Skip to content
Free Shipping: Elevate Your Space with Art
Free Shipping: Elevate Your Space with Art

A Guide To Understanding The Different Mediums Used In Painting

“Painting is Just Another Way of Keeping a Diary”

                                                                                              -  Pablo Picasso

Every person is unique in their own way and so do their way of conveying emotions, thoughts, stories, feelings and expressions. Some express what’s on their mind with letters, while some with paints.

Just like every diary has a different story about a person, every medium of a painting conveys a different story, emotion, experience and characteristics. Once you get familiar with these mediums of painting, it will be quite easy for you to find a painting that speaks to you, about you.

This article will give you deep insight into these mediums of painting.


Most Popular Mediums Used for Painting

  • Tempera - The term tempera is derived from the Italian ‘dipingere a tempera’ ("paint in distemper"). This medium of painting was well-known to the ancient people to make murals (an art executed directly on a wall of a room) and was the primary medium of painting for centuries. It is a type of paint that has a creamy consistency, dries matte and allows exceptional precision when used with traditional techniques involving small brush strokes because it is primarily made by mixing egg yolks with powdered pigments and water. Because of its ingredients, it is highly durable in nature.
  • Acrylic paint -  It is a unique paint combining the properties of water and oil colours and was introduced in the 1940s. Acrylic paint is made with a combination of pigments and resin binders and is popularly known for its versatility and fast-drying characteristics. They do wonders with wood, fabrics, stones, and glass, as acrylic paint can easily be cleaned with soap and water. Acrylic paints are also widely used in mixed media (a combination of pen, paint, and ink on canvas) works because pastels, oil, charcoal, pen and chalk can be used on dried acrylic paintings.

acrylic painting


  • Oil Paints - World’s most iconic paintings are made using oil paints. They have a distinct scent and are made up of linseed oil, walnut oil, and poppy seed oil. Oil paintings are rich and vivid compared to other painting forms mainly because more pigment is used in them. Apart from that, they are thick and have a buttery consistency, so they can stay wet for days or weeks.

oil paints


  • Watercolour - As the name suggests, it is made of pigments suspended in a water solution and works smoothly with watercolour paper due to its high absorbency. Watercolours are frequently laid in a pure form with fewer fillers, making them translucent, lustrous, and luminous in nature.

watercolour painting


  • Pastels - Since the renaissance, pastel colours have been in the picture. They are widely known for their intense colours and diverse textures. Pastels are in the form of stick and made by combining dry pigment, binder, and chalk in order to create a thick paste. Soft and oil pastels are majorly known for their waxy and buttery texture. On the other hand, hard pastels are known for their sharp drawing used for small details.

pastel painting


  • Pen and Ink - Pen and ink paintings are a multifaceted form of painting, commonly used for making sketches, illustrations and ink and water paintings; and it has been in use since ancient-Egyptian times. Pen and Ink paintings are low-cost forms of artmaking. These paintings are primarily known for highlighting contrast and grabbing the attention of the audience to the minute details.

ink pen painting


  • Mixed Media - In recent years, mixed media paintings have gained popularity due to their ability to showcase diverse effects, combining visual art and non-visual elements such as motion graphics, recorded sound, music, literature, etc. Proper layering is an important characteristic of this form of painting. An example of this artwork is a canvas painting using a combo pack of paint, ink and metal.


Every form of painting creates a distinctive texture, evoking different feelings and emotions. By knowing and understanding these mediums, you can now choose the best form of painting for yourself that aligns with your personality and perspectives.


To find paintings of your choice and convenience check out .

You.Art is a Mumbai-based authentic online art gallery offering fresh curation of 100 varied forms of artworks every 100 days. Check out our customer-friendly virtual galleries on our website to get a realistic look and feel of each painting before you decide to own one.

Previous article Use of metaphors in art
Next article Is Indian Art Political?

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields