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Museum or Gallery Learning Guide

These questions are meant to help the viewer to understand and appreciate the quality or workmanship of a painting. The viewer can learn a great deal about compositon, color, value, line and shape by being able to answer these questions for each painting that is seen in a museum or gallery.

  • 1. Where are the soft and hard edges in the painting?
  • 2. Why do the hard edges define the object in the painting.
  • 3. How would the subject matter in the painting change if the hard edges became soft and the soft edges in the painting became hard?
  • 4. Can you identify where the temperature changes occur in the painting.
  • 5. Why is temperature change critical in the composition?
  • 6. What colors are used for the shadows?
  • 7. Is there reflective light or cast shadows in the painting? What would the painting be like without them?
  • 8. What is the one color that unifies the painting?
  • 9. If the painting is a landscapes ? what colors are used to represent greens?
  • 10. What are the warm and cool colors in each painting?
  • 11. How does the direction of brush strokes impact each painting?
  • 12. Can you identify what object is in the golden mean?
  • 13. Do you see repetition of shape? What is the shape and how often is it used?
  • 14. Can you explain why one composition is better than the other?
  • 15. Does texture play a part in the painting?
  • 16. How is texture created? (by color, light, value, stroke, etc.)