IELTS Speaking Part 3: What makes a good painting?

Ideas and Vocab

  • the composition of all the parts
  • the painter has a good eye (to know when something is good)
  • perspective and symmetry (sizing and balance of all parts)
  • using a particular style or an unusual technique (skill)
  • the subject (person / landscape / animal etc)
  • the balance of colours and contrasts
  • to bring about an emotional response – it touches people
  • to evoke a memory or idea
  • impact – something you can’t take your eye off
  • historical background or relevance

Model Answer

From my perspective, I suppose a good painting is one you can’t take your eye’s off. For me, it’s either due to the colours and images or because of the emotional reaction I might have to the painting. But I know that for other people, they think a good painting is usually because of the skill involved in painting it or because of the unique creativity of the artist. I guess that a good painting means something different to everybody.

Video Watch

This video shows an art dealer talking about what makes a good painting. It is not a video made for language learners so the English is advanced but hopefully you can still learn a lot from it.


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  1. Kiran kumar says:

    Dear Liz,
    I was looking out for you. You weren’t active on the site, so I thought I would get some help from a local English teacher, but it wasn’t so fruitful. I have speaking test on Monday. I m scared. And the LRW test on 16th February. I need the quick word list for commonly asked topics in writing tasks 1 & 2. Please help me. I m not able to get all the word list at once from your site, its tedious to collect each one from the each topic. If you could give a word or pdf document having all the word list, so I can take a print out of that document and I can go through it quickly. Mail me at
    Thanking you in anticipation.

  2. I have problem in specking like i fell i do not speck confidently and fell nervous and during specking i have content in my mind but but feel confusing when make sentence…and i could not catch world during my listning test…plz help me me

  3. Shaheryar Kunwar says:

    Hi Miss Liz,
    I am preparing for my IELTS (Academic) test. I Visited your Blog . it is very much helpful. I have difficulty in writing task1. if you could guide me how to mention the changes in graphs , tables , and pie charts.if you could give me list of words to describe the changes in writing tasks 1.
    I am waiting for your fastest reply..
    Thank you

  4. Arathy nibu says:

    Hai liz ..the lessons are very helpful thank you so much

  5. Thanks Liz for your helpful lessons.

  6. Thank you lots for all these information. You are really helping us all. God bless you.

  7. Thanks for you , you are respectable human

  8. I want to tell you Liz that I love you so much your site helped me alot you are so precious

  9. thank you very much for your helpful teaching ,it,s simple and clear , I strongly believe that you are the most faithful and caring teacher to her job .

  10. Dear Liz !
    In the beginning, I would like to thank you for your great service and helping us in the relevant field of IELTS and owe us great knowledge , secondly I have really big trouble in reading even I have followed everything but i have not got any positive effect in my life , if there is any strong skill to improve my reading accordingly please do not forget to inform me .
    Khalid Ahmady

  11. Hi Liz,
    I appreciate your great effort, I have diffculties in listening part , my problom is thar I can catch words but I lose marks due to spelling mistake, So, is there any list of common words that are repeated in the listening part so I can practice and memmoris them?

    Thanks ,

  12. LE THI HONG PHUC says:

    Hi Teacher

    You are really an IELST expert. I wish i can be studied with you on someday.

    Joanna from Vietnam

  13. Hi Liz!
    Thank you for providing online lectures. They are really helpful. I am appearing IELTS Academic examination in Islamabad on 23rd January and i am finding difficulty in reading, especially, TFNG & YNNG. At times, i achieve 35 out of 40 and it often drops directly to 27-28. I have watched your lectures and also practicing basics on reading at your blog. Kindly guide me accordingly to perform for earning acceptable scores.
    Thank You

  14. filmon zerai says:

    First of all, I would like to appreciate your direction and proper guidance on IELTS preparation…..
    Mom, I have no problem with listening,writing and speaking, but the minor difficulty is in reading, how can I speed up and answer the required questions.
    I will be waiting for you…….
    Yours faithfully……..
    (with the best of luck in 2016)

  15. olfatkhedr says:

    Hi Liz
    thanks for your efforts I wanna know how to handle with the paper of IELTS exam

  16. Hi liz .. Thanks for being so helpful .. I have a confusion regarding preparing my self to ielts general test .. Should I prepare all four categories in parellel or it would be better to take them in a certain sequence ?? .. Thanks again .. Have a good day

    • You prepare as you want. Some students find it boring to prepare only listening for one week. But others find it is better to concentrate on just one. You must decide what works for you.
      All the best

  17. Moises L. Serrano says:

    Hi Liz,
    I find difficulties answering the cause and effects type of question in reading, is it possible in General Training as part of the exam?

    • There are no cause effect questions in IELTS reading or writing. I’m not really sure what you mean. Try writing your question more clearly.

  18. Hello Liz, I have followed you for a long time and just had my speaking test yesterday. I think I did well in part one and part two, but in part three it’s about how can artists make themselves famous and questions like that, I only used some simple words and made some grammar mistakes, would that stop me from getting a high score?

