Art is an extraordinarily subjective and personal medium. One person’s opinion about what makes a good painting, sculpture, or installation piece may differ from another person’s opinion, and both of them may not see eye to eye with the studied and experienced art critic. This is part of what makes art a great field of study; it is a constant struggle to define what in fact makes a good piece of art. The rules and guidelines have changed over time, and new art movements have abolished the standards and forms set by their predecessors. At the same time, as much as art should be about new forms and movements, there are still some basic parameters that determine a good painting.
There are four elemental components to a successful painting. First, balance is important. The canvas must have
a sense of unity; this is a concept taken from the Classical Greeks and is still applied today. Second, proportion is the key to a good painting. This is one of the first things they teach you at art school. It is also imperative to have an understanding of light and shadow. Finally, brushstrokes can determine the success or failure of a painting.
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