What Is Art Appreciation?

Art appreciation is an understanding of the qualities that identify all great art. It involves having a knowledge of art movements, art history and art styles or techniques.

  • Art Movements
    An art movement is defined by a specific style of art characterized by the same artistic idea, philosophy, goal, style or technique that is practiced or followed by a group of artists within a particular time frame or region. Each art movement is subtly or distinctly different than another movement of art. However, clearly some movements have been influenced by other art movements as they show obvious similarities while others seem to defy them. It is interesting to study the differences between the art movements and also to study the different periods of art.
  • Art History
    Art history is a historical study of the development of artworks in the fields of painting, sculpture, drawing, architecture and the other visual arts. The history of art spans a period of time from the earliest cave paintings to today. Art history presents two primary concerns (1) to determine who made a particular work of art and when, and (2) to understand the stylistic approach or school of thought used by artist in the creation of the work.
  • Art Styles/Techniques
    The style or technique of a particular artist or school or movement. It is that ‘thing’ which makes you recognize a particular painting as being by a particular artist before you’re close enough to see a signature or to read the image label. A painting style can be the way the paint is handled (such as Pollock) or the brush strokes (such as Van Gogh). It can be the way a subject is dealt with, or simply the choice of subject(s). It can be the range of colors used, or a particular color that’s used in every painting.

Additional Reading

What is Fine Art?

Policies, Payment, Shipping Info and Other Important Stuff

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Shipping Info | Order Tracking | Returns | Sales Tax

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Purchase Information

Teresa Bernard ArtFor your convenience paintings on this site can only be purchased online using PayPal. You do not have to be a member of PayPal to use this service. All that is required is a credit card. Using PayPal offers a secure method of completing your purchase and it will expedite the shipment of your oil painting.

All paintings on this website are for sale (except where indicated). If you wish to make a purchase, click the “Buy Now” button. Doing so will take you directly to PayPal (a secure website) where you can complete your purchase. If there is no button, please contact us for the price of the painting.

Shipping Information

All paintings are shipped within 3-5 business days via USPS.

USPS-LOGOThe cost of shipping is calculated by the SIZE and weight of the painting. Although it may seem your painting doesn’t weigh that much, often it’s the size that makes the postage more than you think it should be. This is something determined by the USPS.

Please be informed because of the special handling required to insure your painting arrives at your destination undamaged there is a $25-$45 shipping and handling charge per painting. This covers the cost of shipping within the US, special packaging required and insurance. For international shipping and handling, contact us for a quote.

Shipping Insurance

Part of the shipping and handling cost includes insuring your painting against damage during shipment. All paintings shipped out are required to have this insurance. Your painting is one-of-a-kind and cannot easily be replaced should it become damaged or lost during shipment. This insurance protects you and us against any financial loss due to damage in transit.

Order Tracking

order trackingOnce your painting is shipped you will be emailed the tracking information so you can track the whereabouts of your purchase. If you do not receive an email with your tracking info check your junk email box first and then contact us if you still did not receive it.

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Return Policy

All sales are final unless damaged during shipment. You are required to inspect your painting upon arrival for any damage that may have occurred during transit and report back to us immediately so a claim can be submitted.

Sales Tax

Sales tax is charged at the rate of 8.25% for all Texas residents.

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How To Commission A Painting

Please note: Teresa does not do replicas or copy the work of other artists. No exceptions.

oil painting artistTeresa welcomes art commissions of any kind. She will do a custom oil painting just for you of any subject matter, such as:

  • Portraits of loved ones and pets.
  • Places you’ve visited or would like to visit some day. Perhaps you’d like a painting done of your home or family homestead; the house, town, or place where you grew up.
  • Favorite photographs you love and would like a painting done of.
  • Repeat paintings — If you see a painting on this website that you love, but it has already sold or you need it in a different size, Teresa will do repeat paintings of her own work.

Whatever your heart’s desire Teresa can turn it into a painting just for you. See the instructions below on what she will need from you to get your special painting started.

