A painting titled ‘White for Purity’, showing flowers against a multi-coloured backdrop.

4 Signs of a Quality Painting

Art is most certainly subjective, as with all things creative. What may appeal to your aesthetic sense and sensibilities may not be inviting to another’s. However, if you’re spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on a work of art, it’s important to know you’re getting your money’s worth.

It’s difficult to make claims about what counts as ‘good’ art and what doesn’t, but fortunately, there are objective markers and standards to go by. You can keep your eye out on a few qualities before you purchase a painting, to determine whether or not it’s worth investing in for your collection, or personal use:

1. It needs to have a clear focal point

A focal point isn’t necessarily the same thing as a central subject; it can be as subtle or as obvious as the artist chooses. It can be a subject or something more obscure; it can be a recurring pattern or a clear-standing visual.

The common thread is that it’s something that draws you in, and holds your gaze. You’ll know what it is when you see it.

2. The composition speaks for itself

Speaking of the composition, this is a key feature of any great work of art. A painting is a visual snapshot or a wider scene that helps you know where to look. The placement of figures, motifs, lines, and the overall synchronization of the scene on the canvas determines your engagement with the piece. Think about the composition like a set of directions; your eyes will follow the painting through every stroke.

Painting titled ‘A Ray Of Hope,’ which shows a sunbeam streaming through windows

3. Inspiration and innovation come through

It’s easy to see creativity and innovation in a good painting. This is still more subjective than most standards and factors, but it’s a great indicator nonetheless.

How the artist broaches their subject—whether it’s a vase of flowers or the picture of a bird—and brings their own perspective, perception, and creativity to it, can tell you a lot about their style, distinctive patterns, and much more.

4. Patterns and colours work well together

Another important tell for quality artwork is the way the patterns and colours layer together, playing with one another and blending in seamlessly. These are techniques that have been used by the greatest artists and painters of all time, and are somewhat of a gold standard, especially when it comes to technical, and visual aspects.

Sometimes, the work just speaks to us and draws us in. it’s difficult to put your finger on what it is that makes it special, or why you love it, and that’s reason enough to invest in. If you’re wondering where to find fine art, especially online, you can browse through my collection of unique paintings for sale, or reach out to me to learn more.

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