Appreciating Artistic Techniques (Master the Art of Choosing & Evaluating Art When Buying Online!)

Techniques in Artistic Expression

In today’s digital era, the art world has transcended traditional boundaries, offering art fans like us the opportunity to discover and purchase captivating pieces right from our screens.

However, before we dive into the fascinating realm of online art buying, let’s explore the essential role that artistic techniques play in shaping our appreciation of these artworks.

You won’t want to miss this intriguing journey ahead!

Why Artistic Techniques Matter

Art is not just a visual experience; it’s an emotional journey. When it comes to buying art, understanding the importance of artistic techniques can be your compass in navigating this immersive world.

Imagine walking into a gallery or scrolling through online art listings. What draws you into a particular piece? It’s often the emotional response it evokes. This emotional connection is intricately tied to the artist’s use of techniques.

Here’s why these techniques matter:

  • Communication of Emotion: Artists use techniques to convey their emotions, thoughts, and ideas. Whether it’s the bold strokes of a brush, the subtle blending of colors, or the intricate texture of the canvas, each element communicates something unique. As a buyer, being able to decipher these cues enables you to connect with the artwork on a deeper level.
  • Enhancing Aesthetic Appeal: Techniques are the tools artists use to create visual harmony. They dictate how the colors blend, the lines flow, and the composition is structured. This, in turn, influences the overall aesthetic appeal of the artwork. When you grasp these techniques, you can better appreciate the beauty and balance within a piece.
  • Storytelling: Art often tells a story, and techniques are the storyteller’s language. They allow artists to depict scenes, convey narratives, and express cultural or personal themes. By deciphering these techniques, you can unravel the tales woven into each artwork, making the experience richer and more meaningful.
  • Personal Connection: When you understand the techniques used in a piece of art, you can connect with it on a personal level. Perhaps you admire the bold brushwork of an abstract painting, which resonates with your vibrant personality. Or maybe it’s the delicate use of light and shadow in a landscape that transports you to a serene place. These connections make art ownership a deeply personal and gratifying experience.

Artistic techniques are the keys to unlocking the emotional power of art. They provide a bridge between the artist’s intention and the viewer’s experience. By delving into these techniques, you empower yourself as an art buyer, enabling you to select pieces that resonate with your emotions and enhance the beauty of your surroundings.

So, as you embark on your journey to buy art online, remember that knowing the “how” behind the art can make your collection not just visually pleasing, but emotionally enriching as well.

Types of Artistic Techniques

As we delve deeper into the realm of art, it’s crucial to familiarize ourselves with the foundational artistic techniques that shape the visual language of artworks. Consider this section your beginner’s guide to these fundamental elements:

Brushwork & Brushstrokes

Imagine an artist wielding a brush, each stroke carefully planned and executed. Brushwork and brushstrokes refer to how an artist applies paint to the canvas. These strokes can vary from bold and expressive to delicate and precise. Understanding brushwork helps you appreciate the artist’s intent and style. For instance, broad, sweeping strokes may convey energy and passion, while intricate, controlled strokes can create a sense of detail and refinement.

Color Theory

Color is a powerful tool in the artist’s arsenal. Color theory explores how colors interact, blend, and evoke emotions. Primary colors (red, blue, yellow) form the foundation, while secondary and tertiary colors emerge through mixing. Complementary colors, those opposite each other on the color wheel, create contrast and vibrancy, while analogous colors, adjacent on the wheel, offer harmony. Recognizing color choices can unveil an artwork’s mood and message.

Texture & Surface

Texture isn’t limited to the tactile; it’s also visual. Artists use various techniques to create texture on a two-dimensional surface, making it appear three-dimensional. Texture can convey roughness, smoothness, depth, or softness. Whether it’s the textured strokes in an Impressionist painting that mimic the play of light on water or the raised impasto technique in a Van Gogh masterpiece, texture adds layers of visual interest and tactile richness.

Composition & Perspective

Composition is the arrangement of elements within an artwork. It guides the viewer’s eye and imparts a sense of balance, harmony, or tension. Artists use principles like the rule of thirds, symmetry, or asymmetry to compose their works. Perspective, on the other hand, involves creating depth and dimension in a flat canvas. Linear perspective uses converging lines to create the illusion of distance, while aerial perspective relies on color and clarity to depict depth.

Mastering these foundational techniques equips you with the tools to appreciate art on a more profound level. When you encounter a painting, you can discern the artist’s brushwork style, understand the emotional impact of color choices, feel the texture through your eyes, and appreciate the careful composition that guides your gaze. These insights enable you to engage with art not merely as a passive observer but as an active participant in the artist’s creative journey.

Identifying Techniques in Artworks

Now that we’ve acquainted ourselves with the essential artistic techniques, it’s time to put our knowledge into practice. Recognizing these techniques in artworks can be an enriching and rewarding experience.

Here are some practical tips to help you discern and appreciate these nuances:

Observe Brushwork & Brushstrokes:

  • Zoom In: Take a closer look at the painting’s details. Are the brushstrokes bold and visible, or are they fine and delicate?
  • Direction Matters: Pay attention to the direction of the strokes. Horizontal strokes may suggest calmness, while diagonal or vertical strokes can convey movement and tension.
  • Texture Sensation: Try to imagine how the brushwork might feel. Is it smooth like glass, rough like sandpaper, or somewhere in between?

Example: In Van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” the swirling, impulsive brushwork creates a sense of turbulence in the night sky, enhancing the emotional intensity of the scene.