How To Commission A Painting

If you have a special painting in mind contact us! Teresa will be happy to do a commission oil painting just for you. All she needs to get started is a good photograph of what you want a painting of and a small non-refundable deposit which is applied toward the total purchase price of your painting. You’ll find her easy to work with and willing to please. Teresa will work hard to give you a painting you’ll love and be proud of.

If you see a painting in Teresa’s gallery that you love, but it has already sold or you would like it in a different size, she will be happy to do a reproduction painting or a similar one of it for you as a commissioned oil painting. Please note, Teresa will only do a reproduction or similar paintings of her own work. She will not copy the work of another artists.

When you are ready to commission Teresa to paint a custom painting just for you, contact us and be sure to include the following information.

Information to include:

  1. What is the approximate size of the painting you have in mind?
  2. What is the subject matter? Be descriptive, or better yet, email a digital photo of what you want a painting of.
  3. If a portrait, how many people/pets in a single painting?
  4. Be sure to include anything else you feel she might need to know.

What Teresa needs from you:

  1. A good clear photo of the subject matter as you want it to appear in your painting. This photo should be one you are completely happy with. If not provide another one you are happy with or be very specific regarding what changes you want made to the subject matter contained within the photo. Please keep in mind Teresa is a realist artist and will create your painting as close to the photo as possible. In other words, she paints what she sees.
  2. Your deposit. This small non-refundable deposit will be applied toward the total purchase price of your painting. Except for portraits of loved ones, you are not obligated to purchase the painting if you are not happy with it, however the deposit is non-refundable. The deposit covers the cost of materials used to begin your painting.
  3. Your patience. This is very important because:
    • You want Teresa to do a good job for you. Although she will work as quickly as possible, please keep in mind your painting won’t happen over night. She will send you updates at various stages of the work to keep you posted on how your painting is coming along.
    • Please remember Teresa works with oil paints and drying time varies with each painting. Once your painting is completed, she will need to wait until it is dry enough to safely package before shipping.
    • You can expect it take a minimum of 6 months (even longer for people portraits) from the time Teresa starts your painting until it is ready for shipping. Your patience will ensure she creates a painting you will be happy with and bring you years of enjoyment.
  4. Don’t take offense is Teresa should turn down your commission. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does it’s usually because the photo is not suited to making a great painting or she is simply too busy to take on another commission at the moment. Which ever the case, we will let you know. At that time you can try a different photo or wait until Teresa has finished her other commissions and has more time to devote to your painting.

Thank you for considering Teresa as your commission artist.

Past Commissions

Victoria Falls, Zambia Africa painting
Victoria Falls, Africa
30″ w x 24″ h
Mt Kilimanjaro Rising oil painting
Mount Kilimanjaro Rising (2018)
30″ w x 24″ h
African Elephant Serengeti painting
African Elephant On The Serengeti (2018)
18″ w x 24″ h
Land Rover Tracks of Mars painting
Land Rover Tracks of Mars (2012)
18″ w x 24″ h
First Footprint on the Moon space art
First Footprint On The Moon (2012)
18″ w x 24″ h
Mt. Kilimanjaro Africa art
Scaling Mt. Kilimanjaro (2011)
24″ w x 18″
Pet Portrait
Pet Portrait of Frank (2010)
12″ w x 16″ h
Return To Peggy's Cove oil painting
Return To Peggy’s Cove (2009)
20″ w x 18″ h
Peggy's Cove Revisited
Peggy’s Cove Revisited (2008)
20″ w x 16″ h

Copyright Information

Copyright information regarding a Teresa Bernard original oil painting.

copyright of Teresa BernardThe content of this website, as well as, every painting on this site is protected under the copyright protection laws. Teresa reserves all rights and privileges the law allows.

IMPORTANT: Your purchase of a painting only gives you the right to the physical work of art and its enjoyment thereof. Intellectual property and all reproduction rights (whether for profit or otherwise) shall remain the exclusive ownership of Teresa Bernard.

