By Miette Dsouza

By now, you should all know that 2020’s anonymous heART project is in full swing, with almost 500 pieces of stunning art up for grabs on eBay. If not, where have you been?!

With the artist of each piece kept a secret until after bidding is over, we thought it only fair that we provide you with a guide on how to spot the best of the mini masterpieces. Whether you’re a collector or or a casual art lover, with our tips and tricks, you’ll be able to recognize quality art and purchase it at a bargain!

Every artist has a niche, a distinct style that sets them apart from others. It could be the colours or textures they use, the way they draw certain characters, or their incentive to paint a piece. But a key trait all artists share is their attention to detail.

Look out for uniqueness and authenticity

Originality is predominantly what you should be looking for when browsing art. You need to ask yourself: “What makes this piece special?”

It’s not just aesthetics that attribute to quality art, it’s the context of the piece that does. The artist’s stylistic background and their interpretation of the painting form the context. The painting could have symbolic elements, it could have a strong focal point that makes it a statement piece or be a composition that tells a story. Knowing the context also helps you understand the amount of time and effort the artist has put into creating the piece therefore helping you really spot the masterpieces.

Identifying skills and techniques

The skill and technique of an artist cannot be easily replicated by another which is what makes a painting more valuable. There are basic elements of art every artist uses to make a good painting, arranged in different quantities and patterns to form the overall composition. Here are three of the most important elements to keep an eye out for.

  • Balance of positive and negative space – Space is the area around an object or the distance between two objects. The accurate use of space is crucial to every piece of art, giving a painting depth and focus on certain elements. Artists use space to set the tone of their piece or give the eye a place to rest and the brain time to comprehend.
  • Colour – The use of different colour palettes set the mood of the piece. While mismatched colour combinations may be common in abstract and contemporary art, in other artistic styles, colours that complement each other make the painting easy on the eyes. So, if you feel yourself being drawn in by the colours of a piece it’s probably worth spending your money on.
  • Texture –Artists use different paints and tools to make the artwork look and feel different to the eye. Texture enhances the artwork and gives it more character. Examine brush strokes and paint splatters on art, and ask why it has been created in this way.

Asymmetrical and Symmetrical balance

Symmetry is one of the main tells of good artwork. It makes a painting satisfying to look at. It doesn’t necessarily mean that paintings have to be mirror images of each other. Look for the use of colour and objects. Are they balanced on either side of the composition? If they are proportional and weighted right, the piece will look more appealing to the eye.

Remember! The more you look at art the easier you will find it to pick out things that are out of place.

We hope these tips and tricks come in handy whilst you’re searching for your favourite piece in our anonymous heART project. All the money raised will fund Heart Research UK’s vital medical research into the prevention, treatment, and cure of heart disease to improve the health of the nation.

To bid on the artwork, please visit heartresearch.org.uk/anonymous-heart/

Lot No 496 - Thinking about
Lot No 320 - Fly Love Mini
Easel-436-3

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