What is written in this picture

How to create an image description

A description of the picture is not difficult. And yet many people, whether pupils, students or art lovers, often have difficulties in describing a picture accurately. There are clear rules and guidelines for a successful image description. Once these have been internalized, an image description is quick and easy. We explain what makes a good picture description and what you have to pay attention to.



1. The structure
Image descriptions are similar to text interpretations in terms of their structure and features.

The goal of a good image description should be to understand and present the image in its entirety. This also includes an image analysis. An image description must be structured in a meaningful and logical manner. It consists of an introduction, main part and conclusion, or the conclusion. The following 3 contents are essential:

The description:
This describes what can be seen in the picture. What is pictured What is central? What are the details that stand out? What is in the foreground and what is in the background?

The nature of the picture:
- Which colors dominate?
- How do they work?
- What kind of material is used?

Conclusion:
- How does the picture affect the viewer?
- What does the picture represent?
- What does the artist want to express with it?

In addition, important aspects of an image interpretation are viewing directions and perspective, the main focus or "eye catcher" and the viewing direction.



2. The image viewing
Before a picture can be described, one must learn to look at it properly. It is best to make a note of everything that strikes you.

Particularly important:

- The perspective that is used
- A description of all picture elements
- The image presentation and composition
- The color scheme (warm or cold colors)
- The effect of the picture on the viewer

After looking at it, you should classify the picture.

- Who is the artist?
- What era does the picture belong to?
- When did it come about?



3. The introduction
The introduction gives a rough overview of the picture and assigns it to the corresponding epoch.

The introduction should include the following:

- The title of the picture
- The artist
- The image source
- The date of origin
- The subject of the subject

Under no circumstances should the introduction already contain interpretations or descriptions. That comes in the main part. In addition, the type of image (photography, painting, woodcut, etc.) should be mentioned in the introduction.

A successful introduction could look like this:

“The painting Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci was created between 1503 and 1506 and was painted in oil on poplar wood. The painting, which is exhibited in the Louvre in Paris, can be assigned to the era of the Italian Renaissance and had a lasting impact on the art world.



4. The main part:
The main part is the heart of the image description. Describe the picture elements here in a meaningful order. Start either from the overall picture into the detail or from the detail into the overall picture. Write in the present tense, descriptively and without interpretation. It makes sense either to describe the foreground, the middle and then the background first, or to describe from left to right.

Foreground:
- What do you mainly see?
- Where is the focus of the subject?
- What catches the eye? What is noticeable?
- If people can be seen in the picture, what do they look like?
- How do you express your gestures, facial expressions and appearance?

Middleground:
- What is between the foreground and the background?
- How are these connected?

Background:
- Which people, objects, buildings, landscapes are shown?
- What mood will convey?
- What role do colors and light play in this (day, night)?



4.1 The picture perspective
The image perspective is a central aspect of every image description.

- What perspective does the artist use?
- Are you looking down at the picture from above or below, or is the artist using a normal perspective?

Every angle of view and every perspective has a specific and intended effect by the artist. That is why the image perspective is so important.

The bird's eye view:
- One looks down at the picture motif from above. This makes objects appear smaller, which can mean submission and inferiority, for example.

The low angle view:
- The exact opposite of the bird's eye view. Here you look up at the picture motif from below. A horizon line that is well below the center of the image is a sure sign of a frog's eye view. This makes objects appear larger and suggest feelings of dominance and power.

The normal perspective:
- Here the viewer stands on the same level as the person depicted. This suggests an identification with the picture motif.



4.2 The process description
A process description of the low angle view could look like this, for example: “By using the frog's perspective, the image appears distorted and the viewer looks up at the figures from below. This suggests dominance and power. The viewer is intimidated and feels smaller. " You should also pay attention to the following when interpreting a picture:

The subject and the central motif of the picture: The main focus is not always in the foreground of the picture.

- What is the main display level?
- Are there any other important supporting presentations?
- Are there symbols such as crosses or birds in the picture?

The composition:
How is the picture structured? Different sections of the image achieve different effects.
Is the central motif placed in a spatial framework or is it free-standing? The composition can be symmetrical, asymmetrical or one-sided asymmetrical.

Eye guidance:
The way you look is important because it determines how the viewer perceives the picture. The line of sight can be diagonal or vertical.

Other details:
- What else do you notice?
- In what style is the picture painted?
- Is it dark, romantic or abstract?
- Does it have depth, e.g. through light and shadow or is it flat and one-dimensional?

A successful example of the main part of an image description of the painting "The poor Poet" by Carl Spitzweg:

“The picture shows a man lying on a mattress in an attic. The attic is sparsely furnished. On the left side you can see a window that lights up the room. On the right an umbrella hangs from the roof, which keeps the man's sleeping place dry. The roof is likely to be leaking and rain is seeping through. In the foreground on the left the tiled stove and the bottle with candle and bowl stand out. There are manuscripts in the oven that are obviously worthless. It is also noticeable that there is no fire in the stove, although it appears to be cold. In the middle distance you can see books and two boxes with an inkwell on them. The title suggests that the man is a poet. The man is the central motif of the picture. He is wearing a white cap and glasses and is lying under a blanket and leaning against two large pillows. He seems to be working. In the middle distance you can see an umbrella and on the left a cylinder. A boot jack lies in front of the stove. There is a small window in the background. A clothesline and a towel are hanging in front of the window. You can see snow-covered roofs through the window. It is day The viewer is at eye level with the poet, in a normal perspective. The colors are kept in a warm green tone, which contrasts with the cold. The spartan furnishings, the leaky roof and the unheated stove indicate, next to the title, the poet's poverty. "



5. The final part
A brief summary of the main part and essential features of the image should be included here. You may also need to give your own brief opinion on the image and its effect. In addition, the intention of the artist should be answered, i.e. why was the picture shown by the artist and what does he want to say with it?

If you follow all of these tips, the next image interpretation or description will simply be done by hand. Guaranteed :)