    Thanks for reply:)

    • Your score is given from the language you used throughout your whole test, not just in one part. Also, I find that students are not the best judges of what is considered higher level English and what is considered lower level. Wait until your results and relax for a while. Let me know how you get on.
      All the best

  19. Hi Liz, can you advise me how to improve vocabulary, as I am very shy and my pronunciations are poor. I love you web-site.

  20. Hey Liz, I found your website is very informative and comprehensive. Thank you for put up the great effort and your time into this.
    I have question, can a photograph considered as art? I feel lot more easier to talk about anything that has to do with photography

    • The good thing about IELTS speaking is that you don’t get marked on your ideas or how you tackle the question. You only get marked on your English language. This means you have a lot of freedom to answer questions the way you want. So, if you consider photography to be art, you can say this and talk about photography. This is also the technique you use in part 2. Look at the topic, follow it but also adapt it to suit you.
      All the best

  21. Kwon Anna says:

    This is the best site I have seen so far. ALL FOR FREE at that! I cannot thank you enough. 🙂 Tomorrow’s my speaking exam. Hopefully, I remember your tips and ace the exam.

  22. muhammad salman qureshi says:

    can u will check my essay? if i write, because i took IELTS exam 3 times but not got the score above 6.

  23. George Berry says:

    I am surprised nobody noticed the bad grammar in the title of this article thus far.

  24. Virender says:

    Please send me 9 band complex sentence structure

    • Please see my band 9 model essays in the writing task 2 section. Or see all model answers in the speaking section – they are all band 9.

  25. Noha Faisal says:

    This is the best website i have ever seen that is teaching everything , every idea that pops up in my mind i find it here with all description and also for FREE ! .. it is really an amazing one , thanks for this remarkable effort .

    Regards ,

    Noha .

  26. Rashmi Bisl says:

    Hi Liz,

    Your tutorial videos and the study material available on your website are excellent. Thank you!

    Rashmi Bisl

  27. Begin again says:

    Your lessons are extraordinary they not only strengthen the inner ability to read and write, but also leads you to the right pathway for overcoming our difficulties in learning language test. I’m glad to find you as my virtual teacher your simply remarkable. 🙂

    Thanks once again.

  28. Hello Liz ,
    Really you are doing an extraordinary job for IELTS learners.Its very interesting to learn new vocabulary through your website.Thankyou very much.

  29. Please guide me about sports vocabulary for speaking test part one.

    • Hi,

      Yes, I will. Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll try and do it either this week or next.
      All the best

      • Hi Liz,
        I appreciate if you could advise me today if possible as I have test tomorrow afternoon.

        Many thanks


        • Hi,

          If the examiner asks you about your favourite sport or what sport you played as a child, you need to give examples of sports. Here’s a list of the most common sports and exercises:

          football, tennis, badminton, swimming, yoga, running, weight lifting, cricket, rugby, basketball, baseball, athletics, walking, hiking, mountain climbing.

          You can also talk about the equipment needed for some sports and exercises: football kit, racquet, ball, shuttlecock, swimsuit, googles, floor mat, trainers, weights, bench, bat, wickets, net.

          You can also talk about where you do these sports: tennis or badminton court, football pitch, swimming pool, cricket pitch, gym.
          Good luck in your test and don’t forget to share your exam questions if you remember. Make sure you offer lots of extra information to you answers – be chatty.
          All the best

          • hi Liz

            Many thanks

          • My today’s test question which I remember:
            Part one :
            Visitors & apartment :
            Do many people visit you
            Do I would like to visit others
            Do I live in house or apartment
            How does it look like
            Is there any shops near by your apartment
            Do we make special arrangement for visitors at home.

            Part 2: Vehicle which you like most and like to have.
            Why are you interesting to have this vehicle ,
            What do you like in that vehicle most

            Part 3:
            Importance of passenger vehicles
            Comparison of local and my home town passenger vehicles
            Do you have same vehicles in my home town same as where currently I am living.
            Is there any disadvantages of using heavy vehicles,
            What measures govt can take to reduce traffic (apart from improving infrastructure )

            • Hi,

              Thanks for sharing those. Speaking part 2 and 3 might be difficult for some students. I hope you did well.

              • Hi Liz,

                Can u help us by delineating the favourite vehicle speaking part 2 topic, I think this topic is pretty hard for those who don’t have any idea for having car or any type of vehicle. Thanks

                • Yes, I will put that lesson on my list. It’s a tough topic without ideas and vocabulary.
                  All the best

                • saniya khan says:

                  Hi Liz ,
                  can you tell me what can I answer for “what measures can govt take to reduce traffic (apart from infrastructure)?”

                  Thank You.

                • The government can improve public transport to encourage people to use it rather than using their own vehicles. They can also make a no traffic zone.
                  All the best

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