Painting is the practice of applying pigment suspended in a carrier (or medium) and a binding agent (a glue) to a surface (support) such as paper, canvas or a wall. This is done by a painter; this term is used especially if this is his or her profession. Humans have been painting for about 6 times as long as they have been using written language.

One possible process for decorative painting of the walls of a room is found in Work breakdown structure. The word painting is used in the rest of this article with its fine art meaning.

More specifically this article is about the painting of a surface for artistic reasons, considered by many to be among the most important of the art forms.

Table of contents
1 History of Painting
2 About paint
3 Painting techniques
4 Paint mediums
5 Popular painting styles
6 Common painting idioms
7 External links

History of Painting

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.

About paint

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.

Painting techniques

Painting techniques include:

Paint mediums

The medium is the vehicle that the pigment is suspended or embedded in. Almost all drawing mediums can be used in painting as well.

Examples include:

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:

Common painting idioms

Painting idioms include:

You can read more about the Origin of Art and see a list of famous painters.

A proposed and yet-unrealised development in painting is four dimensional painting.

External links

Art-related sites (sources of information for writing Wikipedia articles): See also: Painting basic topics