Definition of be no oil painting in English:

be no oil painting

phrase

British
informal
  • (of a person) be unattractive:

    ‘he was no oil painting, but she had long passed the age of needing good looks about her’
    • ‘The actor is no oil painting and has acquired unattractive bulk for his part as Aubrey.’
    • ‘He's no oil painting, but he invariably plays with a smile on his face, which is more than can be said for a lot of his more terminally sullen brethren.’
    • ‘I admit I am no oil painting, but my character makes up for it.’
    • ‘Without spoiling too much, it is safe to say, that the sewer-surfing murderer is no oil painting.’
    • ‘Rowland is no oil painting, and he had a voice that only a mother could love.’
    • ‘Like most of the divers I have ever met, I'm no oil painting.’
    • ‘However, I think I am hardly courting controversy if I say he is no oil painting.’
    • ‘Tom is bald, rotund and, frankly, no oil painting.’
    • ‘I thought about going over and chatting her up but I'm no oil painting and thought she'd laugh me off.’
    • ‘I am no oil painting but I am not the worst looking either.’
    unattractive, ill-favoured, hideous, plain, plain-featured, plain-looking, unlovely, unprepossessing, unsightly, displeasing, disagreeable
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