speaking part three: what makes a good painting?

IELTS Speaking Part 3: What makes a good painting?

October 11, 2014 by  95 Comments

Ideas and Vocab

  • the composition of all the parts
  • the painter has a good eye (to know when something is good)
  • perspective and symmetry (sizing and balance of all parts)
  • using a particular style or an unusual technique (skill)
  • the subject (person / landscape / animal etc)
  • the balance of colours and contrasts
  • to bring about an emotional response – it touches people
  • to evoke a memory or idea
  • impact – something you can’t take your eye off
  • historical background or relevance实用性

Model Answer

From my perspective, I suppose a good painting is one you can’t take your eye’s off. For me, it’s either due to the colours and images or because of the emotional reaction I might have to the painting. But I know that for other people, they think a good painting is usually because of the skill involved in painting it or because of the unique creativity创造性 of the artist. I guess that a good painting means something different to everybody.

My answer:

From my perspective, I suppose a good painting is one that you can’t take your eyes off. For me, it can either have a good balance of colours and contracts or evoke a memory to my mind. Certainly, different people will define a good painting in different aspects. Some may put more attention to the skill involved in painting it or the creativity of the artist.  For example, someone like Pablo Picasso’s paintings which twist a nose or eyes of a face to show the fear/fɪər/ or hopeless of that person. So I guess that a good painting means something different to everybody.

Video Watch

This video shows an art dealer talking about what makes a good painting. It is not a video made for language learners so the English is advanced but hopefully you can still learn a lot from it.


  1. symmetry noun [ U ] UK ​ /ˈsɪm.ə.tri/ US ​ /ˈsɪm.ə.tri/
    ​the quality of having parts that match each other, especially in a way that is attractive, or similarity of shape or contents对称(性);匀称
    The design of the house had a pleasing symmetry, its oblong shape being picked up in its elongated windows.房子的设计透着一种赏心悦目的对称美,狭长的窗户使长方形的结构显得更加和谐。
    Compare:asymmetry (asymmetric)
  2. composition noun UK ​ /ˌkɒm.pəˈzɪʃ.ən/ US ​ /ˌkɑːm.pəˈzɪʃ.ən/
    composition noun (MUSIC/ART)
    ​B2 [ C ] a piece of music that someone has written(音乐)作品,乐曲
    This concerto is one of her earlier/later compositions.这首协奏曲是她早期/后期的作品之一。
    ​C2 [ U ] the process or skill of writing music音乐创作(技巧),作曲(技巧)
    At music school I studied piano and composition.我在音乐学校学习钢琴和作曲。
    ​C2 [ C ] the way that people or things are arranged in a painting or photograph绘画或照片的)构图,构思,布局
    a group composition组合构思composition noun (PIECE OF WRITING)
    ​B1 [ C or U ] old-fashioned a short piece of writing about a particular subject, done by a student作文
    a 200-word composition一篇200字的作文
    composition noun (FORMED FROM)
    ​C2 [ U ] the parts, substances, etc. that something is made of成分;构成;结构
    the composition of the atmosphere大气的构成
  3. trailer noun [ C ] UK ​ /ˈtreɪ.lər/ US ​ /ˈtreɪ.lɚ/trailer noun [ C ] (VEHICLE)
    ​a box on wheels that is pulled by a car and is used for taking things from one place to another拖车;挂车
    The car was pulling a trailer with a motorcycle on it.这辆汽车拖着一辆挂车,挂车上面载着一辆摩托车。
    ​us also travel trailer, uk caravan a wheeled vehicle for living or travelling in, especially for holidays, that contains beds and cooking equipment and can be pulled by a car旅行拖车
    trailer noun [ C ] (ADVERTISEMENT)
    ​an advertisement for a film or a television or radio programme, consisting of short parts taken from it(影视节目、广播的)预告片
    I saw a trailer for the new series of “Game of Thrones” last night.我看了斯皮尔伯格最新一部电影的预告片。
  4. brand awareness品牌意识,brand image 品牌形象,witty/humorous 口语表达。
  5. target verb [ T ] UK ​ /ˈtɑː.ɡɪt/ US ​ /ˈtɑːr.ɡɪt/
    target verb [ T ] (DIRECT)
    ​C2 to direct advertising, criticism, or a product at someone(广告、批评或产品)以…为目标(或对象)
    The advert for the energy drink is targeted specifically at young people.
    target verb [ T ] (ATTACK)
    ​to aim an attack, or a bullet, bomb, etc., at a particular object, place, or person把…作为目标
    It is hoped that civilians will not be targeted during the war.希望平民在战争中不会成为攻击的目标。
  6. product placements n.植入式广告( product placement的名词复数 );
    The ranks of the autobots are rife with general motors product placements, and in the current climate anything that may sell a gm car can only be seen as a plus.








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