Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a solid surface (called the "matrix" or "support"). The medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush, but other implements, such as knives, sponges, and airbrushes, can be used.
Painting on some surfaces requires a special technique. Painting on plaster uses the fresco method. In the divide stage, the canvas is divided into a few major areas (depending on the image you paint), and background for those areas are plotted. In the layer stage, a layer is plotted over another layer, to get the desired shape in each area.
The history of painting reaches back in time to artifacts from pre-historic humans, and spans all cultures. It represents a continuous, though periodically disrupted, tradition from Antiquity. Across cultures, and spanning continents and millennia, the history of painting is an ongoing river of creativity, that continues into the 21st century.
- Supports for oil painting
Oil painting is the process of painting with pigments with a medium of drying oil as the binder. Commonly used drying oils include linseed oil, poppy seed oil, walnut oil, and safflower oil. The choice of oil imparts a range of properties to the oil paint, such as the amount of yellowing or drying time. Certain differences, depending on the oil, are also visible in the sheen of the paints. An artist might use several different oils in the same painting depending on specific pigments and effects
Traditional oil painting techniques often begin with the artist sketching the subject onto the canvas with charcoal or thinned paint. Oil paint is usually mixed with linseed oil, artist grade mineral spirits, or other solvents to make the paint thinner, faster or slower-drying. A basic rule of oil paint application is 'fat over lean', meaning that each additional layer of paint should contain more oil than the layer below to allow proper drying. If each additional layer contains less oil, the fi
The earliest known oil paintings to survive date back to about 650AD on walls at Bamiyan in Afghanistan. These wall paintings are Buddhist works, at a settlement along the silk road. They display a wide range of pigments and binders, and even included the use of a final varnish layer. This refinement of this painting technique and the survival of the paintings into the present day suggests that oil paints had been used in Asia even before the 7th century. Most European Renaissance sources, in pa
The linseed oil itself comes from the flax seed, a common fiber crop. Linen, a "support" for oil painting, also comes from the flax plant. Safflower oil or the walnut or poppyseed oil are sometimes used in formulating lighter colors like white because they "yellow" less on drying than linseed oil, but they have the slight drawback of drying more slowly and may not provide the strongest paint film. Linseed oil tends to dry yellow and can change the hue of the color. Recent advances in chemistry h
The earliest oil paintings were almost all panel paintings on wood, which had been seasoned and prepared in a complicated and rather expensive process with the panel constructed from several pieces of wood, although such a support has a tendency to warp. Panels continued to be used well into the 17th century, including by Rubens, who painted several large works on wood. The artists of the Italian regions moved towards canvas in the early 16th century, led partly by a wish to paint larger images,
Oil paint is made by mixing pigments of colors with an oil medium. Since the 19th century the different main colors are purchased in paint tubes pre-prepared before painting begins, further shades of color are usually obtained by mixing small quantities together as the painting process is underway. An artist's palette, traditionally a thin wood board held in the hand, is used for holding and mixing paints. Pigments may be any number of natural or synthetic substances with color, such as sulphide
- Color-changing paint
Paint is any pigmented liquid, liquefiable, or solid mastic composition that, after application to a substrate in a thin layer, converts to a solid film. It is most commonly used to protect, color, or provide texture to objects. Paint can be made or purchased in many colors—and in many different types, such as watercolor or synthetic. Paint is typically stored, sold, and applied as a liquid, but most types dry into a solid. Most paints are either oil-based or water-based and each have...
