The world of art is a very special world of its own; it’s a world that is ever increasing in the rate at which different artists spring up, all these artists profess to be skilled and talented. Sometimes when we visit some art stores or art shows, we are at crossroads at what types of arts should go home with us and which of the many artworks are good. For those of us who may know little or nothing about paintings and for those who have the desire to invest in profitable arts, this piece is for us. We will take time to highlight and analyze some things that we should look for in any kind of painting, some things that make a painting good and some factors that we need to consider when trying to purchase any painting. Just as there are good movies and bad movies, good music and bad music, well written books and poorly written books, there are also good artworks and bad artworks, or should we call them artworks that are not-too-good; although we will be touching on many points, the final decision in selecting a painting rests solely on you.
There are different types of paintings and these paintings have different effects on each person who sees them, so liking a painting for a certain attribute doesn’t really mean it will appeal to the next person and disliking it for a particular attribute doesn’t mean the painting is below standard.
Mixture of Paints: for good reasons, any quality painting should have a set of mixed colors; a painting should not have all edges being thick or the entire piece having the same color. Mixing not just the paint but also varying its application is what brings out the sense in any painting.
Subject Matter: do you know the inspiration and the back story behind the painting? Does the back story move in-line with the painting? If the painter has a back story that is more focused on rest of mind, does the painting portray war and fear? Or if the painter had nature in mind, does the painting have cars, guns and jets in it? A good painting is harmonious from the first touch of the ink to the last brush of the painting. To know if a painting portrays a good and harmonious subject matter, you should investigate the painting extensively and when you see that there are no discrepancies and inconsistencies, that painting is likely a good piece. You will agree with me that beyond the painting, its significance is also of utmost importance.
Styles: one unique thing about every piece of art should be difference in styles and techniques, a good piece of painting will portray a unique style and technique of its own and not a copied idea or artwork.
Historical Context: what does the painting tell us about the time it was painted? We have seen some artworks that portray images that either isn’t used or should generally not be used today, so by knowing the time it was painted, we will not be buying paintings that has a different message from what we must have seen.
Interpretation: what is the interpretation of the painting? Earlier, we talk about knowing what the artist may have in mind while producing a painting, but in this context, we want to know the real meaning of the painting. Whoever produces a painting has something in mind while creating that work, so we can still say that a good artist or painting is not judged by the design of the painting, the color or even the technique alone, but also by its interpretation. We will not want to buy paintings that support inhuman activities, or those that are not in line with our faiths, so we should endeavor to conduct extensive research not just on the story behind a painting, but also to know what the painting is meaning.
Lastly, good artists hate copying, they try to see problems in fresh ways and from fresh angles, they create solutions, so a good piece of painting should have originality, interpretation, style and rich historical context.