1. Four-step analysis
All kinds of pictures, from oil paintings to pencil sketches, can be analysed using the following four steps. They will help you to deal with a picture systematically, so that no important aspect is left out.
Step 1: Introduction – basic information
• Your introduction should answer the following questions:
• Where is the image from? Who made it and when?
• What type of image is it?
• What does the image (roughly) show?
• Why was it drawn/taken?
Step 2: Description
Look at the picture carefully, then describe it systematically, e. g.:
• from the centre to the corners
• from the foreground to the ...view middle of the document...
i. in the middle/centre
ii. at the top/bottom
iii. on the left/right
iv. in the top right-hand corner
v. in the bottom left-hand corner
vi. in the background/foreground
Tip: When describing what people are doing in a picture, always use the present progressive: The woman on the left is entering a shop
II. Describing pictures
i. The picture shows/depicts/sends an indirect message/captures a key moment/makes an appeal …
ii. It conveys the impression that …
iii. An element of the photo has the effect that …/indicates or represents sth/is a sign that …
iv. The artist aims to present …/creates an atmosphere of …
v. The photo appeals/does not appeal to me.
vi. In my opinion, the picture is effective/convincing/…
vii. All pictorial elements support …/contribute to …
viii. The photo touches me/leaves me cold because …
ix. It visually describes …/makes a problem visuable.
A cartoon is a humorous drawing that critically deals with a current news item, i. e. it responds to a topical event. It often contains some text, e. g. speech/thought/sound bubbles and/or a caption (text under the picture).
A cartoon is critical of people or institutions in the news, topical events or new trends/ideas (its target) and usually makes a one-sided point (its message). It usually combines visual techniques (e. g. caricaturing a person or using objects with a symbolic meaning) with verbal humour (wordplay, irony …) (its devices).
‘Cartoon’ can also mean a series of drawings inside the boxes that tell a (short) story (=comic strip), or a...