The 5 “W”s of Art Painting to Make You a Well-Informed Buyer

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The 5 “W”s of an Art Painting

Imagine yourself walking through the lengthy walkways of an art gallery. You find yourself in the middle of hundreds or thousands of paintings and prints. One painting, one particular painting keeps drawing you to it. Its beauty makes you want to own it.

You want to know more about it before buying. But as a newbie, you are lost, because you don’t know how.

Has this happened to you?

Have you heard about the ‘5 Ws’ of questioning? It is all you need to know everything about any art. It will make you a well informed buyer — whether you are buying for pleasure or investment.

Let us see how the 5 Ws can help in making you a bit wiser about this art painting.

Who Painted this Picture?

Let us start with the question ‘Who’. Whenever you see an art painting, the first thing you should look for is who created that masterpiece? An in-between art lover should be able to sort out Van Gogh paintings from Rembrandt masterpieces. Remember, the more acclaimed the artist, the better and safer your investment will be.

A simple way to identify the artist is to look for the signature at the bottom of the painting. Sometimes this signature can look completely alien to you. In that case, ask around. You will definitely get an answer. Once you get a hang of this ‘identifying act’, you will always be able to answer the question ‘who created the masterpiece’. Well, consider it the first step towards becoming a well-informed buyer!

 Type of Painting

The next ‘W’ in the list is ‘what’. ‘What’ can get quite intricate at times. But not in this case. Here, all ‘What’ means is to understand the type of painting. All you need to be able to do is to differentiate between portrait paintings from landscape art! That sounds very much doable even for a five-year-old, right? Being able to differentiate will help you to enjoy the art better and focus on your kind of art.

Which Technique Used in Painting

The ‘Which’, third of the 5 Ws, is all about the technique used in the making of art painting. Different artists use different mediums for creating art paintings. Artists like Van Gogh and Picasso used oil paints. Other artists like Gustav Klimt dared to experiment with stuffs like gold leaf in his paintings!

Understanding which medium is used to create the painting definitely helps to enjoy the art better. In addition, it helps to understand the financial gains of ‘loving’ art paintings of one particular medium. For example, compared to watercolor paintings, oil paintings are a better investment property.

When’ the art was created

Every story you tell or write has to have a ‘when’ in it. When it comes to art paintings, it is the period or year the art was created. Today, some of the most expensive pieces of art in the market are at least a couple of centuries old. Artists like Van Gogh and Rembrandt are hot favorites of today’s art market. But yes, it may not always remain the same. The question ‘when’ will help you better if you are an art collector or investor.

Where the original one is storedFinally, the last ‘W’, ‘Where’! Whenever you see a print or reproduction of a famous painting, ask around, where the original one is stored. For example, you see ‘Mona Lisa’ everywhere but, did you know the original one is at Louvre, Paris? Well, the road that leads to this question is just curiosity and nothing else. But still, curiosity is what makes you wiser, right?

The 5 Ws are sure to turn any greenhorn into a well-informed art buyer. According to the 5 Ws, all you need to know is ‘who’ created ‘what’ type of art using ‘which’ medium and ‘when’. As a well-informed buyer, you could now easily pick the correct paintings, which was difficult earlier for a newbie art collector.

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About Harikrishnan G

Harikrishnan is the Chief Content Writer at He loves to hang out on the internet and make friends on Facebook. You can connect with him on Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn.

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