Descriptive language is the use of words to create a sensory experience for your reader or audience, including sight, sound, taste and smell. Descriptive words help people become “present” in the moment, which can help them feel more involved with your presentation.
Descriptive language can be used in a variety of contexts, including business presentations and social situations. It is a skill that can be learned and developed over time.
Here are six phrases you can use that will help you make art appreciation more enjoyable:
1. Look at the colors.
2. The color palette is very rich here.
3. What is the artist trying to convey?
4. There are many shapes in this painting.
5. This piece has a lot of texture.
6. I really like the way the artist created movement in this piece by using lines of different lengths and angles.”
It’s really the simple things that make the difference between a beautiful, moving or interesting piece of art and one that is just plain boring. Well that and the fact that so many people just don’t understand what they’re looking at.
To help with this problem, I’ve compiled a list of six phrases to use when you first encounter a piece of art in order to make it more enjoyable. They may seem kind of silly but take my word for it – they make all the difference!
1. “So what exactly am I supposed to be looking at here?”
This is a great way to start any conversation about art because it shows that you are serious about understanding what you are seeing and listening to or reading. It also gives the other person a chance to explain their work without feeling like you are criticizing it. Knowing what to look for also helps stimulate your imagination, leading you to discover more truths about the work of art than the artist may have intended.
2. “Wow, I can never decide if this kind of thing is meaningful or if I’m just taking it too seriously.”
3. “Can you tell me why this is so amazing? What makes it so different from everything else?”
4.”I used to not care for this sort
In the first group, we have “Drawn with a fine camelhair brush,” “Wild Daisies and Green Grass,” and “Hand Colored.” These three phrases are more subtle. They evoke the tactile sensation of being in the presence of the art.
For those who have been to an art museum, this list is like nodding your head yes and saying, “yes I know what you mean.” For those who haven’t, reading these three phrases might get them to consider going.
The entire statement might be read as a kind of trip through the art gallery: The first phrase takes you most of the way through the door, because it’s an introductory phrase that gives you an idea of what’s inside. The next two phrases take you deeper into the gallery by having very specific details that must be viewed up close. And lastly there’s a suggestion of what to feel after you’ve looked at them.
I’m at the museum, looking at a painting by Vermeer. It is a beautiful work of art, no doubt about it. But what does it mean?
I look at it for a while, and then I ask an art expert to explain it to me. He tells me how it fits into the context of Vermeer’s oeuvre, and how this scene would have looked in real life, and what materials were used to paint the picture. He talks about the way light falls over the objects in the room, and how the perspective draws my eye through the room and out towards the window.
So he has told me some interesting facts about Vermeer and 17th-century Dutch life, but I am still none the wiser as to what this painting is actually about. And worse, I now have a bunch of new questions: Why did Vermeer choose to depict that particular moment? What was he trying to express? What emotional effect does he want me to feel? This expert has given me more information about Vermeer—but less appreciation of his art.
The same thing often happens when you try to learn about other kinds of art too. If you are looking at a Rembrandt self-portrait you may wonder
Art is a tricky subject. You’re either into it or you’re not — and even if you are, it’s hard to know what’s good and what isn’t. It’s even harder to know what to say when someone asks for your opinion on a piece of art.
The problem is that art is more than just “beautiful.” It can also be “interesting,” “enjoyable,” “fascinating,” “thought-provoking,” or any other number of adjectives. But how do you say those things without sounding like you don’t really understand?
We talked to our favorite sources from the worlds of art, design, and writing about some phrases they recommend using when describing works of art (or anything else, for that matter). These are words that can help your friends who aren’t sure what they think about a piece say something intelligent and interesting about it. And these are the same words used by experts in the field to talk about art with one another.
It’s often a struggle to appreciate art, because we don’t know what to look for. Art classes teach us to see the brushstrokes of a painting or the way a sculpture is carved, but they rarely teach us how to understand what we are seeing. So we make up our own stories about how the artist felt when he made it—and those stories can distract us from what’s actually happening in front of us.