PAINTING -8 mediums every artist should know

Painting mediums throughout history have been an essential tool for expressing thoughts, motives, and ideas. From revolutionary touching pieces like Lascaux Cave, the oldest painting known to The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh, art has been truly touching the souls of millions for centuries.

Apart from that painting has not just been a profession but also a passion for many. Knowing the right type of paint and techniques will not only improve the final result but also provide you a newfound mastery over your craft. Do you as a beginner know if you’re using the right type of paints? If no then worry not, this article will provide all the help and information regarding painting medium that you need to improve your skills in this particular expertise.

1. Oil Painting

Regarded as one of the oldest and most common paint types, oil paint throughout the centuries has been used to create many gems, Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci is the most common example. Oil colors are made by mixing dry and powdered pigments with sifted linseed oil and grounded till it gives out a paste-like consistency.

Although oil paints can sometimes be pretty hard to handle and take their sweet time to dry out they do require time and practice to have a firm grip over them giving out wondrous and intense colors. No wonder why oil paints are appreciated and accepted widely by the masses worldwide to this day.

2. Acrylic Painting medium

This painting type has been also been used widely by many. For making acrylic paints, dry pigments are infused with acrylic polymer emulsion. Unlike oil paints, acrylic paints take relatively less time to dry out. Acrylic paints are soluble in water but become waterproof once they dry out.

This synthetic paint first came into use in the year 1940 and then was made commercially available in the market in the 1950s. Acrylics are more affordable and chemical-free as compared to oil paints and are much easier to handle by artists of all stages.

3. Watercolors- an important painting medium.

Made by mixing color pigments with gum Arabic, watercolors are known to be commonly used on paper. They are also used on other mediums such as leathers, plastics, bark paper, and wood. Many remarkable pieces of art have been made using watercolors, Thomas Moran’s “In the Bighorn Mountains” is a fitting example of it.

By the time the 1st century rolled around, watercolor painting in religious murals had become common and around the 4th-century watercolor painting in the landscape in Asia has established itself as an independent form of art. In China, finger-paintings with watercolors are made. Their realistic coverage on paper or other supports has always given out magnificent products.

4. Pastels

First manufactured in the 16h century, pastels have been used by many artists in the past to create gems. Pastels are made by mixing dry pigments with some amount of chalk and a binder, and then they are fashioned into the shape of sticks to be used later on. Due to it being almost just pure pigment; it gives out intense and rich colors which might not be achievable by other mediums but since it uses fewer binders, the paint might start cracking after some time.

 Yes, the pastels might be a bit difficult to handle but all of that hassle is worth it. Paintings made by pastels give a softer and velvety appearance, making your work appear more magnificent and remarkable.

5. Encaustic

Also known as “hot wax painting”; Encaustics are made by mixing dry color pigments with hot bee wax and tree resin, mixing it till it gives out a pasty consistency.

First coming into use during the 5th century B.C.; Encaustics date back to the Greek era. The “Fayum funeral portraits” made in Encaustics are considered iconic to this day.

Disclaimer! Things can get very messy when using Encaustics are in use. But, worry not, after all, art demands patience, time, and practice. With practice, you can achieve an easy hand in encaustics too.

6. Fresco

An ancient technique used more commonly to decorate walls and ceiling, Fresco is a common style used by many. Fresco requires the mixing of dry pigments with water to paint on plaster. The water helps the paint to absorb completely into the plaster once it dries off; making it a permanent part of the wall.

 Developed and invented during the 13th century, Fresco is a significant part of the renaissance art era, Michelangelo’s widely known “Sistine Chapel Ceiling” being a prime example of renaissance era fresco art. There are three known types of Fresco paintings; Buon or true Fresco, Secco Fresco and Mezzo Fresco with Buon Fresco being the more commonly used form.

When using Fresco you’ll need to be quick because once the plaster dries off you won’t be able to paint; apart from that Fresco is pretty easy to use and affordable to use for the artists.

7. Spray Paint

Okay! Things get funky with this one. First invented in 1949, Spray paints sensationalized during the 1970s when graffiti artists started to make use of it. With the existence of a wide spectrum of colors and shades, spray paint art is known to bring out vibrant and eccentric parts of graffiti artists to life.

Spray paints are weather-resistant and durable, sitting well on any kind of surfaces such as cement, bricks, and wood. Spray paints can be harmful if inhaled which is why they are advised to be used while wearing a mask. The “The See No Evil” painting in Nelson Street U.K. is a remarkable example of spray paint, created by many graffiti artists in 2011.

8. Ink wash painting medium

Originating from China, Ink wash painting was first invented by Wang Wei during the Tang Dynasty art (618-907) and is also referred to as the “literati painting”.

Ink wash art is made by applying ink on an already slightly wet paper where a layer of ink has already been applied, mixing it with a big brush. Different forms and images can be achieved in ink wash art by different kinds of strokes. Calligraphy artists spend years trying to perfect and experiment with this form of painting. Even though different colors and varieties of ink are available in the present era, black ink is still more commonly used and preferred by artists.

This concludes our list of the forms and techniques of painting medium that every artist should know of.  We really hope this list helps you and guides you in the correct way!