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Ideas for starting a conversation about art (for all ages)

Here are some example questions we’ve used to  get children and young people talking about art. Use them in the gallery or in class with the online collection.

Choose any picture, sculpture or art installation and try these prompts to help learners analyse what they see.



  • What do you see?
  • Where has the artist positioned everything?
  • Describe the shapes, pattern, colours and textures
  • What would you add, remove or change about the painting?



  • What materials, tools and techniques were used to make this?
  • Do you think the subject matter was directly observed, imagined or remembered? Why?
  • What stages do you think the artist went through?



  • How does the painting make you feel and why?
  • What kind of person do you think made it?
  • Where would be a good place to hang it?
  • What do you think/love/hate about it?



  • When, where, why do you think this was created?
  • What was happening in Scotland at the time this was made?
  • Can you see any symbols or metaphors?
  • What’s it about? What could it mean?

See | Think | Wonder

What do we see when we look at a piece of art? Do we all see the same thing or do we each bring our own ideas and experiences to the work?

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Learning resources

Explore our other learning resources for use in school, in gallery or at home.

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