How to write an image description?

image description

What is an image description?

A n image description in English, just as the name implies, is the description of an image. As an author of an image description, it’s a norm to describe a predetermined image, which you will now have to write chronologically. To do this, you should use more simpler English, so that your text will clearly show what you can see in the image. In addition, it is important to keep in mind the “Simple Present“, unless you want to describe what a person does in the image, then you will have to use the “Present Progressive“.

English image description: Introduction

S o you have to first name the artist and the date of publication. Furthermore, you have to mention the type of art (photo, drawing, painting, …) and, last but not least, describe the subject of the painting with a succinct sentence.


A example sentence:

In the following, I’m going to analyse the X “name” (published in Y on Z). The X “was taken”by “artist” deals with, “core theme”


  • X = drawing, oil painting, photo … (It’s a black-and-white / colored photo.)
  • Name = name / title of the image
  • (Y = newspaper …, Z = date | only if specified)
  • What was taken = for example a photo, otherwise what was drawn, …
  • Artist= artist who painted the picture, …
  • Core theme = the picture, the main message

(without interpretation)

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English Image description: main part

F irst, you should always describe the general picture in the description of the image. Next to a few general events (bird’s-eye view, …), followed by the foreground, ideally from right to left … And not by each other. Finally, the background follows the same pattern as the foreground. For this description, it is best to use the helpful words.

This is followed by the specific description of the main theme. Note that you are not allowed to interpret anything here unless otherwise stated.


General description

  • Image perspective (bird’s eye view, frog’s perspective, normal perspective, …)
  • Describe the background (landscape, mood, colors, …)
  • Describe the foreground (what do you see mainly? What is concise? What happens? How do people behave? what happens in general?)


Specific description:

  • Central theme of the image (mostly in the foreground)
  • What should be expressed or what should be shown …


Text modules for your image description


Image description conclusion

S o, the conclusion is ultimately the last thing you write in your English image description. In this case, you have to give a summary of the image once again, which is limited to the theme of the picture. Lastly, you still have your opinion on the picture, as long as your teacher asks for it, it is best for you to ask him again before work.


An example of concluding sentence

In Summary the X shows … (From my point of view … “Your opinion”.) 


  • X = drawing, oil painting, photo … (It’s a black-and-white / colored photo.)
  • Your opinion = what you think about the picture. (If your teacher asks for it.)

English Image description: Note

T he most common mistake with an image description is that you either write too detailed or interpret too much into something. This means that, it is enough if you describe the background for example as a forest,… Similarly, you must not interpret anything in an action that is in focus.


Helpful words for an image description


1 = at the top | 2 = at the bottom


3 = on the left hand | 4 = on the right hand


5 = in the foreground | 6 = in the background


Further words:

  • It seems as if …
  • The lady seems to …
  • Maybe
  • I think
  • … might be a symbol of …
  • The atmosphere is peaceful / depressing …
  • I (don’t) like the picture because …
  • It makes me think of …

Frequently ask questions:

Which tense form is Ideal for Image description?

Mainly the following tenses are needed to describe an image:

Where to start in Image description?

This is for the time being left to you. So that you don’t forget anything, I recommend you either to describe from left to right, from top to bottom or from the foreground to the background.

How do you end an image description?

You can finish your image description by again naming the theme around which the image revolves, plus your opinion on the image, if your teacher asks.

Image description what is important? | Image description what to look for?

The most important thing about the image description is that you are not allowed to interpret anything in the image!

What must be in for the description?

Your image description consists mainly of a detailed description of the image including the information about the image itself.

Picture description how do I proceed? | How do I proceed with a picture description?

In a description of the image, you have to first look at the image and analyze it a little, without writing down anything. Then you can start directly with an introductory sentence and ultimately describe the imagein your main part. You can describe from left to right, top to bottom or front to back. Lastly, refer to your introduction once again and you are done.

What makes a good image description?

A good image description makes it clear that it should be fluently to read and that a comprehensible structure goes through your text. With that, the reader will know exactly where you are describing in the image.

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How to write an image description?
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