Better Guide to Basic Art Questions

If you’re having trouble leading a conversation about a piece of art, use our list of basic art questions for inspiration!

We understand the value of creativity and the satisfaction of creating something with your own hands. But we also know the power of admiring other people’s artwork.

Looking at and interpreting art is a personal and emotional experience. Each person will interpret it differently based on what they see because they view it through the prism of their own life. Talking about art enables us to transcend our solo interpretations and gain new perspectives.

This article will guide you with effective questions about art to gain insights into the thoughts and ideas behind a piece of work.

List of Basic Art Questions for Better Insights

Know what to ask when you’re confused. Here are some basic art questions you can ask yourself or others to get a better understanding of art. These questions might provide you with a lot of insights and possibly help you avoid some pitfalls when creating your artwork.

General Questions About an Artwork

  • What is happening in this piece of art?
  • How did you react to this piece of art at first? Why do you believe you reacted the way you did?
  • Describe the color palette in this artwork.
  • What part of the artwork is most important? Why?
  • How did the artist use space, balance, and proportion in this work?
  • How does the artwork catch your eye?
  • Which part of this art do you think the artist wanted to emphasize?
  • How would you describe this art to someone who has never seen it before?
  • What components of this picture look realistic?
  • Which adjectives would you use to describe this piece of art?
  • What verbs would best describe this artwork?
  • What elements of this piece have a surreal or magical feel?
  • Do you like the artwork more the longer you look at it? Why?
  • What peculiarity exists in this painting?
  • What about this piece of art is mysterious?
  • Why is this piece of art not monotonous to look at?
  • What about this piece of art looks boring to you?
a person looking at painting collection on the wall
Photo by kevin laminto on Unsplash

More Art Questions to Spark Conversation

  • What intrigues you about this piece of art?
  • What question would you pose to the artist if you had the chance?
  • If this painting could have sound effects, what would it sound like?
  • What is lacking in this piece of art?
  • What can we infer about the artist from this piece of art?
  • Who do you think this piece of art was intended for? Why do you say so?
  • What do you think the artist feels about the finished piece?
  • What emotions do you see portrayed in this artwork?
  • How do you feel when you look at this piece of work?
  • What was the intention of the artist’s work? How did he use shape, line, and color to create mood and meaning?
  • How does the title of this artwork influence how you interpret the meaning?
  • What name would you give to this piece of art?
  • Do you see any symbols in this artwork?
  • Does this artwork remind you of anything? Why?
  • What changes would you make to this piece of art if you could? Why?
  • What specific elements of the piece are you drawn to?
  • Does the piece remind you of any moments or experiences from your own life?


If you are interested in learning or improving your understanding of art, we have compiled some crucial questions for you. These will help you gain insights into a piece of artwork.

However, it is important to keep in mind that there are plenty of different subjective responses when it comes to art. So these questions are not perfect, but they should be helpful for a general understanding of art!

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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