Comparative Study – 20%

The Comparative Study

Ms Papot example pag 1


Basic Overview:

  • Choose at least 3 artworks by at least two different artists. At least one work should be seen in person.
  • Remember to cite your sources for images and info (including your own artwork.)
  • SL and HL: 0-15 Pages (screens)
  • HL:  3-5 additional Pages (screens) which analyze the extent to which your personal work has been influenced by the art and artists you analyzed.

For each artwork, you must analyze the following:

1) Formal qualities (elements, principles, DAIJ technique, specific art techniques and artistic devices)
2) Interpretation of Function and Purpose (According to your research and your personal observations, what is the purpose of this work? Why was it made? How do viewers interact with it?)
3) Evaluation of Cultural Significance (how does this work connect to the time and culture in which it was made? What artistic movement is it connected to?)
4) Compare and Contrast (what are the similarities and differences between the three pieces? Visually? In function? In cultural significance?)
5) (for HL students only) Show connections to your own art-making process. Which of your studio works show the influence of the artists you studied?


1) Include images from your art journal that show your mini-comparisons or other artist investigations.
2) You can start with your digital “mini comparative study” (GoogleSlide), a mini comparison in your art journal, or, start with another artist who was significant to your artwork (i.e., graphite artist, street artist, or another artist.)
3) Make “mini connections” to other artworks that support your opinions (for examples, other works by the same artists that show the same concept or technique. Or, works by different artists from the same movement. Or works that show contrasting concepts/techniques.)

  • Ms. Papot’s Blank Comparative Study Outline - click here
  • Ms. Papot’s Comparative Study Example – click here
  • ThinkIB has a good overview of the Comparative Study.

More examples:

1. Comparative study Sample B HL (1)

2. Comparative study Sample C HL (1)

3. Pictorial Influences in the Collages of Romare Bearden, by Heather McReynolds

4. Comparative Study SL Example 1 

5. SL Example 2

CS Sample C - HL