How to Write a Description of Your Art Piece

By Erika Marie
An artist standing next to his art piece in a gallery.

Writing an accurate description of your artwork is important in communicating to your public or a gallery the story behind your art. Your art is a means of personal expression; however, it is not always simple to share this expression so it is comprehensible to others. By performing a little research and asking yourself a few questions about yourself and your artwork, you will write a suitable description that will explain the piece.

Define whether the art is a painting, drawing, sculpture, computer art or multi-media piece. Then narrow down the details to the exact medium used such as oil, acrylic or watercolor painting or graphite, chalk or pen and ink drawing. For paintings and drawings, define the type of surface you created the art on, such as the type of paper or canvas you used.

Define the subject matter in the art piece. The subject matter describes what objects or subjects you depicted.

Study various genres to gain a better understanding of them. Then define the genre or artistic movement that inspired you in your work. Examples of genres include abstract art, pop art and impressionism. Describe how your work fits into the genre by comparing the styles of the movement with your own style.

Describe your creative process from start to finish. Write about the concepts or ideas involved in the making of your piece, what inspired your design choices, the muse that inspired your subject matter and the story behind the artwork.

Write a paragraph that describes the elements of your composition. Describe the shapes and forms of your subject matter. Explain the details of the texture and lines you put into the piece. Describe how you used both positive and negative space in the composition. Discuss the colors and the reasoning and emotions behind using them.

Tip

Add details to your description, such as the year and place it was created.

To write an in-depth analysis, describe how your society, era, experiences and surroundings affected your creating the piece of art.

Print the description on a flier or letter and send it with the artwork to potential buyers and galleries.

Type up a summarized version of your description on a note card or inscribe it on a plaque to be mounted alongside the artwork when on display.

About the Author

Erika Marie started writing in 1996 and has covered a variety of topics, including arts, crafts, and home and garden. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in art from Rowan University.