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paint a (some kind of) picture of (something)

To give an elaborate or detailed description of something that portrays it in a specific way. The board meeting painted a pretty grim picture of the company's future. Jonathan always paints an idyllic picture of our childhood, glossing over the bad memories of our father.
See also: kind, of, paint, picture

paint a terrible, depressing, rosy, etc. ˈpicture (of somebody/something)

describe something in a particular way; give a particular impression of somebody/something, often a negative one: You paint a depressing picture of your childhood!People who don’t like students paint the worst possible picture of their behaviour.The book paints a vivid picture of life in the city.
See also: paint, picture
References in periodicals archive ?
Given the immense (and to most European eyes unfamiliar and unfathomable) pressures on places such as Caracas, Johannesburg and Shanghai, the conventional role of the architect as a purveyor of tasteful, set-piece buildings seems hopelessly redundant, swept aside by a tidal wave of unfettered expansion (Mexico City's depressingly infinite suburbs) and the social scourges of crime (Sao Paulo), disease (Johannesburg's HIV epidemic) and crippling poverty (most everywhere else).
More encouraging, Storr departs from the almost complete abdication of intellectual premises that depressingly characterizes so many recent exhibitions of the "festivalist" ilk: Unlike so many lumbering theme shows without actual themes, Storr delivers his thesis clearly and persistently rather than merely wheat-pasting some catchy, fauxsmart slogan over a predictable selection of overly familiar, trendy artists who make the international-exhibition rounds from Venice to Sao Paulo to Pittsburgh to Seoul, ad nauseam.
It was a depressingly familiar tale for those from around these parts, with a combination of rain and bad light allowing just 25.
DAILY COVERAGE OF THE MICROsoft antitrust trial was depressingly predictable.
The details of this kind of slaying are by now depressingly familiar--but nonetheless shocking.
And while these other stories don't tend to get the sort of high-profile coverage normally reserved to school shootings and terrorist bombings, they are depressingly familiar to most of us.
Turakiare Teauariki's piece on his own relatively recent experiences in Papua New Guinea adds a fascinating first-hand account that also, depressingly, serves to show the continuation of white racism well into this century.
One recent survey depressingly claims 75 percent of all Americans get all their news from television.
It's all so depressingly predictable with political stalemate as both sides blame each other of intransigence when the North looks set to be again ruled from Westminster.
And to start with saying there have been some improvements, whichever way you cut it, these figures today are depressingly bad - but unfortunately depressingly familiar.
How dreadfully dull and depressingly disappointing have they been?
I walk from Canton to work in the city centre every day, and my route is always depressingly lined with discarded rubbish.
Graham Newton, retail partner for BDO in West Yorkshire, said: "Failures were depressingly high in 2009, but they have hit their peak and the good news is that we will finally see a fall in 2010.