Analysing Paintings

Welcome to this online course, which is an introduction to the tools and techniques of formal analysis, for students and for anyone who is interested in art. It is freely available for anyone to use, and assumes no particular prior knowledge of the visual arts. The course guides you through some of the key aspects of form - from the colours in the painting to the materials used to paint it - and explores a number of examples through guided activities.

                   paintings matthew treherne 1 

During the course, we look at over thirty examples of paintings, ranging from medieval art to works by modern artists such as Picasso and Jackson Pollock. By the end of the course, you should have the basic tools needed to analyse the form of any painting - which will, I hope, enhance your enjoyment and understanding of art.

There are twelve units in the course. The first unit introduces some case studies. The next six units introduce particular concepts in formal analysis. The remaining five units examine particular genres of paintings, through case activities.