ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Artistic Media

Updated on September 15, 2014
Paula Atwell profile image

Paula Atwell is a freelance writer with WriterAccess, webmaster, member of Pinterest Party on FB and the owner of Lake Erie Artist Gallery.

What is the Best Medium for an Artist to Work With?

Now more than ever, there is an ever-growing variety of media in which an artist can work. When an artist decides what it is he or she wants to create, there is at once another vital decision to be made. What medium will he use, or, in other words, what means will be most suitable for communicating his message?

This may not seem to be terribly important, but it is. Suppose, for instance, that the artist wishes to create the image of a horse, stressing above all its massive power. He is likely to be more successful if he carves it in stone than if he makes it of porcelain.

Drawing

Pencil, charcoal, pen and ink

Again, it may be the speed of the horse that interests him, and in this case a drawing may serve his purpose best. If, however, it is color and texture he wants, he must make a painting. The artist may want more than one copy of his horse - if so, he will have to make prints of it.

Having made the first decision about a medium, there are other, finer points to be settled. There are many different kinds of pencils, charcoals and crayons for drawing, and a number of different methods of painting. If the artist wants to make prints there are several ways of doing this.

Backyard Quorum
Backyard Quorum | Source
Art Lab for Kids: 52 Creative Adventures in Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Paper, and Mixed Media-For Budding Artists of All Ages (Lab Series)
Art Lab for Kids: 52 Creative Adventures in Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Paper, and Mixed Media-For Budding Artists of All Ages (Lab Series)

"Susan Schwake'sArt Lab for Kidsis a well-thought-out guide, making it easy to introduce art into children's lives. Simple, clear explanations of technique, combined with inspiration from established artists, will enable children to feel successful and encouraged to explore art as a form of expression." - Rebecca Emberley, best-selling children's book author and illustrator

 

Painting

Oil, acrylic, watercolor

Oil paint is probably the best-known medium today, as it has been for about six hundred years. It is so called because the granules of color, or pigment, are bound together with linseed and other oils. This paint is usually applied to stretched canvas or to board, both of which are first treated to prevent their absorbing the paint. If these are well prepared and of good quality, a painting should last many years.

In watercolor painting the pigment is bound by gums, such as gum arabic, and the color block or paste is soluble in water. This is used mainly on heavyweight paper or board, and the transparency of the color gives a luminous effect. Gouache paint is also water-soluble, but it is much more opaque than water color and less difficult to apply, as a light color may be painted over a dark one.

Other materials may be used to bind pigments, such as the white of egg used in tempera painting. This paint is used on a wet or dry plaster surface, and it also gives a glowing, transparent effect. When used on wet plaster it is known as fresco.

Mixed Media Art Canvas - Journey

Collage and Mixed Media

The 20th century brought many new methods. One of these was collage, which is painting by sticking down bits of various materials, such as paper, wood, cloth or metal.

There are also new media for binding pigment color, including polymer and acrylic resins. New methods of working, like the spraying of paint from aerosol cans, add to the number of choices now open to the artist. So, too, does the introduction of drawing instruments like ball-point and fiber-tip pens.

Fiesta Wear
Fiesta Wear | Source

Digital Media

Technology contributes the materials, and art finds the uses tor them. Digital interactive media, such as 3D animation, has increased the speed in which an artist can create, but it doesn't replace the artists creative ability and imagination.

Sculpture

The invention of plastics has given the sculptor many new and exciting materials. These are now so numerous that they may be tough, brittle, soft, or even inflatable. And it is no longer necessary for sculpture to convey movement only through its form. Instead, sculpture really can move!

Art at the Speed of Life: motivation + inspiration for making mixed-media art every day
Art at the Speed of Life: motivation + inspiration for making mixed-media art every day

Need high-energy inspiration when your life gets crazy and your art keeps getting pushed to the back burner? Offering terrific mixed-media art projects, as well as tips for getting organized and inspired,Art at the Speed of Lifeis a treasure chest of ideas for the artist whose creative goals sometimes get stymied by the frantic pace of modern life. Author and mixed-media artist Pam Carriker proves that art and life can coexist peacefully, productively, and happily. Making things every day can be a joyful reality instead of just wishful thinking.

 

Printmaking and Photography

Artists who use print-making are also experimenting beyond the traditional methods, which are: raised surface printing, such as linocut and woodcut; lowered surface printing, such as etching; and same-surface printing, such as silk-screen and lithography.

The growth and development of photography has brought possibilities of new methods to add to these old ways.

What is your favorite art medium?

See results

© 2014 Paula Atwell

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Judy Filarecki profile image

      Judy Filarecki 3 years ago from SW Arizona and Northern New York

      Exactly. And no allergic reactions which has been a problem for me.

    • Paula Atwell profile image
      Author

      Paula Atwell 3 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      @Judy and no toxic substance. :)

    • Judy Filarecki profile image

      Judy Filarecki 3 years ago from SW Arizona and Northern New York

      It really is fun, very freeing when it comes to experimenting with techniques and different compositions and there is no messy cleanup.Yah!

