.
  • You can see some of the natural qualities of the materials.
  • The materials and techniques go with the mood rather than being the first things you notice.
Functional or Decorative Art
  • The use or function of the art can be seen in the form or design.  (Form follows function.)
  • Decorations are few or based on nature.