Common Paint Media Used By Artists

art bin paint boxAn artistic medium is the painting material used by artists to create their art. Everything a piece of art of made with is its medium. (The plural of medium is media.) For example, an artist may use “oil on canvas” or “tempera on wood”, etc. to compose a painting. Each of the items used in the creation of the painting are media. In this article, however, we are only going to look at paint as a medium. There are four common paint media: acrylics, oils, tempera, and watercolor.

Acrylic paint is a man-made, water-soluble paint containing pigment suspension in acrylic polymer emulsion. Even though they are water-soluble, they become water-resistant after they have dried. Depending on how thickly the paint is applied to canvas, an acrylic painting can resemble a watercolor or an oil painting. Clean up involves using soap and water. Acrylic paints are popular with many painters because of their fast-drying qualities.

  • Binder: acrylic polymer
  • Vehicle (solvent): water
  • Ground: prepared (gesso) or raw canvas, paper, wood, glass, etc.
  • Dries fast/permanent
  • Opaque/translucent/transparent
  • Versatile media – can be applied to almost any surface and can mimic oil, tempera, and watercolor paints

yellow rose flower painting“Yellow Rose of Texas”
Flower Art by Teresa Bernard
18″ x 18″
Oils on stretched canvas

>> More info

Oil paint is a type of slow-drying paint that contains ground pigment (color) suspended in a natural drying oil (binder), commonly linseed oil. However the binder can also be walnut oil, poppyseed oil, or many other forms of oils from plants. The artist uses turpentine or mineral spirits for cleaning oil paint from brushes. Oil paint has been the dominant medium since the 1500’s. The richness and glow that oil gives to the color pigments is what makes oil paint a popular choice with many painters.

  • Binder: linseed oil
  • Vehicle (solvent): turpentine, mineral spirits
  • Ground: prepared canvas, paper, wood
  • Dries slow/permanent
  • Opaque/translucent/transparent
  • Versatile media

Tempera (also called egg tempera) paint is a permanent, fast-drying painting medium consisting of colored pigment mixed with egg yolk and water. Because egg tempera dries so quickly, painting with it requires the painting to be worked section by section. Clean up with soap and water. Egg tempera painting was the main method of applying paint to panel until after 1500 when it was superseded by the invention of oil painting. Tempera paintings are very long lasting and colors do not deteriorate over time.

  • Binder: gum Arabic and water
  • Vehicle (solvent): water
  • Ground: paper, prepared wood panel
  • Dries fast/water soluble
  • Opaque
  • Dry, matte surface
  • Egg Tempera: egg yoke can be added to make it enamel-like and permanent

Watercolor is a water-based painting compound that can be either transparent or opaque. The pigment is suspended in a binder, generally natural gum arabic. It is a moist paint that comes in a tube, thinned using water and mixed on a dish or palette. Use them on paper and other absorbent surfaces that have been primed to accept water-based paint. Uses soap and water for easy cleanup.

  • Binder: gum arabic and water
  • Vehicle (solvent): water
  • Ground: paper
  • Dries fast/water soluble
  • Transparent to translucent

Know Your Art Painting Styles: 7 Most Popular

Part of the appreciation of fine art is the range of art styles to admire and choose from. As a fan of art, you will enjoy the experience more when you understand which particular art style you happen to be viewing at the moment. Here is an overview of seven popular painting styles in no particular order.

example of realism art
Realism art

1. Realism (a.k.a. naturalism) is a style of art regarded by most as “real art”. This is because it attempts to portray the subject as it actually appears in real life but stops short of appearing like a photograph. Realism art is without stylization or following the rules of formal artistic theory. Instead the artist spends a fair amount of time and effort paying attention to creating an accurate depiction of life forms and objects, perspective creating the illusion of reality, good composition, lights and darks, and color and tone.

example of photorealism art
Photorealism Art

2. Photorealism (a.k.a. super realism, sharp focus realism, hyper realism) is an art style where the artwork looks as realistic as a photo. The illusion of reality is so minutely fine tuned that the painting looks exactly like a large, sharply focused photograph on canvas or other paint support. It is a style where careful detail down to the last grain of sand on the seashore or the pores and wrinkles on a person’s face has been included. Nothing is left out or too insignificant or unimportant to not be included in the composition. Photorealism is that realistic.

