They say (and they are not the You magazine! They are famous and well established artists), anyway, they say that a painting must have a strong underlying abstract design (also known as Notan design) to be a good painting. The question might be asked, what is a good painting? And who decides what the criteria is for a good painting? Every artist has his or her own unique style and taste. Every viewer has his or her own unique taste. So who is right? I like Renoir's paintings, someone else likes the paintings of Jackson Pollock more.
My personal view is that a painting is good if it draws the viewer's eye into the painting towards the centre of interest, and as soon as the viewer moves his eye away from that focus point, the painting immediately forces him to move his eye back to that focus point. The viewer might not even like the subject matter, or the style of brushwork, or the colours, but he just can't stop looking at the painting.
Remember, I am still learning! I am showing you 2 of my paintings with their abstract designs. The first one does not have a strong design. It might be a nice painting, but it is not a good painting. The dark areas are too scattered.
The second painting is a good painting with a very strong abstract design. It has a definite centre of interest. Can you see what it is? Take note how your eye moves around the picture. Does it go back to that centre of interest every time? This painting also received the most compliments from artists on the Paintings I Love website.