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Art & Design

Annotating and evaluating your work


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Annotating your work

Written annotations are an important part of Assessment Objectives 1, 3 and 4. Annotations can provide:

  • information, such as the title of an artwork, artist's biographical details or when the work was made
  • a record of your experiences and emotions connected to an image
  • a record of how you intend to use these images to develop your own ideas
  • an example of your progress through a project

To annotate your work successfully, you should explain:

  • what you have done and why you did it
  • how you did it, such as the media and techniques used
  • why you chose a particular medium or technique
  • how an artwork fits in with your project
  • what aspects you like
  • how you could improve the work
  • what you think you will do next

Using the correct vocabulary

You must use the correct vocabulary when annotating your work to show that you are developing your knowledge, understanding and skills. Key terms are:

  • Subject - what is shown in the artwork, such as a portrait or a still life
  • Composition - how the elements of the work are arranged, ie whether they're close together or far apart
  • Foreground and background - elements that appear to be in front or behind other aspects of the artwork
  • Line - can vary in width, length, curvature, colour or direction
  • Shape - describes the two-dimensional outline
  • Form - describes a three-dimensional object
  • Texture - the way surfaces look and feel, ie rough, smooth, soft, etc
  • Tone - shading, from dark to light


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