art mediums, Art Terminology

Wednesday: Specific Mediums used in Fine Arts

Wednesday: Art Terminology post about specific mediums used in Fine Arts

I thought we might look more closely about different mediums used within the category of fine arts.

Under the broad category of fine art is 4 categories of art:





Some people will also include an other category when discussing fine arts. This would include architecture, animation, calligraphy, and photography.

Drawing mediums include:

  • Pencil (made from graphite and come in a range of hardness).
  • Pen and Ink (either a dip or reservoir pen in a range of colored inks).
  • Charcoal (oldest drawing medium; is sometimes used by painters to make a sketch before painting).
  • Chalk (made from limestone, applied dry to paper, and the typical colors used for drawing include red, black, and white). Now used by kids everywhere.
  • Pastels (comes in soft and hard formats and either dry or made with oil).

It might also include book illustrations and caricatures.

Painting mediums include:

  • Ink and Wash (Oriental or East Asian method of painting)
  • Oil Painting (mixture of 3 parts: pigment or color, thinner added to make it easier to apply with a brush, and binder or oil). Additives might be included to change the drying time, appearance, or other actions.
  • Watercolor Painting (dries quickly since color pigments are bound in water-soluble agents). Highly versatile medium since it can be used on a variety of materials.
  • Gouache (a mixture of gum arabic or chalk with paint such as watercolors- it makes it more opaque, matte finish, range of colors including florescent and metallic, and different thicknesses).
  • Acrylics (fast-drying water-soluble paint created by mixing pigment in an acrylic polymer emulsion).
  • Tempera or egg tempera (mixture of water, whole eggs or egg yolks).
  • Encaustic (uses hot beeswax to bind color pigments).

Printmaking mediums include:

  • Woodcuts
  • Engraving
  • Etching
  • Silkscreen printing
  • Lithography

Sculpture mediums include:

  • Bronze
  • Stone
  • Wood-carving



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