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Get ready to brush up your skills and learn more about different painting techniques! This post presents ten inspiring styles that every artist should know.

From abstract to impressionist, there are many different painting styles artists use today to create their masterpieces. This post will introduce you to ten distinct painting techniques, providing an overview of each style and helpful tips for working with them. ideas decor 2023

Watercolor painting is a popular technique for its unique results. By adding water to special paints, you can blend and mix colors to create light washes and intricate details. Experimenting with watercolor paints is fun and you can use them in different ways. Let the paper guide the way by letting some parts dry while others remain wet to achieve a range of effects.

The painting techniques on the other hand refer to the mediums used to forge a painting.

Whether you are setting foot in this world of color or just inquisitive about this language of love—I have it all for you.

Here is a list of all types of paintings, all styles of paintings, and all painting techniques there are out there. ideas decor 2023

Let’s start with the first one from types of paintings, styles, and techniques…

Types Of Paintings:

different types of paintings shown

All paintings are primarily subjected to only 7 types. 

Even if they are made in different styles or built with different techniques; they are eventually distinguished by their type.

Eg: The famous self-portrait of Vincent Van Gogh. The technique used was oil on canvas. Its style was Neo-Impressionism. The painting type was a portrait painting.

A type of painting is really personal to the artist creating it because as it is said—

“Every portrait painted by an artist is the portrait of himself.”                                                                                                                                                     

1. Portrait Painting

portrait painting shown as one of the types of paintings

Portrait painting is the most common and famous type of painting.

It’s characterized by its whole and sole purpose; capturing a character on canvas.

The characters of a portrait painting are not limited to only humans.

Besides, it is not even limited to just one character. 

Portraits can be captured in any medium the artist seems fit for his masterpiece.

Portrait paintings are best known to keep as remembrance and family records.

Famous Portrait Artists: Frida Kahlo, Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci

Must Read: 14 Frida Kahlo Paintings And Their Meanings

2. Landscape Painting

landscape painting shown as one of the types of paintings

Landscape painting is one of the most renowned types of paintings that focuses on capturing natural elements on the canvas.

The main objective of a landscape painting is to capture the natural components.

These components include terrains, skies, mountains, rivers, trees, etc.

Landscape paintings can be a part of memory paintings or a copied reality.

Famous Landscape Artists: Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, J.M.W. Turner.

3. Still Life 

still-life painting shown as one of the types of paintings

Still-life painting that translates to dead nature is anything but. It is the ‘figure of free speech’ of the art world.

You would think a still life painting is just a boring piece of art that consists of daily objects and elements.

That is in comparison to the other action-packed, evocative, and full of emotions types of paintings.

But rather many of the famous still lifes have a hidden complex narrative in them.

Besides still life is perfect for a beginner to understand the color, texture, and composition of elements. 

Famous Still Life Artists: Paul Cezanne, Salvador Dali, Gorges Braque

4. Abstract Painting

abstract painting shown as one of the types of paintings

Even though this was one of the most influential movements in history, abstract painting is also one of the types of paintings.

The purpose of this painting type is to add a meaningful message to a completely disfigured painting.

As beautiful as some of the abstract paintings look, others just consist of dots.

They too stand for a really strong message.

Abstract painting can be an abstraction of any and all elements in the eye of a human.

Famous Abstract Artists: Wassily Kadinsky, Jackson Pollock, Willem De Kooning

5. History Painting

historical painting shown as one of the types of paintings

Historical or history paintings are those types of paintings that capture a historical event.

The main objective of these painting types is to add a moral message as a key component.

We have seen some major historical events being caught on canvas like ‘The Declaration of Independence and ‘Caesar’s Death’.

As already said the paintings that were painted did depict the events but according to the artists.

There are no modern historic paintings unless you want to be the first one to create one.

Famous Historical Painting Artists: Sir David Wilkie, Paul Delaroche, Eugène Delacroix

6. Religious Painting

religious painting shown as one of the types of paintings

Religious paintings are the types of paintings that have religious events or mythological creatures in them.

It is believed that there was no purpose for the paintings. But they acted as an outlet for the artists.

These paintings mainly consisted of religious outbursts for the artists.

They depicted scenes and creatures that the artist had a meaningful bond with.

Some of them were just mesmerizing.

