The Basics of Painting

art of painting

Painting is an art in which artists use paint, pigment or other medium to create works of art on a solid surface such as canvas. Artists decide on the medium and the form they wish to use and then use their own techniques to achieve a particular visual image.

Shapes, lines and colours are the basic elements of a painting’s design. These elements combine to produce sensations of volume, space, movement and light that are expressed through the art’s compositional patterns. They may also be used to interpret a narrative theme or express an aesthetic response to nature.

Organic forms (animal, plant)

Organic forms are natural shapes that do not have a specific pattern or symmetry to them. These shapes are often used in paintings to create a sense of movement and the illusion of space, as well as helping to guide the viewer’s eye around the work.

Form is a basic aspect of painting that should be learned early on, and can be used to help you make more interesting paintings as you progress in your artistic journey. By observing your subject, you can start to see the different ways that shapes can be used in your work and begin to build a more complete picture of your subject.


Color is another important element of a painting’s design. It can be the basis for the composition of your work, or it can also be the primary focus of your painting. It can be used to highlight details or contrast with other colors, and it can also help to give the painting a sense of depth.

A painter may choose to use several colours for their paintings, but it is best to keep the colour palette simple. This will help you avoid overdoing the painting and will allow the paint to breathe more easily, which is essential in creating realistically painted works of art.


A texture can be created by using various types of brushes and other implements, such as sponges or an airbrush to apply the paint onto the surface of your painting. This technique is very useful to add dimension to your artwork and can be applied with acrylics or oil paints, as long as you use the right kind of brush and pressure.


When you are painting, it is very important to dab your paint to help add more texture to your work of art. This is especially important if you are using a medium that will not hold the paint such as oil paints. You can dab the paint with a stiff bristle brush, or you can even dab it with a paper towel to help create more texture.


Value is another important aspect of a painting’s design. It is the difference between two objects that makes them appear to have more or less value, and it can be used to show a sense of scale and distance. You can also use this as a way to convey emotion in your work of art by highlighting the different emotions that your painting portrays.