What Makes a Great Oil Painting?

If you have a passion for collecting art, how do you decide on the best paintings to choose? Opinions on this can be as varied as artists’ own styles.

We all perceive beauty differently but there are certainly some basic factors that are uniform in what is generally regarded as great art by consensus.

It is easier to consent on what is generally perceived as unattractive but when it comes to great art, it is not easy to agree in harmony.

Having said that, it’s worth noting that a great painting still has features that make it stand out. There are aspects that easily strike out as utterly impressive on an oil painting that is generally perceived as great.

A great painting should have the ability to instantly grab your attention. You will immediately be drawn closer, be it a landscape or a portrait painting. Regardless of whether it is a darker painting or not, the color harmonies should have some fire that is clearly visible.

Natural lighting should also be evident, clearly distinguishable from the commonly used faux lighting effects. The dark and shadow areas of the painting should have enough detail, as well as the highlights. The painting should manage to reach a sufficient level of depth.

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Color is an important aspect of any painting and great painters have the ability to mix colors in a way that instantly draws attention and wins the confidence of the viewers.

Great paintings have appropriately done brush work and shading. By appropriate, we refer to a situation where a painter may wish to use a loose brush stroke in their style or effect and it’s permissible for the painting.

However, in some paintings, a painter’s laziness can be evident from the fact that they were not able to render out a feature as good as it ought to have been rendered. Do you notice uniform quality or the painting has spots that are more refined than others?

You’ll realize that many artists who come up with great paintings confess to spending lots of time just on a single piece. Thus, a painting with great detail is a testament of time and devotion invested in it.

So how do you tell a painting that didn’t take that long to complete? You can tell when a painting initially gets your attention but as you get closer to it, the illusion disappears. This results from a lack of detail. A great painting will hold no matter the distance at which you’re viewing it, because it has detail.

Also, one of the most important aspects of a great painting is its ability to get you out of your element and evoke emotions. Precisely speaking, it will get you thinking or pondering. If you look at a painting and you find that you’re mentally wandering, then that’s a great painting.

A good painting should get your imagination going. If you look keenly at a good painting, it will imprint a lasting memory on your mind for a long time. This definitely means it is one great piece of work.

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