Famous Religious Painting Artists: Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci

7. Allegory

allegory painting shown as one of the types of paintings

This painting style involves the use of subjects (or objects) to portray emotions like sorrow, love, lust, hate, and happiness.

Allegory symbolizes the subject of the painting in a manner to show spiritual importance and morals.

One of the features of this painting style is that it can easily illustrate complex ideas and concepts.

Allegory has been used in all forms of art since ancient times.

Today, in modern art, allegory is defined as an art style where one narration means another.

Famous Allegory Artists: Bronzino, Sandro Botticelli, Johannes Vermeer

All Types Of Painting Styles:

different types of painting styles shown

Painting styles are categorized according to the art movement the style belonged to.

There are more than 75 types of painting styles in art today since the beginning of art history.

A painting can be classified into an era just by looking at its painting style.

Some of the painting styles are hard to differentiate.

Some are hard to miss as they are painting styles that classify and represent that particular movement.

And dare I add that every type of art style was a reaction to its prior movement.

Here are the most valued painting styles that changed the art history course from the beginning…

Renaissance & High Renaissance Art Style (1400-1600)

a painting painted during the renaissance period that shows one of the types of art styles

Renaissance means rebirth and it was right named because of the renewed interest in ancient Greco-Roman culture. 

The renaissance style of art showed a gradual shift of abstract forms of the medieval period to individualism.

This art movement gave birth to art techniques like foreshortening, sfumato, and chiaroscuro.

Famous Renaissance Artists: Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael

Famous Renaissance Paintings: Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, Birth of Venus

Mannerism (1527-1580)

a painting painted during the mannerism period that shows one of the types of art styles

Mannerism was the reaction to the harmonious ideals that were set by the renaissance artists like proportion, balance, and ideal beauty.

This art style is distinguished by artificiality, elegance, and sensual distortion of the human figure.

Even today this art style continues to be a debate.

Famous Mannerism Artists: El Greco, Paolo Veronese, Daniele da Volterra

Famous Mannerism Paintings: The Wedding At Cana, The Burial of the Count of Orgaz, Madonna with the Long Neck

Baroque (1600-1750)

a painting painted during the baroque period that shows one of the types of art styles

The baroque style was distinguished by self-assurance, dynamism, and a realistic approach to representation.

The baroque art style has frequently been described as being strange or uneven because of its flamboyant inconsistencies.

This art style is eminent by the drama, deep colors, dramatic light, sharp shadows, and dark backgrounds in the paintings.

Famous Baroque Artists: Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Diego Velázquez

Famous Baroque Paintings: Girl With A Pearl Earring, Las Meninas, The Night Watch

Neoclassicism (1750-1850)

a painting painted during the neoclassicism period that shows one of the types of art styles

The neoclassicism art style was the response to the excessive frivolity and opulence of the Baroque art style.

This art style was defined by the use of shallow space, and uniform and strong lines.

It had dark and muted color, more obvious brush strokes, and unambiguous forms to portray moral depictions of self-sacrifice and self-denial.

The painting style of this art era was well composed, with historically accurate backgrounds and costumes.

Famous Neoclassicism ArtistsEdmonia Lewis, Antonio Canova, Jacques-Louis David

Famous Neoclassicism Paintings: Death of Marat, Death of Socrates, Oath of the Horatii

Romanticism (1780-1850)

a painting painted during the romanticism period that shows one of the types of art styles

This art movement started as a response to the principles of harmony, order, and idealization that marked Neoclassicism.

The art style of this movement places a strong focus on this emotion, individualism, and the veneration of nature and the past.

This movement’s artists produced artworks that emphasized how vital sensation and emotion were to experience the world.

It was as crucial as balance and logic.

Famous Romanticism Artists: Francisco Goya, William Blake, Eugène Delacroix

Famous Romantic Paintings: Liberty Leading the People, Saturn Devouring His Son, Wanderer above the Sea of Fog

Realism (1848-1900)

a painting painted during the realism period that shows one of the types of art styles

Realism art style existed to honestly represent the world through art.

They rejected Romanticism’s heightened emotionalism and exaltation of the past.

The artists exposed topics and situations that were shunned and deemed inappropriate.

It portrayed stark nudes, the struggle of the working class, harsh labor, and the depiction of the solitariness of the individual in contemporary society.

With these controversial depictions, Realism shook the art world.

