[Solved] art critique example

This painting is by Ellen Plankey, it is untitled and a pastel. For the purposes of this paper, I’ll call it “Young Girl on Blanket”. This is a picture of a young woman sitting on what appears to be a blanket. She’s looking off to her right and is wearing a dark blue skirt and a baby blue cloth around her head as a wrap. She’s topless, but how it’s shadowed only one of her breasts is very prominent; the other blurred by shadow. She’s surrounded by plants, all of which are leafy bushes. The sky in the back peeking through the leaves is a pale orange, almost a faded salmon color.

The shadows on her body are splotched from the openings between the leaves. All of which is very soft. “Young Girl on Blanket” uses intermediate colors; soft shades of pink, blue, green and orange. All of the lines are curved in this, even the blankets edge ripples over what appears to be grass, which rounds the edge of it so that it doesn’t seem like a rectangle but instead a boxy oval. The girl’s body is curvy, not overly so, just enough so that her femininity shines through. Also, the only lines that are solid are the outline of her and her clothing.

All of the shrubbery around her has very soft edges and are almost fuzzy, which makes them melt into the background letting the girl stand out. The colors around the girl, although soft, are much darker than her very fair skin tone which brings the attention in the painting to her rather than her surroundings. The first thing I noticed was her baby blue head wrap, and from there my eye went down to the rest of her. “Young girl on Blanket” immediately made me stare at it. I was very intrigued by the softness of the painting.

It reminded me of a painting that my great grandmother would own and that I’ve seen before, which immediately made me flood with a sense of nostalgia. Although I have never sat topless in a field, I was easily able to relate to the picture. It looks like she has had a lovely day and the sun is either just starting to set or about to rise and she is just taking in the beauty around her. Another intriguing aspect to this painting is the girls’ body language. She looks very shy, one arm straight at her side supporting her weight and the other tucked between her legs.

She’s looking off to her right, but her head is tilted down as if she is shying away or embarrassed by something. There is also a slight grin on her face which is quite mischievous in comparison to the rest of her body language perhaps giving a hint at what she is truly thinking. Since the colors in this painting are so pure and soft, this could also be a girl who is just starting to come out of her shell. She’s past puberty because her breasts have developed, and by her tilting over you can see that she has a defined waist and hips, so this could be her first experience with someone.

Although this could be alluding to an experience, the feel of “Young Girl on Blanket” remains very pure and sweet. This young woman is sitting topless in a field but there is a shy beauty about her, she is shying away, but her slight smirk is endearing. I think that this is what the artist was trying to depict. The young girl is possibly sneaking out with someone and this is her first experience so she’s very shy and coy about it, but at the same time is excited and anticipating what’s to come, which is why she is still smiling slightly. I really enjoy “Young Girl on Blanket”.

As I mentioned before, there’s a certain nostalgia this painting brings with it. When I look at it I picture myself as a young girl in my great grandmother’s house looking at her paintings that were all very soft and feminine like this piece. I like the colors and how soft the strokes are surrounding the girl, bringing all the attention on her. They almost act as cushion for her; partially hiding her so that not everything is revealed, but enough to raise an eyebrow. Her surroundings almost cushion her like a cloud, especially the baby pink blanket that she is sitting on which allows the piece to stay soft and light.

The leaves look almost fuzzy from the blurred edges; seeming more like a dark backdrop rather than shrubbery itself. I also like how sweet the painting is even though there is some partial nudity; her skirt has an A-line cute so the only fitted part of it is the waistband keeping her sweet rather than overly-sexualized. Overall I like the beauty that “Young Girl on Blanket” has, usually when there is partial or full nudity I feel a bit uncomfortable looking at it, but with this one I just admired both the girl and her surroundings.

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