Photorealism as a style of art became a movement in late 1960 and early 1970s in America. For more information on this art movement click here.

example of painterly art style
Painterly Art Style

3. Painterly is an art style characterized by visible brushstrokes and texture left in the paint medium. Artworks featuring this art style can be created using oils, acrylics, watercolors, gouache, or any medium where a brush is used. In the past, early painters took great pains to eliminate brushstrokes or texture from their paintings by working and blending their paint. Not so with painterly artists. They make no attempt to hide their brushwork that has been loosely and quickly applied. The paint doesn’t have to be applied in a thick manner either, thin layers of paint work just as well using the painterly art style.

example of Impressionism painting
Impressionism Painting

4. Impressionism is a style of painting that has the appearance of being rough and unfinished, and characterized by small, thin visible brushstrokes. The subject matter is usually of common and ordinary subjects, with an emphasis on the accurate depiction of light. Impressionistic paintings are often painted outdoors to capture the natural sunlight and color of their subjects. Black is rarely used since impressionist artists prefer mixing and using dark tones and complementary colors. Impressionism is more a representation of an artist’s impression. It does not try to be accurate in its detail, but rather, is more like an expression of the heart.

example of abstract art
Abstract Art

5. Abstract art (also called modern or contemporary art) is art that doesn’t resemble anything from “real life”. It’s an art style that is intentionally non-representational and seeks to achieve its point or subject using shapes, forms, colors, and textures. Every object on the canvas is represented by either colors and or shapes. For example colors can represent emotions and shapes can symbolize objects.

The purpose of abstract is to let the viewer interpret its meaning for him/herself. At its worst, abstract art looks like an accidental mess of paint. At its best, it has an impact that strikes you from the moment you see it.

example of surrealism
Surrealism art

6. Surrealism is a modern art style of painting that juxtaposes, various abstract concepts together to give a startling effect. It is characterized by fully recognizable images which are realistically painted, taken out of their normal setting and contexts then reassembled or organized within an ambiguous, paradoxical, or shocking framework.  Surrealist paintings are often illogical and express imaginative dreams with visions that emphasize the subconscious rather than rationale.

Surrealism originated in France and flourished as an art movement in the early twentieth century. For more information about the surrealist movement, click here.

example of pop art
Pop Art

7. Pop Art is a modern art style that started back in the 1950s and draws inspiration from commercial and consumer aspects of everyday life, especially in the American culture. Such imagery included advertising, mass media, comic books, celebrities and elements of popular culture, like magazines, movies, and even bottles and cans. Pop art paintings tend to focus on bold colors and realistic imagery. There is usually no hidden meaning in the composition either and pop artists rarely use any of the traditional techniques of perspective to create an illusion of realism in the painting. Some pop artists use mass production techniques such as silk screening to replicate their works, mirroring the manufacturing process of consumer goods. Because of its use of commercial imagery, pop art is one of the most recognizable styles of modern art.

Additional Reading

Classification Of Fine Art By Genre

What Are The Classifications Of Art?

The Rules of Perspective

Perspective Drawing—It’s As Easy As One-, Two-, Three-Point!

Perspective is a technique used in drawing or painting to give an image on a flat surface a sense of depth. An artist uses this nifty tool to make his/her imagery look more realistic and accurate as we see it in real life. Perspective creates the illusion of depth and distance on an otherwise flat surface.

There are three basic types of perspective: one-point, two-point, and three-point. The one-, two-, and three-point refers to the number of vanishing points that are present when creating the illusion of depth and space. In addition to these, there is also zero-point perspective.

One-Point Perspective
One-Point Perspective

One-point perspective is the simplest method of drawing perspective. It uses only a single vanishing point on the horizon line. A vanishing point is were two or more parallel lines converge into each other at “infinity.” A good example of this type perspective is a long hallway, railroad track or road where the viewer is positioned face-on looking down the center. As you can see in the illustration, the two tracks are parallel to each other and you know they will remain the same distance apart, however, the further away they get the closer they appear to be until they eventually disappear at the horizon.