Famous Realism Artists: Édouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Rosa Bonheur

Famous Realism Paintings: Nighthawks, Olympia, The Gleaners

Impressionism (1865-1895)

a painting painted during the impressionism period that shows one of the types of art styles

Impressionism art style focuses on the accurate depiction of natural light in all of its varied manifestations and unorthodox viewing perspectives.

The characteristics of the impressionist paintings were the small, obvious brushstrokes that convey the most basic impression of form, and unmixed color.

The practice of painting outdoors and spontaneously “on the spot” rather than in a studio from sketches is the foundation of impressionism.

Landscapes and ordinary scenes were the primary subjects of impressionism.

Famous Impressionism Artists: Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro

Famous Impressionist Paintings: Luncheon of the Boating Party, Impression Sunrise, The Large Bathers

Pointillism/ Divisionism (1880-1891)

a painting painted during the pointillism period that shows one of the types of art styles

The Pointillism art movement was a branch of the post-Impressionist art style. Its name was derived as a mockery by the critics.

This painting style consisted of a series of small, unique dots that were painted adjacent to each other to create an image.

Just like the pixels in modern computers.

Once pointillism reached its zenith it was widely adopted by artists which then paved the way for the rise of the Fauvist art style.

Famous Pointillism Artists: Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, Vincent Van Gogh

Famous Pointillism Paintings: A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, Undergrowth, Model in Profile

Symbolism (1880-1910)

a painting painted during the symbolism period that shows one of the types of art styles

To put it in very blunt words—symbolists could give form to your dreams and visions.

As opposed to the impressionist painters, symbolists went beyond shapes, lines, patterns, and tones to convey their idealogy.

Symbols in art combined religious mystery, the grotesque, the sexual, and the depraved.

The symbolism art style had themes like the macabre, the dream world, grief, evil, and mortality, 

It was the bridge that connected early Romanticism and Modernism.

Famous Symbolism Artists: Gustav Klimt, Edvard Munch, Frida Kahlo

Famous Symbolism Paintings: The Crying Spider, The Kiss, The Death of the Gravedigger

Art Nouveau (1890-1910)

a painting painted during the art nouveau period that shows one of the types of art styles

This was one of those types of painting styles whose legacy still lives on today in many ways.

Art nouveau was most frequently used in architecture, interior design, jewelry and glass design, posters, and illustrations.

This art style is distinguished by the use of a long sinuous organic line.

One of the main goals of art nouveau was to eliminate the conventional divide between fine arts and applied arts.

Famous Art Nouveau Artists: Gustav Klimt, Alphonse Mucha, Victor Horta

Famous Art Nouveau Paintings: Daydream, The Peacock Skirt, The Slav Epic

Fauvism (1905-1910)

a painting painted during the fauvism period that shows one of the types of art styles

This was one of the first contemporary art movements of the 20th century.

Fauves’ painting style was distinguished by its wildly erratic brush strokes and vivid colors.

Whereas their subjects were highly simplified and abstract.

Fauvist art style accentuated and displayed post-expressiveness, impressionism’s vivid colors, and thick paint application.

Famous Fauvism Artists: Henri Matisse, Georges Rouault, Maurice de Vlaminck

Famous Fauvism Paintings: Woman with a Hat, Jeu de Massacre, The River Seine at Chatou

Expressionism (1905-1925)

a painting painted during the expressionism period that shows one of the types of art styles

Propelled by opposition to bourgeois culture and a passionate revival of creativity, Expressionism spread across Europe as a trend in art.

Expressionists preferred to depict emotional experiences over objective truth.

The artists were only able to achieve this goal through distortion, exaggeration, primitivism, and imagination in their paintings.

These types of painting styles usually had vivid, startling violent, or dynamic use of formal components.

Famous Expressionism Artists: Edvard Munch, Wassily Kandinsky, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Famous Expressionist Paintings: The Scream, The Blue Rider, Artist & His Model

Cubism (1908-1920)

a painting painted during the cubism period that shows one of the types of art styles

It fundamentally rejected the long-standing inclination in painting to try and create a true three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional canvas from a fixed viewpoint.

In actuality, the cubism art style was an attempt to emphasize the nature of the two-dimensional canvas rather than creating depth.

They tried doing this without perspective and utilizing the method of tones.

They would separate the subject into a variety of shapes before repainting it from various perspectives.

Learn more about the Artists of Cubism.

Famous Cubism Artists: Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Paul Cézanne