Words for Talking About Art and Critiquing Paintings
To talk about paintings, you need to be familiar with the vocabulary to describe, analyse and interpret what you're seeing.
The more art terms you know, the easier it becomes to think of the right word.
Think about your overall impression of the colours used in the painting. Consider how they look and feel, work together, and fit with the subject of the painting.
Consider the shade of the colours and the way tone is used in the whole painting.
Look at how the painting is arranged, the underlying shapes (structure), the relationships between the different parts, and how your eye moves around.
It's often hard or impossible to see texture in a photo of a painting, so try not to talk about it if you don't see any texture.
In some painting styles, all brush marks are eliminated by the artist. In others, the marks are clearly visible.
Consider the mood or atmosphere of the painting. What emotions do you experience?
Does the painting seem to be a particular style? There are many terms for different styles throughout the history of art, and knowing these descriptors can leave instant impressions.
Knowing which medium the work of art was created in can be useful to include in your description.
When a work is particularly large or small, it may be necessary to include the size and descriptive words, such as mural, miniature, or triptych.
Consider the sense of depth and volume of the artwork.
The lighting of the painting is shown in terms of direction, how it creates shadows, its colour, intensity, the mood it creates, and whether the light is from the sun (natural) or a fire (artificial.) Describe the shadows and highlights as well.
Consider the angle or position of the subject of the artwork. How has the artist decided to present it?
It can seem like you're stating the obvious, but if you consider how to describe an artwork to someone who has never seen it, you would probably tell them the subject of the painting.
First, describe the overall aspect before you describe the individual objects.
There is a difference between patience & procrastination.
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