How to Talk About Paintings When You Know Nothing About Art

There is no shame in not knowing much about art but life may throw you in some situations where you may need to talk intelligently about art. In such situations, it is best not to channelize Joey Tribbiani from FRIENDS and memorize a lot of things about art and spew them out randomly about things that are not even there. The sensible thing to do if you have the choice to do so is to declare that you do not know much but that you definitely have ideas on what you like and what you don’t. But if you do not have that choice, we suggest that you read on to learn how to talk about painting when you know nothing about art. One of the things that you should do is Google things like classic and modern art painting examples so that you have some inkling about what you are dealing with.

The one thing that you will not go wrong with is when you talk about beautiful paintings of flowers, unless you have the tendency to go on about details you have no idea about. What is more, we feel that you should do some research about the kind of paintings you like and talk about these. For instance, it could be luminous light paintings for your absolute delight or something else entirely. There are many activities that you can do to learn how to talk about paintings when you know nothing about art to ensure that you sound knowledgeably, some of which we give below.

How to Talk About Paintings When You Know Nothing About Art

Here are some things that you should do before you even start talking:

Do look at the painting for a while. Take your time and study it from different angles.

It is okay to not like a painting because each of us have different tastes and it is okay not to understand what the painting is trying to depict.

Read the information given alongside the painting to know more before you start talking. Doing this can help you not to make the wrong comment.

If you cannot figure out much about the kind of medium used and the kind of painting it is, then be a bit vague about how you feel. Listen and learn.

Be a good listener and make short comments to make sure that people know you are participating in the conversation while letting them talk.

If you still feel lost, then ask them what they think and keep adding to it if you can.

Some useful words that you can use in this conversation include:

Sense of balance and movement are some terms that you can use to talk about the paintings.

Brushwork is another important aspect of paintings and you can talk about how you feel the artist has used this to add energy and emotions to the painting.

Composition is another word that will make you sound more knowledgeable than you actually are.

You can also throw in a few words about contrast and if you know about it, the word medium could also be used.

You can also talk about commonality and repetition if you come across something like that. This will make others think that you do know a bit about art and that you can speak like an expert.

Texture and rhythm along with depth and luminosity can also be factors that can be seen in a painting. You can describe these things and make it sound like you know more than you actually do.


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