Does Your Opinion About Artwork Change the Longer You Look at It?

You walk into a museum and see a painting that you really like. It might be the way the artist uses shape, color, or texture to make an emotional connection with you.

But what happens if you spend 5 minutes looking at the painting? Do your feelings change at all? If they do, does that mean it’s not as good of art anymore?

observing the abstract painting

Or does it mean that it’s even better because the artist was able to capture your attention for a few minutes?

This is a question many people ask themselves when they see a piece of art – how long should I look at something before I decide if I like it or not?

The answer can depend on whether you’re judging a work of art or simply taking in its beauty. When we judge a work of art, we tend to believe our opinion will change as we spend more time looking at it.

This is because as we look longer and longer at something, our brain starts to find things wrong with it.

Do you change your opinion when looking at art for too long?

We judge art by looking at the artist’s technique. This is because an artist’s technique can change as they spend more time on their work. As a result, it will have more flaws, which are easier to see when you’re looking at it for a longer time.

As you look at something long enough, your brain starts to find things wrong with it – this is called “change blindness.” You might not notice that the brushstrokes are clashing or the colors don’t match up because your mind fills in those details and tricks you into thinking they’re correct.

Does Your Opinion About Artwork Change the Longer You Look at It?

On the other hand, if we come across a piece of art and we’re simply appreciating it without judging it, we’re less likely to notice these changes. We tend to appreciate what our minds tell us as opposed to what our eyes tell us.

When do you know if you like a piece of art?

we tend to want to stay for a while and enjoy the experience. When we judge a work of art, we’re looking for faults and things we don’t like about it.

This time spent looking at the flaws takes up precious time that you could be enjoying something else.

A good rule of thumb is to stop looking at any piece of art after 5 minutes and decide if you like it or not. If you still like it, look again later. But the longer you look at it, the harder it will be to see what’s so great about it!

When does your opinion change in regards to the medium of the artwork in question?

When you’re judging a work of art, your opinion can change as you look at it for longer periods of time. The more time you spend looking at something, the more likely you are to find things wrong with it.

This is because your brain starts to notice specific things that are off-putting or have negative connotations.

For example, if an artist uses a lot of dark colors in their work, the longer you look at it the more likely you are to start noticing that too many of the colors are darker than usual.

This might be because some people associate the use of dark colors with melancholy and sadness. So when we’re judging a piece of art, our opinions can change based on how long we spend looking at it.

On the other hand, when we’re simply taking in a work for its beauty and not so much concerned with whether or not it’s great art, our opinion doesn’t necessarily change over time: We just enjoy seeing how long we can look before getting bored.


The question of whether our opinion about artwork changes the longer we look at it is a fascinating one that speaks to the transformative power of art. By immersing ourselves in the process of observation, reflection, and dialogue, we can uncover new layers of meaning, challenge our preconceptions, and enrich our understanding of the world around us. So the next time you find yourself in front of a piece of artwork, take a moment to pause, look closely, and see where the journey of observation takes you.

Check out my artworks here, what do you think of these paintings?

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