Art Principles and History

Art Fundamentals

What is painting?

Paint is a liquid mixture made of pigment (often a powder) and a binding agent such as water or oil. A painting is a two-dimensional surface, such as stretched canvas or wood panel, to which paint has been artistically applied. A wall mural, or a fresco, is also considered to be a painting, as is work on paper, such as an illuminated book manuscript or a hand scroll. Some of the most common types of paints used are oil paints, egg-yolk tempera (often used in Italy during the Renaissance), watercolors, and acrylics (a modern, water-soluble paint).


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