Types Of Painting Styles Explained

Published on December 02, 2020

Throughout the course of history and over time, artists have continuously evolved in terms of their techniques and art. The late 19th and 20th century was the time when art truly developed into the forms we all know today. A myriad of colors, untold stories and expressions were illustrated on canvases like never seen before. Some artists became renowned, owing to the techniques they invented and some left their mark with their innovative painting styles.

Art has been influenced by many cultures everywhere on the planet, a number of which have emerged significantly. Some styles became more prominent and evolutionary. Art gave cultures new meaning and defined them to the planet. Diving deeper into the various painting styles is actually a desirable study and can give us an insight into the infinite expressions of art, everywhere on the planet. Let us explore the art forms that emerged from the cultures and traditions of the planet to the forefront today.

By checking out about these styles and seeing what the artists working with them made and exploring different avenues regarding various methodologies yourself, you'll start to make and support your own style.


Realism also referred to as naturalism may be a sort of art regarded by most as “real art”. Realism may be a sort of painting that appears very similar to real-world instead of being animated. Realism has been around since the Renaissance. It is the depiction of individuals, scenery, or objects even as they seem without using any stylizing. Artists use a mix of colors and contrast to make the illusion of reality, space and depth. The mixture of brushstrokes and gradients reveal themselves only when looked at closely. There are different developments summoning authenticity in realism, for instance, opera sort of verismo, literary realism, theatrical realism, and Italian neorealist cinema. A very famous example of realism is that the "Mona Lisa" by Leonardo Leonardo.


Photorealism, super authenticity, sharp center authenticity, hyper authenticity is an art style where the fine art looks as sensible as a photograph. The deception of the truth is so minutely calibrated that the artwork looks precisely like a huge, pointedly centered photo around a canvas or other paint support. It is where cautious detail down to the keep going grain of sand on the coastline or the pores and wrinkles on an individual's face has been incorporated. Nothing remains out or excessively inconsequential or immaterial to not be remembered for the synthesis. Photorealism is that reasonable. Photorealism as a style of art turned into a movement in the late 1960 and mid-1970s in America.


Modernism art style happened between 1860 and 1970. It is an extreme perspective by the artists of present-day and age, with no limits set to their imagination. It is an art technique modernized to stay up with the 20th-century changes. Characteristics like self-consciousness or self-reference are what truly define Modernism. Artists attempt to depict new sorts of art, philosophy, and social organization that are different from the previous era. Modernism integrates art with the modern industrial world, urbanization, emerging technologies including war.

Related: Best Gifts For People Who Wants To Learn More About Painting Styles 


Paul Cezanne, a famous artist once said, “Everything in nature takes its form from the cylinder, the cone or the sphere.” This became the idea of ‘cubism’. The expression of abstractionism and geometrical shapes form a really important part of this style. Born within the early 20th century, cubism revolutionized European art and sculpture. This style became popular in Paris and the movement was pioneered in 1907 by painters such as Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, later joined by the likes of Albert Gleizes, Henry Le Fauconnier, and Fernand Léger.

The work that significantly impacted Cubism was that of Paul Cézanne. Cubist craftsmen dissected, separated and afterward reassembled objects in a disconnected shape. As an art painting style, Cubism is a visual language wherein mathematical planes tested the regular portrayal of items in a large number of perspectives instead of a solitary point of view to speak to the article in a more prominent setting. Cubist specialists reevaluated conventional subjects, for example, scenes and nudes as divided two-dimensional arrangements.


The Painterly style showed up in Europe in the first half of the nineteenth century as the Industrial Revolution swept the continent. Painterly may be a style described by noticeable brushstrokes and surface left within the paint medium. Previously, artists would attempt to hide any rough strokes or unblended colors but when painterly happened they didn't roll in the hay anymore. Artists typically use oils, acrylics, watercolors, gouache, or any medium where a brush is employed. The paintings of Henri Matisse and Eugenie Baizerman are perfect examples of this style.


Impressionism emerged in the 1880s in Europe. Common and ordinary objects retain their realistic appearance with slightly of vibrancy about them. The artist’s impression of ordinary objects is what Impressionism pertains to. The objects are often painted outdoors to capture natural sunlight and color. Usually, these paintings appear to be rough and incomplete and this is often what sets this system apart. Monet's water lilies, Vincent Van Gogh's sunflowers, even Monet used impressionism. Earlier on, impressionism was hated and ridiculed but now this painting style is beloved and revered.

At the point when art critic Louis Leroy composed the article, 'The Exhibition of the Impressionist' as an ironical audit on Claude Monet's Impression, Soleil levant (1872) for Parisian paper, 'Le Charivari', he didn't understand he was accordingly naming an art movement—an extreme one, that is. Monet's oil on canvas work includes the proclivity towards openly brushed tones over lines and shapes, which Leroy delivered as "a sketch all things considered". The strategy, esteemed revolutionary in the period, was a pastiche crafted by Romantic painters J. M. W. Turner and Eugène Delacroix, prominently Turner's 'The Fighting Temeraire' (1839), which was compelling on the beginning of the style. Impressionism is additionally an absolute opposite of scholastic style, where still life and pictures including scenes were in many cases painted in a studio.


Expressionism is a style that originated in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. In this painting style, artists tend to precise emotions and feelings instead of physical or real objects. A salient feature of this style is its use of bold and unrealistic colors. An art painting style intended to communicate feelings; expressionism is to some degree comparative. However, not like Fauvism, Expressionism didn't zero in on colors, which Fauvism is known to underline on the ridiculous use of.