    • Paula Atwell profile image
      Author

      Paula Atwell 3 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      @Judy Corel painter sounds fun. I have not had the experience yet. One of these days. . .

    • Judy Filarecki profile image

      Judy Filarecki 3 years ago from SW Arizona and Northern New York

      I have painted with watercolors, pastels, acrylics, tradition oils and water-soluble oils. Because of allergies I very rarely paint with them anymore. Instead I use Corel Painter which has the tools and capability of enabling me to paint with all my traditional techniques in all of the media I have used before and come up with paintings that people are amazed that I did them on the computer. Periodically , I take advantage other special effects that can be accomplished digitally which just adds more fun to painting and allows me to experiment with different approaches.

    • Paula Atwell profile image
      Author

      Paula Atwell 3 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      @Deal While not exactly what this article is discussing, writing is definitely a potential art form.

    • DealForALiving profile image

      Sam Deal 3 years ago from Earth

      To each their own right? I'm not artistic at all when it comes to paints and drawing, but I love writing with pen and paper.

    • Paula Atwell profile image
      Author

      Paula Atwell 3 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      @Chitrangada Thanks. I think that most artists love to get their hands into different media whether it is their favorite or not. We just like getting our hands dirty.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Great hub about artistic media!

      I love art in any form. But I have done lot of oil painting on canvas and fabric painting. I love clay work as well.

      Enjoyed your hub and the pictures are lovely. Voted up and shared on HP!

    • Paula Atwell profile image
      Author

      Paula Atwell 3 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      @Wiccan So true. Acrylic is cleaner and doesn't have fumes.

    • Paula Atwell profile image
      Author

      Paula Atwell 3 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      @teaches There is nothing wrong with pencil. Some amazing pieces have been created with just pencil and paper.

    • Paula Atwell profile image
      Author

      Paula Atwell 3 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      @Suzanne Glad you liked it. Sounds like you have had a lot of experience.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      Very good hub. In painting I started working with acrylic simply because we have such a small apartment that I need to clean up, and it dries nice and fast. So yep, the best medium is sometimes just them most practical.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      I used to spend hours sketching with pencil when I was a child. I only wish I had kept my drawings from back in the days. I admire artists who can use these different media to bring beauty to our world.

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 3 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      I have tried quite a few of these mediums and sculpture is the one where the art can really take off! But you need quite a time investment for that. Usually I use acrylic paint, but I've dabbled in oils as I quite like the idea that oil paintings can last for hundreds of years, whereas acrylics don't. When I went to uni to study art, I enjoyed playing around with the mixed media and charcoal, but I think I'll stick to my winning medium of acrylic painting. Voted interesting!

    • Paula Atwell profile image
      Author

      Paula Atwell 3 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      @Audrey Charcoal has a certain feel. I like the way it blends.

    • Paula Atwell profile image
      Author

      Paula Atwell 3 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      @Sharkye11 Thanks. Pen and ink and pencil are the most difficult for me.

    • Paula Atwell profile image
      Author

      Paula Atwell 3 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      @Nell If you don't want to do it yourself, you can take a class which helps you finish a project.

    • Paula Atwell profile image
      Author

      Paula Atwell 3 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      @Maria Believe it or not, as painting goes, I started with watercolor, not realizing that it was the most difficult. :)

    • Paula Atwell profile image
      Author

      Paula Atwell 3 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      @Vellur Mixed media has become very popular and more mixed as different techniques are discovered.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      I also love pen and ink--and charcoals!

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Love the style of your hub. Very nice flow. I have to vote for pen and ink, since that has been my signature medium for over twenty years. I like working with paint too, but more for crafts than for art.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      Hi, I loved this! I have to go with the Mixed Media, I watched the whole video, it was fascinating and so clever! Wish I had the patience! lol! lovely hub! voted up and shared, nell

    • MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 3 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      Hi, Paula! I started with oils, but the odor gave me headaches. I changed to aqua oils, but when I needed a medium that would dry faster, I changed to acrylics. I still use acrylics, but am occasionally frustrated because they dry so fast. I think my favorite is watercolor -- now that I know that you gain control by giving up control. With watercolor, I can't paint over a mess as I can with acrylics and oils. Now I'm also doing a lot of photography. All have their good points and not-so-good points. You gave a good review of these media, and more. Thanks.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      Great hub about artistic media, I love collage and mixed media.

    • Paula Atwell profile image
      Author

      Paula Atwell 3 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      @billbuc Thanks for visiting. So do an some observe and appreciate.

      @SheGetsCreative Altered art is really interesting.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 3 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Photography is my favorite but I also love digital art and mixed media altered art projects. Nice hub!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I don't think I have an artistic bone in my body, but I am in awe of anyone who is artistic, and I enjoyed this lesson. Thank you!