Add Words to a Picture to Create Powerful Images

You might have heard of this phrase: A picture paints a thousand words. If you haven’t, the phrase simply means that a picture can describe something as much as words can or even more. Some pictures can definitely paint a thousand words but others might not be able to do so. For these other pictures, adding words might help bring them to life.


Why add words to a picture?

When you add words to a picture, you can create powerful images which can be used to tell a story.”


How do you add words to a picture? What kind of words do you add? What kind of powerful images can you create by adding the words to the picture?

Let’s see how this works by using a familiar picture.

  1. Look at the picture. It shows an ‘angry man’.
  2. Let’s extend the picture. Add an adjective and a noun to the ‘angry man’. Let’s add a ‘sharp knife’.

Now, we have: an angry man + a sharp knife

What’s a possible image you see?

A murder.


  1. Let’s extend the same picture to create a different image. This time, we use a different adjective and noun. Let’s add a ‘tearful wife’ to the ‘angry man’.

Now you have: an angry man + a tearful wife

What’s a possible image you see?

A domestic fight.

4. Repeat the above.

An angry man + a careless bus driver

Image: A narrow escape from an accident

5. An angry man + a psychiatric ward

Image: A mentally ill patient who has left the ward without being noticed by the caretakers


It’s your turn to add words to a picture to create powerful images.”


Look at this picture again. Let’s use a ‘ten-year old boy’ to describe this picture, and add words (adjective and noun) to extend it to create a powerful image. Create as many different images as possible.1

1. ten-year old boy + ____________________

Image: ________________________

2. ten-year old boy + ____________________

Image: ________________________

3. ten-year old boy + ____________________

Image: ________________________

4. ten-year old boy + ____________________

Image: ________________________

Look for the ‘Leave a Reply’ button at the bottom of this page. Type your response in the comments box. Fill in your email and full name, and click the ‘Post Comment’ button.

With your work done, check this out: the song ‘If’ whose lyrics begin with ‘If a picture paints a thousand words…”. Enjoy!