Rule: Use one-point perspective to create the illusion of distance in a drawing or painting.

example of two point perspective
Two-Point Perspective

Two-point perspective comes in to play when a drawing contains two vanishing points positioned arbitrarily along the horizon line. This perspective positions the object where the viewer can look at the object from an angle and see two sides at one time. That is, looking at one corner, with two sets of parallel lines moving away.

An example of two-point perspective can be illustrated with the use of a box,  cube, or other objects with the same geometric shape, such as a house or building. When looking at the object from the corner, one side recedes toward one vanishing point and the other side recedes toward the opposite vanishing point. As can be seen in the illustration, each set of parallel lines has its own vanishing point. Two-point perspective is what gives a geometric object the illusion of 3-D.

Rule: Use two-point perspective to make a geometrical object appear to be three dimensional.

example of three point perspective
Three-Point Perspective

Three-point perspective is a little trickier than the other two because this type deals with three vanishing points. It includes two vanishing points somewhere on the horizon line and there is also a vanishing point either above or below the horizon that all vertical lines lead to. This type perspective is great for rendering objects, such as buildings and cityscapes, that are seen at an aerial or ground view. When the third vanishing point is above the horizon, then an image is created from an ant’s perspective, that is, looking up toward the image from below. When it is below the horizon, a bird’s eye point of view is created where it feels as if you are looking down on the object from above.

Rule: Use three-point perspective when you want to render building scenes, such as cityscapes, complex close-up objects and highly detailed interior scenes.

Zero-point perspective is the technique used to give the illusion of depth when there are no parallel lines in the image and therefore no vanishing points. Vanishing points can only exist with the presence of parallel lines. However, a perspective without vanishing points can still create a sense of depth, that’s where zero-point comes take effect. The most common example of depth without parallel lines or vanishing points is a natural setting, such as a mountain range or a landscape of hills and valleys.

In zero-point perspective, a sense of depth can be created in the following  ways:

  • Objects are larger the closer they are and decrease in size proportionally the further away they are.
  • The closer objects are, the more detailed they are. Objects loose detail the further away they are.
  • Color fades becoming more muted blending into background colors.
  • Objects placed higher on a plane create more of the feeling of depth or distance.
  • Overlapping shapes tend to create a feeling of depth.

Rule: Use zero-point perspective when there are no parallel line in an image to create the sense of depth.

Classification Of Fine Art Paintings By Genre

How are fine art paintings categorized?

The most common method for classifying fine art paintings is by genre (or theme). Genre is a French word that means “type” or “kind”, and what this means is, it refers to the type of image a painting portrays as its subject matter. Whether it is a landscape, portrait, still life, seascape, etc., paintings are categorized by what is depicted in them.

Common Painting Themes

Abstract Art
Abstract Art

Abstract Art is artwork that looks like it has been accidentally created by a two year old. It has no defined meaning and seeks to break away from the traditional representation of physical objects in real life. More often than not, abstract art is a collection of meaningless shapes, texture and colors thrown haphazardly onto a canvas. Its purpose is to let the viewer interpret its meaning for him/herself. Pictured is an example of abstract art.

cityscape urban landscape

Cityscapes, or as it is sometimes called Urban Landscapes, are paintings whose subject matter is the physical aspects of the city, urban life, city sections (like a city block, street corner, outdoor café, rooftops, etc.) or other urban area. A Townscape is similar to a cityscape, only it is of a township with a smaller population and perhaps less modern architecture as well. Shown is an example of a cityscape or urban landscape.

example of genre art
Genre Scene Art

Genre Art is scene art of everyday life which depicts real life in action with ordinary people at work or in recreational situations. These type artworks include intimate scenes of daily life, costumes, domestic settings, interiors, celebrations, tavern scenes, markets and other street situations. It could also show a busy street, a beach party, a dinner gathering, or anyplace where living goes on. The subject matter is often are portrayed realistic style. See example of genre art.