Paint was one of the earliest inventions of humanity. Some cave paintings drawn with red or yellow ochre, hematite, manganese oxide, and charcoal may have been made by early Homo sapiens as long as 40,000 years ago. Paint may be even older. In 2003 and 2004, South African archeologists reported finds in Blombos Cave of a 100,000-year-old human-made ochre-based mixture that could have been used like paint. Further excavation in the same cave resulted in the 2011 report of a complete toolkit for g
The vehicle is composed of the binder; or, if it is necessary to thin the binder with a diluent like solvent or water, it is the combination of binder and diluent. In this case, once the paint has dried or cured very nearly all of the diluent has evaporated and only the binder is
Pigments are granular solids incorporated in the paint to contribute color. Dyes are colorants that dissolve in the paint. Fillers are granular solids incorporated to impart toughness, texture, give the paint special properties, or to reduce the cost of the paint. During producti
Besides the three main categories of ingredients, paint can have a wide variety of miscellaneous additives, which are usually added in small amounts, yet provide a significant effect on the product. Some examples include additives to modify surface tension, improve flow propertie
Various technologies exist for making paints that change color. Thermochromic paints and coatings contain materials that change conformation when heat is applied or removed, and so they change color. Liquid crystals have been used in such paints, such as in the thermometer strips and tapes used in aquaria and novelty/promotional thermal cups and straws. Photochromic materials are used to make eyeglasses and other products. Similar to thermochromic molecules, photochromic molecules change conform
Since the time of the Renaissance, siccative oil paints, primarily linseed oil, have been the most commonly used kind of paints in fine art applications; oil paint is still common today. However, in the 20th century, new water-based paints such acrylic paints, entered the market with the development of acrylic and other latex paints. Milk paints, where the medium is derived from the natural emulsion that is milk, were common in the 19th century and are still used. Used by the earliest western ar
Paint can be applied as a solid, a gaseous suspension or a liquid. Techniques vary depending on the practical or artistic results desired. As a solid, the paint is applied as a very fine powder, then baked at high temperature. This melts the powder and causes it to adhere to the surface. The reasons for doing this involve the chemistries of the paint, the surface itself, and perhaps even the chemistry of the substrate. This is called "powder coating" an object. As a gas or as a gaseous suspensio
Body painting is a form of body art where artwork is painted directly onto the human skin.Unlike tattoos and other forms of body art, body painting is temporary, lasting several hours or sometimes up to a few weeks (in the case of mehndi or "henna tattoos" about two weeks).
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The history of Western painting represents a continuous, though disrupted, tradition from antiquity until the present time. Until the mid-19th century it was primarily concerned with representational and Classical modes of production, after which time more modern, abstract and conceptual forms gained favor.
- Specifics and study
- Early periods
- Sui, Tang and Five dynasties (581–979)
- Song, Liao, Jin and Yuan dynasties (907–1368)
- Late imperial China (1368–1895)
Chinese painting is one of the oldest continuous artistic traditions in the world. Painting in the traditional style is known today in Chinese as guóhuà or, meaning "national" or "native painting", as opposed to Western styles of art which became popular in China in the 20th century. Traditional painting involves essentially the same techniques as calligraphy and is done with a brush dipped in black ink or coloured pigments; oils are not used. As with calligraphy, the most popular...
Chinese painting and calligraphy distinguish themselves from other cultures' arts by emphasis on motion and change with dynamic life. The practice is traditionally first learned by rote, in which the master shows the "right way" to draw items. The apprentice must copy these items strictly and continuously until the movements become instinctive. In contemporary times, debate emerged on the limits of this copyist tradition within modern art scenes where innovation is the rule. Changing lifestyles,
The earliest paintings were not representational but ornamental; they consisted of patterns or designs rather than pictures. Early pottery was painted with spirals, zigzags, dots, or animals. It was only during the Eastern Zhou that artists began to represent the world around them. In imperial times, painting and calligraphy in China were among the most highly appreciated arts in the court and they were often practiced by amateurs—aristocrats and scholar-officials—who had the leisure ...
During the Tang dynasty, figure painting flourished at the royal court. Artists such as Zhou Fang depicted the splendor of court life in paintings of emperors, palace ladies, and imperial horses. Figure painting reached the height of elegant realism in the art of the court of Southern Tang. Most of the Tang artists outlined figures with fine black lines and used brilliant color and elaborate detail. However, one Tang artist, the master Wu Daozi, used only black ink and freely painted brushstroke
Painting during the Song dynasty reached a further development of landscape painting; immeasurable distances were conveyed through the use of blurred outlines, mountain contours disappearing into the mist, and impressionistic treatment of natural phenomena. The shan shui style painting—"shan" meaning mountain, and "shui" meaning river—became prominent in Chinese landscape art. The emphasis laid upon landscape was grounded in Chinese philosophy; Taoism stressed that humans were but tiny ...
Beginning in the 13th century, the tradition of painting simple subjects—a branch with fruit, a few flowers, or one or two horses—developed. Narrative painting, with a wider color range and a much busier composition than Song paintings, was immensely popular during the Ming period.
Nighthawks is a 1942 oil on canvas painting by Edward Hopper that portrays people in a downtown diner late at night as viewed through the diner's large glass window. The light coming from the diner illuminates a darkened and deserted urban streetscape.