However, in the world of art and painting appreciation, there are also many people who view paintings according to certain formulas or standards of beauty.

Some key features summarized by ELLE in this article hope to help readers gain more basic knowledge when reading articles about fine arts, painting, pictures…


According to Mary Acton, you should first find the composition of the painting through connecting lines, such as horizontal lines, vertical lines, and oblique lines.

Composition by definition is the way an artist arranges subjects in a painting, adding or subtracting details to create a visual effect.

Artists can also create rhythm for the composition by the interaction between the main character and the background, especially when the background is simple, giving the viewer’s eyes a feeling of impact or fluctuation in space.

During the flourishing period of heroic painting genres, with generals riding horses, people tended to replace the horizontal-vertical composition with curves and angles.

Irises – A painting by Vincent Van Gogh


In painting in particular and fine arts in general, due to visual effects, objects placed near or far from the human eye will have different heights, and this phenomenon was discovered by artists long before there were machines.

Some classical paintings divide people into horizontal rows from near to far, like rows of seats in a theater.

There are landscape paintings that calculate the space so that the viewer feels like they are standing inside that scene.

There are artists who do not like to waste time on background space but create space right on the subject’s face with sharp corners and edges, creating an impressive appearance.

In general, to determine the space on a painting, viewers can ask themselves the question of how they relate to the spatial dimension, and whether that space is smaller or larger than the normal perspective.

Basis for enjoying painting

Les Noces de Pierrette


To help viewers enjoy the form of the subject in a painting, expert Mary Acton recommends asking whether the painting creates a three-dimensional feeling or not.

One of the value systems set for artists is the expression of shapes, also known as drawings – plastic – on a flat surface.

First of all, shape is the feeling that when you look at a painting, you will see that the model stands out on the surface of the painting, floating like a floating statue.

A common way of expression in the Renaissance was to record the light and dark strokes that light left on the surface of the model (grisaille).

Some artists such as Leonardo da Vinci sought more form not only in light – dark but also through the contrasting relationship of shadow – illumination (chiasoscuro), as well as blurring at the contact with dark areas (

Moving to modern drawing, the style of expressing shapes has changed a lot, while the Impressionists overlooked this issue, while the Post-Impressionists restored it.

Basis for enjoying painting

Les Demoiselles d’Avignon

Dark brightness

Although brightness and darkness are used to express composition, planes and shapes, according to expert Mary Acton, we should sometimes ask ourselves what role does brightness and darkness play when looking at the whole.

In classical times, light and dark were often used to create tragedy in paintings, or even emotions, or the general atmosphere of the whole painting.


Although the main function of color is to represent the subject, there are many paintings that use color to express emotions or establish a system of logical thinking.

Some emotional painters are often influenced by German poet Goethe’s color theory, which analyzes the interrelationship between color and emotion.

Basis for enjoying painting

Gustav Klimt


There are many paintings that require the viewer to have knowledge about the subject being expressed, such as religious, historical, and mythological paintings.


Going from principles to specifics to a unique thinking and feeling system for each individual.

With a few basic principles, readers can immediately apply the most basic formulas to view paintings on the Internet, at museums, in galleries, and at art studios near home, to practice and

Once you have mastered some methods of thinking about viewing paintings, you can discover and build new principles for yourself, which will certainly make you more satisfied when enjoying works of art.

See more:

The attraction of public art

Everything is art, except art

Ballpoint pen and the journey to change the art world