history painting

History Paintings which are also called Historical Paintings portray a moment in man’s history and are not to be confused with a genre painting which depicts scenes of everyday life. History paintings can include a range of historical subjects and topics and often illustrate a part of a story or significant event. An example of historical or history painting is shown.

national park painting

Landscape paintings depict the beauty of the great outdoors with its natural scenery of mountains, valleys, meadows, trees, rivers, forests, sky and weather. It can even include the countryside, farms, and structures that one would expect to find there. For instance fencing, a bridge, barn, windmill, or farmhouse. See example of landscape painting. Title: The Grand Teton Mountains

example of marine maritime art
Maritime Art

Marine Art or Maritime Art derives its inspiration from the sea. This genre of art depicts life on the open seas, boats and ships, fishermen, etc. It includes art showing shipping on rivers and estuaries, beach scenes and all art showing boats and ships.  It almost always includes some element of seafaring vessel. Ship-portraits is a type of marine art that is still popular in which a single vessel is portrayed. Notice example of marine or maritime art.

example of naive art
Naïve Art

Naïve Art is works of art characterized by a childlike simplicity that possesses minute detail, bright saturated colors, disproportionate figures and lack of perspective. It portrays simple, easy-to-understand and often romanticize scenes of everyday life. The absence of perspective often creates the illusion that figures within naïve paintings are weightless or floating. Naïve artists are often self-taught artists with very little or no formal art training. An example of naïve art is pictured to the right.

Portrait Painting of Tera

Portraits are artistic representations of a person, especially the face. Besides the likeness, the essence of a portrait also captures the mood and personality of the subject. A portrait of an individual may be of the face-only, or it may be head and shoulders, or the full-body. Many portraits are composed of the person in a still position and often the subject is looking directly at the painter. Included in this genre are Group-portraits (consisting of more than one individual), self-portraits and pet-portraits. A Self-portrait is one in which the artist does an artwork of him/herself. Pet-portraits of a beloved pet could also be in this category, however, animals usually fall into the wildlife category.

Communion Table still life
Religious Art

Religious Art or Sacred Art is any artistic representation using religious inspiration to express a message intending to elevate the morals of the one observing the artwork. The subject matter can be either a scared story or a profession of the artist’s faith. Religion means any set of individual beliefs, either Christian or non-Christian, which are regarded as sacred, holy, spiritual or divine. Shown is an example of religious art and is titled The Communion Table.

lunar footprint painting
Space Art

Space Art (sometimes referred to as Astronomical Art) is a genre of art that attempts to communicate ideas and appreciation related to the infinite variety and vastness of outer space by depicting interstellar and interplanetary elements as its subject matter. All this is made possible with the invention of telescopes making it possible to look off our world. Artists can now render what is seen out there and attempt to capture the wonders and majesty of our universe. Planets, stars, constellations, spacecraft, astronauts, black wholes, moons, comets, and other heavenly bodies can found in space art. Some other art terms related to this category include lunar landscape, moonscape, moonset, etc.

OR coast south of the sea lion caves

Seascape paintings are much like landscapes, only this genre of art depicts the sea with marine landscapes, beach scenes, fish and marine animals, or views of the ocean itself. Fish and other marine animals can also be categorized as wildlife. Seascapes should not be confused with Maritime Art which depicts life out on the open sea, not necessarily a marine landscape.

Still Life with Fruit and Candle art
Still Life

Still Life paintings feature an arrangement of everyday inanimate objects laid out on a table or similar surface. The objects used can be either natural or man-made. Examples of natural objects could be flowers, food, wine, rocks, seashells, dead animal skulls, etc. and manufactured items could be drinking glasses, books, bottles, pottery, coins, dishes, musical instruments and so forth.

african wildlife painting
Wildlife Art

Wildlife Art is characterized as works of art which portray the natural world and the wildlife or domesticated animals that inhabit it. It is one of the earliest forms of art dating back to prehistoric cave paintings. Portraits of animals or fish (whether wildlife or family pets) could also fit into this genre. The wildlife art sample shown is titled Raging African Elephant.

Additional Reading

Know Your Art Painting Styles: 7 Most Popular

What Are The Classifications of Art?