The oldest known paintings are at the Grotte Chauvet
in France, dated at about 32,000 years old. They are engraved and painted
using red ochre and black pigment and show horses, rhinoceros, lions,
buffalo and mammoth. There are examples of cave painting occurring all
over the world.
Today, many of the world's most recognized works
of art, such as the Mona Lisa, are paintings. There exists some slight
controversy as to whether or not works of art produced in non-traditional
ways, or with non-traditional materials, can properly be called paintings.
In a general sense artists using sound, light, fireworks, ink-jet pigment,
computer monitor pixels and even pastel or pencil all have the same
intentions as the more expected water, oil, gouache or egg tempera painters.
The resulting work of art is often referred to as a painting.
Paint can be composed of pigment, medium, binder and perhaps drying
accelerants or retarders, texture enhancers, stablizers and other modifiers.
When applied to canvas, a ground (a primer coat - often gesso) is usually
laid on first to improve adherance of the paint and reduce its wicking
into the canvas.
While typically the pigments in paint are supposed to be permanent,
some painters have used paint with fugitive pigments.
Tools of the painter include the various types of:
as well as charcoal, graphite pencil, rags or paper towel, mirror (an
old painter's trick to force a review of a problem painting from a new
perspective, as well as for self portraits), turpentine or oderless
paint thinner (often used in a mixture with oil as the medium), a model
or subject stand and possibly studio lighting.
Mural and Fresco its best known variant
scumble and stipple
New materials (painting) and
The medium is the vehicle that the pigment is suspended or embedded
in. Almost all drawing mediums can be used in painting as well.
Oil painting, including the newer water-miscible oils
Pastel, including dry pastels, oil pastels, and pastel pencils
Encaustic painting (wax)
Popular painting styles
Painting Styles can be characterized by the method of application (loose
or tight) or by referring to the art movement that most closely matches
the predominant characteristics that the painting expresses. They include:
Popular painting styles
Common painting idioms
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