Art Principles and History

Art Fundamentals

What is an artist’s medium?

The term medium (pl. media) refers to the materials used to create a work of art. Types of media can range widely, and include different types of paint (such as oil or acrylic paint) on canvas, as well as ink, marble, concrete, wood, glass, and metal. Artists also rely on various types of technology to create prints, photographs, videos, sounds, and digital images. The term mixed media refers to works that are made with more than one type of material. Twentieth-century artist Robert Rauschenberg’s “combine” pieces are a good example of mixed media work. His 1959 work, Canyon, is often referred to as a painting, but is made with oil paint, pencil, paper, metal, photograph, fabric, wood, 4 canvas, buttons, mirrors, a stuffed eagle, a pillow tied with cord, and a paint tube.


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