How To Evaluate The Quality of An Oil Painting

For every individual, the value of a piece of art varies. Numerous factors determine the worth and quality of an artwork. So how can we evaluate the quality of an oil painting with which we fall in love? 

What is it that makes us fall in love with art the same way we fall in love with other human beings? The technicalities, reasons, and mechanisms for both scenarios are the same. We fall in love when we see our reflection or a part of ourselves someone else. We fall in love when we see a part of our known or lesser-known self-depicted in another person. That’s the compelling factor that draws us to paint as well.

An art lover may have several ways and tricks up their sleeves to evaluate the quality of an oil painting. But for art novices, like some of us, evaluation is not that easy. Not to mention, evaluating an oil painting for quality is extremely important now that you can order made-to-order oil paintings online. Click here to find out more about these paintings. 

So, how would you know you have received the right product? The following methods will help you with that.


Carefully observe the proportions displayed in the artwork. You will have to consider the style with which the painter created the painting because proportions depend heavily on the chosen style. If a painting follows a realistic theme, you must note carefully if the proportions in it are accurately mimicking those found in real life. If the artwork leans more towards abstract, then look for how consistent the proportions are in the painting, stylistically.


When evaluating an oil painting, you must take into consideration the significance of the work of art. Where art is concerned, you may define significance as the expanding quality of the perception of the world. Where paintings are in question, people view them as the statement the artist is trying to make, which might have a substantial social impact. 

Times define the significance of the painting. Modern art follows the pattern of capturing more with little. A canvas with an ordinary painting of a line can speak volumes about society. Some paintings may earn their significance from the artist trying to communicate their perspective of the world through their artwork. 


Oil paintings depict a high level of intimacy when they communicate one’s inner expression. At the core of their existence, is the function of a medium of expression for the artist. Originality in art is so highly valued today because it is very rare to see a work that’s not a copy of another’s. Copying the idea and concept of others requires no skill, and nobody appreciates a painting that is not a reflection of the painter’s genius.

This does not mean that reproductions should be avoided, which are not much different from the original artist’s work and are much more affordable than originals. If someone wishes to, it is completely their right to purchase oil paintings that are not a deviation from the original piece of work.

The difference here is to refrain from purchasing a copy by an artist that shamelessly and remorselessly copies another person’s concept without giving them credit.


To be ranked among the high quality as an oil painting, symbolism is not a prerequisite. You must learn to identify which piece of painting possesses a symbolism and how well it is exhibiting it. Symbolism is the use of a symbol to draw attention to a particular idea. An oil painting that uses symbolism as a theme must have a well-defined quality of going about it so that it is easy for the audience to immediately recognize what idea is being compounded upon by the artist in the painting.


An article can complete a painting without giving the audience a feeling of a finished piece of work. An oil painting utilizes the entire space on the canvas, even where no paint or perhaps very little is required.

Value and Color

Paintings should evoke emotions. For this reason, the play of colors and value take great responsibility. A variety of colors evoke a number of emotions in a piece of work, like how darker colors emit darker emotions and how lighter tones exude positivity and light-heartedness.

While the choice of colors does not have an immediate bearing on the quality of the oil paintings itself, how the artist uses those colors makes all the difference. A qualitative oil painting will show an expert use of colors. Colors are meant to blend in harmony unless the painter deliberately uses them in discord for an opposite impact. 

Value refers to the lightness and darkness of color description. Darker colors have lower values, while lighter colors have higher values. The objective behind it is to create the illusion of light within a painting. Any painting that employs an exceptional use of value will be graded high in quality as opposed to the one with a lack of value.


Perhaps the easiest way of identifying a high-quality painting is to look for the use of perspective in it. Perspective is how a person looks at an object from a particular position and how the viewer conveys said perception to the audience. It means that oil paintings must possess the necessary details of how objects are placed in the painting. This requires detailed work if the perception is meant to be grasped by the audience.

Shape and Line

Line, in painting, refers to the effort required to draw the eye in a particular direction. The use of lines by artists is to convey movements and to erect borders between the objects. How an artist employs lines shows the effort of conveying a particular emotion to the audience. An oil painting of high quality must possess lines that are well drawn to create necessary movements. 


At this point, you should have a clear idea of what to look for to evaluate the quality of an oil painting. If that’s the first time you have read about these things, it will require you some time to learn them. However, with some practice and repeated purchases, you will know instantly when you have a high or low-quality oil painting in your hand.

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