Your Personality in Painting

Hook: Your artistic preference, interest, and judgment on other artworks have a lot of things to say about your life, particularly in your attitude and personality. In this article, we will explore all things about your personality in painting, plus a mini quiz that will help you discover something new about yourself!

A multi colored painting of girl's face

Ever wondered why some people prefer to create chaotic abstract art than realistic paintings? Why do some people choose this certain color scheme? Have you ever recognized a recurring pattern among artists that you, as a viewer, can’t really comprehend? Well, according to psychology, our artistic preferences (type of art,, color choices, etc.) can tell a lot of things about our personality and attitude. Curious to find out what your art choices say about you? Continue reading this article then!

Art plays a very significant role in society particularly among individuals. Art encompasses all things aesthetic and preferences vary from one person to another. So it wouldn’t probably be a surprise for most of us that our artistic choices tell something about our character and subconscious, and even our mental health. 


Mini Quiz: Your Personality in Art Judgment

The rule is simple, observe at the two outworks below. One is a realistic and figurative artwork while the other one is an abstract art. Once you decide which you prefer the most, keep on reading the rest of the article until the end because that’s where we’ll reveal the interpretation behind your preference.

A painting of four children



An abstract painting

Before revealing the interpretation, let’s discuss the psychology behind the relationship of your artistic preferences to your attitude and personality!

Who Art Thou?: What Does Your Art Says About You?

Psychologists have been taking interest in determining the relationship between artistic preferences and an individual’s character, attitude, and personality through research and survey. Long before personality traits were a thing, few psychologists explore this matter such as Burt (1933) and Eysenck (1940). Studies of the mentioned psychologists disclosed that specific art preferences, particularly traditional and representational art are highly associated with traits of conservatism, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. Meanwhile, preferences for non-traditional art such as abstract and cubism are highly associated with traits of openness to experience.

An art observer in art gallery

Color Choices and Personality

Another study was conducted in light of the link between color choices and personality traits by Gotz, K. O. & Gotz, K. in the 1970s. The research disclosed that extroverts and ambiverts are highly associated with primary colors as well as secondary colors. On the other hand, introverts preferred tertiary colors and achromatic. Moreover, the study claimed that neurotic traits have no effect on color choices.

 A multi facet painting of a lady

Art and the Big Five Personality Traits

At some point in our lives, we might have heard about this psychological personality trait theory known as the Big 5 Personality Traits. This theory is arguably one of the most common theories regarding personality traits, and highly reliable too. Here are the five dimensions of personality according to the theory:

  1. Openness to experience– tends to be imaginative and intellectually curious.

  2. Conscientiousness– tends to be organized, goal-driven, and competitive.

  3. Extraversion– tends to be sociable, assertive, and emotionally expressive.

  4. Agreeableness– tends to be friendly, cooperative, trusting towards others, and kind.

  5. Neuroticism– tends to be emotionally unstable and anxious.

Now that you know these big five personality traits, which among these are most evident in your personality?

Openness to experience:

Usually, people with this personality trait prefer complexity in their art, hence it is why they’re associated with abstract art.


Generally speaking, people with this personality trait do not like ambiguity and complexity in their art. Instead, they’re inclined to simple and representational art.


Extraverts tend to have a very positive attitude towards art. Hence, their preferences are usually aligned with Abstract art, Cubism, Japanese Art, Impressionism, and Classical due to their attitude with correctness of style.


People with this type of personality trait usually have mixed preferences towards art. Some are very diverse with their preferences, which includes choices on depictions of violence and serenity. Religious art and nature landscapes are also associated with this trait.


Lastly, people with this trait have preferences toward romantic art and unpretentious styles of art. Thus, they tend to like sad paintings with dark and cold color schemes.

The Grand Reveal: What Does Your Art Preference Says about You?

If you prefer abstract art over the figurative painting…

That means you’re a sensation seeker! You tend to be open with experiences and new ideas.

On the other hand, if you prefer figurative painting over abstract art…

That means you’re the type of person who dislikes ambiguity, you have the need for cognitive closure, and you seek orderliness and organization. 

(Based on the study conducted at the University of Amsterdam)


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