How do you tell if the art you’re trying to sell or buy is good?
In the consideration of artistic expression, whether as creator or spectator, the most important factor is the ability to tell the difference between what is true quality and what is merely a novelty.
Novelty is that which may have popular appeal but fades in its importance with the passing of time. Quality, on the other hand, is that which often, in spite of unpopular or controversial inception, increases in its importance with the passing of time.
Quality in art is the ultimate truth expressed through an individual’s unique experience of existence. Its success in expression and transmission lies in its potential to communicate more than its surface values.
There are certain elements to any painting that makes it work, learn the three elements that Dr. Mark Sublette looks for in every painting before he buys. The tricks of the trade are shared through this highly informative video, great for beginners to serious collectors.
Without getting into a fundamental philosophical discussion, there are a lot of ways to approach this question.
The first approach is perhaps the most common: how well-executed is the piece in terms of technique? How realistic is it? A lot of early or experimental works fall apart quickly because the technique is bad. Maybe the paint is not mixed right, so it falls off the canvas or the sculpture collapses because it isn’t well constructed.
Scott M. Levitt, Director, Fine Arts, Bonhams & Butterfields, Los Angeles:Quality, quality, quality. This is the mysterious and subjective key to good art. In all periods of art, there are good and bad works of art. I find that defining quality in representational art is easier than in modern and abstract art. The other keyword is looking. Everything looks good when you first start looking at art, as you have nothing to compare it to. As you hone your eye, you begin to distinguish between good and bad. The more you look at art, the easier it is to determine what is good and what is bad.
Also, there are two schools of thought as to what is good and bad. Some people believe that good and bad are personal distinctions and entirely in the eye of the viewer. Others believe that there is good art and crap art and no one can tell them otherwise. I think the real answer is somewhere in between, and this is based entirely on the quality of the eye of the viewer.
Each area of art requires its own set of criteria when determining good and bad, i.e. painting, sculpture, printmaking, craft, conceptual etc. Personally, I hold originality to be important in this determination. For contemporary artists that can be tough. Most of what is being created today are, in my personal opinion, not very original. There is originality in contemporary art, but it is tough to find.
It is also tough when the art market influences good and bad. I would like to say that monetary value determines quality, but unfortunately, they are often unrelated, as many factors can influence the value of artwork other than quality.
I think the best "take away" here is that if you want to know what is good and what is not, you have to get out and look for yourself and make that decision. Take a year... and make it a rule to visit museums and galleries every weekend and read art-related books and magazines as much as possible in as many art fields as possible. You will have your answer. If you don't use this approach, you will officially have no eye or ability to make these distinctions.
Asking the deceptively simple question: "What makes painting a good work of art?"
Some artist thinks every work they do is a work of art, I say keep working and you may produce a work of art.
I think that great art either causes a viewer to think or to feel. If it doesn't stir something up they may say ‘That's nice’ and move on, and wouldn't walk 10 steps to look at it again.
The illusion of depth/distance enhanced by: Light & shade Linear perspective: 1, 2 or 3 point perspective The aerial perspective/atmosphere, volume color Overlapping: closer form hides part of the distance from Size: closer objects are larger Position on the page: lower appear closer Distinct edges become more diffuse in distance The weight of the line heavier in the foreground Foreground, mid-ground, background evident Value contrast & chroma are higher in the foreground Shallow focus, deep focus
Plane versus recessional composition
The plane has horizontal lines, as if on a stage Blocks or holds back the viewer
Recessional has diagonal tension 2 point perspective at least Movement into 3D space required Invites the viewer into space
Movement in space
In & out of shapes/areas/form/color/value/lost edge
Primaries, secondary, tertiary, complements
Hue, saturation, gradation, value
Tints, Tones, Shades
Range, Key, Intensity, Chroma
Visual Phenomena/Color interaction Halation, Vanishing Boundaries, Luminosity Relative hue, Color deception Local color, color constancy Complements, vibrating boundaries
Unity, predictability, design, balance, focus,
Unique color combinations
Range, key, distribution, focus
Light and Shadow
Light & shadow must treat all things equally, that is how it creates unity in a composition.
Light & Shadow must be consistent in the following: Source: nothing can be lighter than the light source Position/direction must be established and held to. Intensity must be consistent. Color must be consistent.
Visual Phenomena and illusion White light and shadow Colored light and colored shadow
Functions Aesthetics, unification, integration, relates, constancy Illumination, focus attention, definition, modification Form, value & color are observed only in the presence of light. Light defines form & dictates value and color.
Whether on the walls of a cave, the tombs of great kings, a canvas, or the walls of a building, the human desire to put ink to paper has left the world with some of the most beautiful masterpieces. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 painters of all time