The Basics of Painting


In painting, colour is an important element, often used to enhance the meaning of the image and give it a sense of personality. It is a primary expressive element, and can be used in a wide variety of styles and periods. The full spectrum of pigments makes it possible for colour to serve as an expressive element as well as a decorative element.

Painting is an ancient craft that has evolved throughout history. Before the Renaissance, the craft was controlled by cultural traditions, which dictated the subject matter and imagery of a painting. Paintings were created by artisans, who were usually employed by a court, royalty, or important individuals. Later, the concept of “fine art” developed in Europe and Asia, and prominent painters were given the status of courtiers and scholars. They would often sign their designs, decide on the subject matter and imagery of their works, and establish a personal relationship with their patrons.

Paint is composed of two basic components, a binder and pigments. A binder is a liquid or semi-liquid substance that holds pigment in solution until it is ready to be dispersed. The pigments are mixed with a solvent, which controls the flow of the paint. Solvents can range from water to oil-based products.

The design of a painting refers to the visual format, or layout, of the painting’s visual elements. A painting’s formal structure lends it a strong, dramatic presence. Colours and shapes are chosen based on symbolic or representational considerations. The formal interplay of colours and shapes can convey a particular mood, while shapes and composition can create an optical sensation of space, volume, and motion.

In the twentieth century, the Feminist art movement took place, aiming to ensure that women and artists alike had equal opportunities and rights. Paintings are an expression of an individual’s emotional experiences, and they are a great medium for illustrating complex ideas. Since the earliest days of art, allegory has been used to show spiritual and moral significance. The modern definition of allegory refers to art styles that make use of objects in their creations to illustrate meaning.

Oil painting is the oldest form of painting, and continues to be the most popular. Oils make it easier to blend colors, but they are more difficult to erase if there is a mistake. Many famous paintings in history were created using oil paint, and they have become an important part of the world’s culture. Many of these works were portraits.

If you’re interested in painting figuratively, learn to draw first. Drawing is the foundation of a painter’s oeuvre, and learning to draw can make a big difference in the final work. Drawing on paper will allow you to experiment with a new technique without having to spend money on expensive paints and canvas.