The most popular genres in painting are:
• the portrait;
• the landscape (seascape, townscape);
• the still life;
• the genre scene/the subject painting; the historical/mythological painting.
A picture can be described from the following points of view:
• the subject (what is represented or depicted in it);
• the composition (how the space of the picture is used);
• the colour scheme (how different colours are handled);
• the details (what details the artist introduces and how they are related to the subject);
• the general impression the picture makes.
Here are some helpful words and phrases:
• the space of the picture is symmetrically/asymmetrically divided;
• the centre is dominated by...;
• in the foregroundybackground/far distance;
• the shapes echo with each other/contrast each other;
• the picture is painted in warm/cold colours;
• the dominating colours are...;
• the colours are bright, pale, brilliant, intense, luminous, soft, pure, pastel, delicate, etc.;
• the colours contrast with each other^lend together;
• the sitter/model.
These words describe a positive impression of a picture:
• a masterpiece that can (could) stand the test of time;
• a romantic, lyrical, charming, appealing, powerful, original, outstanding painting;
• the artist demonstrates a great sense of space, a real talent as a colourist, precision of drawing;
• the artist managed to capture the sitter’s expression, the atmosphere of the place, the mood of the moment.