Analyze Color Choices:

  • Color Harmony: Look at how colors interact. Are they complementary, creating contrast, or analogous, providing harmony?
  • Emotional Impact: Consider how the colors make you feel. Warm colors like red and orange can evoke passion and energy, while cool colors like blue and green often convey calmness and serenity.

Example: In Edvard Munch’s “The Scream,” the use of bold, contrasting colors intensifies the feeling of anguish and despair in the central figure.

Feel the Texture & Surface:

  • Visual Texture: Examine the surface of the artwork. Can you see textures that mimic real-world textures, such as rough tree bark or smooth water?
  • Depth Perception: Think about how the use of texture creates depth. Does it make objects in the artwork appear closer or farther away?

Example: In Vincent van Gogh’s “The Bedroom,” the thick impasto technique he used for the walls and floor creates a tactile and inviting atmosphere.

Decode Composition & Perspective:

  • Gaze Guidance: Follow the lines and shapes within the artwork. Where does your eye naturally travel? Is there a focal point?
  • Spatial Illusion: Consider how the artist has used perspective to create depth. Does it feel like you’re looking into a vast landscape, or is it a more intimate scene?

Example: In Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa,” the carefully orchestrated composition and subtle use of perspective draw your gaze toward the enigmatic smile of the subject, creating a sense of intrigue.

By applying these tips and closely examining artworks, you’ll not only identify the artistic techniques employed but also deepen your connection with the art itself. You’ll discover how brushwork, color, texture, and composition work harmoniously to convey emotions, narratives, and perspectives, enriching your appreciation of the art you encounter online.

Artistic Techniques From Different Art Movements & Styles

Art history is a tapestry woven with various movements and styles, each reflecting the spirit of its time and the vision of its creators. Exploring these movements can be a fascinating journey into the evolution of artistic expression.

Let’s embark on this exploration and learn how to spot these styles and their defining techniques.


  • Overview: Impressionism, born in the 19th century, focuses on capturing the fleeting effects of light and atmosphere in everyday scenes.
  • Spotting It: Look for loose brushwork, small, visible strokes, and an emphasis on color and light over detail. Impressionist works often depict landscapes, urban scenes, or leisure activities.

Example: Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies” showcases the characteristic play of light on the surface of water through rapid brushwork and vibrant colors.


  • Overview: Emerging in the early 20th century, Cubism shattered traditional notions of perspective by presenting objects from multiple viewpoints.
  • Spotting It: Search for fragmented forms, geometric shapes, and a deconstruction of subjects into facets. Cubist works often feature abstracted figures and objects.

Example: Pablo Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” demonstrates the dissection of form into angular shapes, challenging the viewer’s perception.


  • Overview: Surrealism, born in the 1920s, delves into the world of dreams, the unconscious, and the irrational.
  • Spotting It: Keep an eye out for dreamlike and fantastical imagery, unexpected juxtapositions, and a sense of the uncanny. Surrealist works often provoke a sense of mystery and intrigue.

Example: Salvador Dalí’s “The Persistence of Memory” features melting clocks draped over barren landscapes, evoking a surreal and otherworldly atmosphere.

Abstract Expressionism:

  • Overview: This mid-20th-century movement emphasizes spontaneous, emotional, and gestural painting.
  • Spotting It: Identify bold, non-representational forms, expressive brushwork, and a focus on conveying emotions. Abstract Expressionist works often appear as if the artist’s emotions are directly transferred onto the canvas.

Example: Jackson Pollock’s “Autumn Rhythm” demonstrates the kinetic energy and emotional intensity of action painting through drips, splatters, and rhythmic patterns.

Pop Art:

  • Overview: Pop Art emerged in the 1950s, celebrating popular culture and everyday objects.
  • Spotting It: Look for vibrant colors, familiar objects from consumer culture, and a sense of irony or commentary on mass media. Pop Art works often blur the lines between high and low culture.

Example: Andy Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup Cans” elevates the mundane by portraying a series of soup cans as art, inviting reflection on consumerism and art’s role in society.

As you encounter artworks online, knowing these key art movements and their defining techniques will enhance your ability to appreciate and understand the context of each piece. Whether you’re drawn to the light-infused world of Impressionism or the abstract complexities of Cubism, recognizing these styles can enrich your online art-buying journey, helping you discover pieces that resonate with your unique artistic sensibilities.

Conclusion: Navigating Artistic Techniques in Online Art Purchases

As I conclude this exploration of buying art online and delving into the realms of art evaluation, artistic methods, and collecting, I find myself invigorated by the artistry that awaits in the virtual galleries of the internet. The ability to choose and select original paintings, prints, and other artwork from an online art gallery has transformed the way we approach art collection. In this digital age, we’re not just buying art; we’re investing in a journey of learning and appreciation.

One of the essential criteria for a successful online art purchase is research. Before you decide to invest, dive into the world of the artist, understand their artistic methods, and familiarize yourself with their unique style. In essence, it’s about evaluating the artist’s artistry. What makes their work stand out? Is it the brushwork, the color palette, or the emotional depth it conveys?

When venturing into online art collection, remember that it’s not merely about owning a piece of art; it’s about the connection you forge with the artwork. Your personal art evaluation can be influenced by your emotions and how the piece resonates with you. Trust your instincts and heart as you navigate the virtual corridors of an online art gallery, for therein lies the true essence of art selection.

In the end, the process of buying art online extends beyond the transaction; it’s a journey of exploration, learning, and appreciation. By researching, evaluating the artist’s methods, and following your heart, you can build a collection that not only holds monetary value but enriches your life with the beauty of art.

So, go forth into the online art world with confidence and a discerning eye, for you are now equipped with the tools to choose and collect art that speaks to your soul.