The hyperbolical stream of human feelings, bending and pleonastic depiction of spots, individuals and items, ambiguous structures and shapes; are the distinctive qualities of Expressionism. Probably the best model is the generally well known, The Scream (1893) by Edvard Munch. Initially named Der Schrei der Natur, the work of art was his approach to pass on the peculiar and repulsiveness in the day by day existence with hyper-stylized brush strokes and terrible illustration.

Abstract art

Abstract art is additionally called modern or contemporary art. Abstract art isn't an art painting style all alone; it is exemplified in various styles where the exact portrayal of visual truth isn't the reason. Abstract art can be an aggregate or partial reflection. Mathematical and melodious abstraction styles are the normally complete reflection, which is totally unrelated to the normal art style found in Realism, Renaissance, Mannerism, and the Baroque. In any case, non-literal art, or authentic art, regularly join incomplete deliberation, as appeared in the untitled scene by Jay Meuser, which mirrors Abstract Expressionism.

Abstract art focuses more on the colors, textures and shapes utilized in the painting instead of real-life objects or scenes. These paintings are very simple yet very entrancing. Mark Rothko’s "Orange, Red, and Yellow" are just three blocks of pigment during which you'll lose yourself. Colors can represent emotions and shapes can symbolize objects in this particular style. The viewer or the observer is free to interpret the meaning of the painting as he wishes.

Abstract Expressionism

Abstract Expressionism itself is another type of unique craftsmanship presented by American painters, for example, Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, and Jackson Pollock post-World War II, while "pure" conceptual canvas was spearheaded by Kazimir Malevich and Piet Mondrian around 1910-20. Abstract Expressionism is characterized by mark-making and the sense of spontaneity, which was further divided into two groups: Action painting and color field painting. Action painting which was led by Pollock and De Kooning involves the impromptu application of vigorous, striking strokes of the brush and the impression of spilling paint onto the canvas. Rothko, as well as Barnett Newman and Clyfford Still, led the color field painting style that is characterized by broad areas of a single or flat color.


Surrealism may be a relatively modern art sort of painting. As an aesthetic movement, Surrealism started thriving in Europe as the consequence of World War I. Established in 1924 by the Parisian writer André Breton, it was profoundly affected by Dadaism. It planned to free ideas, language, and human experience. The oblivious personalities and dreams are incredibly esteemed and supported in Surrealism. All things considered, the meaning of Surrealism, as Breton once defined in his Surrealist Manifesto, is "transcription of thought without all control practiced by reason, outside of all stylish and good distraction".

It combines various abstract concepts together to offer a startling effect. Artists paint illogical, irrational scenes, though with photographic accuracy. They used regular items to make abnormal animals and created painting procedures that represented the expression of the artist's mind. . Usually ordinary objects are realistically painted but removed from their normal setting and placed in an ambiguous, irrational, or shocking framework. France was the middle of this system and it's impacted visual arts, literature, film, and music of the many countries and languages.

Pop Art

Pop Art is a complicated painting style going back to the 1950s. It draws motivation from business and customer aspects of normal daily existence and is exceptionally documented in American culture. Pop art included publicizing, broad communications, comic books, celebrities and components of mainstream society, almost like magazines, motion pictures, and even cans and jars. Pop art imagery is characterized by, striking images, strong hues and reasonable symbolism. In pop art, objects are sometimes far away from their usual backgrounds and combined with unrelated material. The first specialists that formed Pop Art were Richard Hamilton, Larry Rivers, Robert Rauschenberg, and Johns among others in the US.


Matisse's The Dessert: Harmony in Red (1908) | Source: henrimatisse.org|Matisse's The Dessert: Harmony in Red (1908) | Source: henrimatisse.org

Like Impressionism, Fauvism expression was authored by an art critic to portray a painting in a somewhat derogatory manner. It was Louis Vauxcelles who originally communicated the comment after he saw amazingly strong and splendid compositions stitching in a Renaissance artwork in Parisian Salon d'Automne in 1905, to which he wryly remarked, "Donatello au milieu des Fauves!”.

This painting style is related especially to Henri Matisse as its driving figure. The Fauves accepted that tones and actual reality ought to be detached from each other. They wished to uninhibitedly fuse colors paying little heed to their enlightening characteristics as a type of creative opportunity. To the Fauves, shadings should communicate the specialists' sentiments, henceforth the examination to utilize extreme tone, especially red, dismissing the delicate depiction of tones in Impressionist artworks. Simultaneously, they re-imagined the customary reason for color as it turned into a prevailing power in their compositions, in which they likewise streamline shapes into two-dimensionality.

Be that as it may, the Fauvism movement was not actually organized, so it didn't age quite well. Fauvism at long last crumbled continuously in 1900s.

Chinese Painting

One of the main Eastern art painting styles is likely conventional Chinese painting. It was so significant to the point it had outstanding effects on Western painting styles just as Japanese composition and, to a degree, Korean painting. There are two styles in Chinese painting: Gongbi and Xieyi. Gongbi, signifying "meticulous", highlights the utilization of rich tones and subtleties including nitty-gritty brushstrokes that portray pictures or stories. Xieyi, or freehand style, regularly contains adorned and stunning structures, underlining the craftsman's enthusiastic articulation and is principally utilized in scenes painting, which as of recently is still considered as the most noteworthy type of Chinese artistic painting.

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