8 Different Painting Styles That Every Artist Should Know


Different Painting Styles

The brilliance of oil as a medium has transfixed us through the unforgettable masterpieces created over the years. However, that does not in any way overshadow the softness and vibrancy of soft pastels, wherein the pure pigments weave magic on papers and canvas alike. And, how can we forget the beauty in the simplicity of watercolor paintings! As an artist, no one painting medium can be better or greater over another. And, it is the constant endeavor to master them all that keeps a painter going. Over the course of time, different painting styles have emerged, sometimes based on the medium used, and at other times the technique used for painting. It is fascinating to know more about the various media and methods, and I am sure that you will love to learn about each of them as an artist. 

Different Painting Styles Based On Medium 

One of the broadest classifications of the painting styles is done based on the medium used. Today we will discuss in detail the various painting medium and what makes them unique. So, let’s begin with something that a novice will find easy to use, and move on to the ones requiring higher precision and control. 

Oil Pastel For The Beginners 

If you are a novice and wish to master colors to create masterpieces, there is nothing better than oil pastels. Oil pastels have the color pigments bound tightly using an oil base binder. This process allows the painter to apply color in a much more controlled manner. Moreover, it will enable the blending of colors to an extent. This property enables the artist to create transition effects as well. It is imperative to master oil pastels before you move on to other water and oil-based media. 

Different Painting Styles With Oil Pastel
Different Painting Styles With Oil Pastel

In continuation of this point, I will like to include the soft pastel medium as well. The primary difference between oil pastel and soft pastel is the binding medium. In soft pastels, the binding medium is clay-based, and it gives the color bars a chalky texture. It also makes the bars more prone to breakage. However, pure pigments give a brilliant result. Many artists love using soft pastels for the bright yet matte finish. You will need a fixative in the end to prevent the color of getting smudged later on. 

Water Color And Gouache

Even though watercolor and gouache are not entirely alike, both are water-soluble and remain so even after drying. Watercolor is a transparent medium, while gouache is much thicker and has an opaque texture, much like acrylic. The transparency of watercolor allows a much better washout effect. Also, you will be able to correct your mistakes even after drying with both these media. Gouache will enable you to mask and create layers. Both create a distinct look once finished. 

Acrylic Painting

Acrylic should be used only once you have truly mastered watercolor. It is also water-soluble, but once the paint dries off, it becomes resistant to water. Hence you will not have to use any protective layer after painting. However, acrylic comes in numerous forms, and there are innumerable ways in which it can be used. The use of this medium calls for a level of expertise and understanding of color. While novice painters can use this, I suggest that learners be well acquainted with pastels and watercolor before approaching acrylic. 

Oil Painting

Masters from every century have created brilliant artworks using oil paints. But, this is not as simple as it looks. The thick consistency allows creating textures, unlike any. Also, oil has a much longer drying time, thus allows the artists more time to finish the painting. The medium is opaque, and you can easily mask the underlying layer using another layer of paint, of course, once the lower layer has dried. Oil paints are extensively used on canvas. With the development of acrylic paints, the base layer on the canvas is often created using acrylic. This is because of the faster drying property of acrylic. However, oil tends to change the pigment tone over time. So, it is best to have a protective layer sprayed over the finished artwork. 

Painting Styles Based On Technique

There are numerous other mediums, but the ones we just spoke about are the most popular. Let’s delve into the techniques employed by artists and find out more about these styles as well. 

Color Layering Using Oil Pastel

This is one of the lesser-known techniques that you might not see often but gives a brilliant effect. Start by creating a layer of the lighter shade, for example, white, on a paper. Then cover it up with a darker shade, maybe yellow. Finally, use a dark shade like black. Once you have the layers done, use something sharp to peel off paint layers to create your desired sketch. You can start with two layers and then increase the number of layers as you master the technique. While using multiple layers, you will have to press harder to reveal the lower layers. This is used to create high contrast sketches. 

Charcoal Sketching Technique

Different Painting Styles In Charcoal
Different Painting Styles In Charcoal

Charcoal is nothing but pure carbon. You can use charcoal on paper to create brilliant sketches. But, remember, it is challenging to remove charcoal from paper. So, treat each stroke as the final one. 

Ink On Paper

This is an ancient technique that you will find quite often in the Chinese art form. Using ink on paper will give brilliant results, and you can use water to create a smudging effect as well. A different form of this is ink painting, wherein a pen is used to create the sketch on papers. It can be with the use of random strokes or by using dots. 

Dry Brushing

The dry brushing technique is used when one has to partially cover a previously dried layer of paint with another paint. The second paint is applied using a dry brush in light strokes. This is used to create leaves and grass effect. 

As you keep learning art, you will find numerous techniques. You might even create something of your own. Always remember, create a strong base, and then build on it. 

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