Looking at a great painting, it can be hard to remember that every artist was once an absolute beginner. In life, few are born with a gift of amazing painting talent, and almost everyone had to learn from scratch. When it comes to selecting different mediums, there are numerous opportunities for the beginning student to explore. In the art world, common painting media comes in a variety of different medium classifications; the medium refers to the type of material used to create an artwork. For painting there are twelve popular and basic types of mediums; these are acrylic, watercolor, oil, pastel, ink, hot wax, fresco, gouache, enamel, spray paint, tempera, and water miscible oil paint. The history and inspiration of modern day art will shed some light for a beginning artists. They are able to choose one or all to create an artwork of their own.
Of the three beginner mediums, the first is acrylic. Crawshaw (1982) stated acrylic paint is fast drying paint containing pigment suspension in acrylic polymer emulsion. Acrylic paints can be diluted with water, but become water-resistant when dry ( pp.8). Acrylic paint began in 1901 by Dr. Otto, a German chemist, which made the first synthetic acrylic resin. DuPont brought the German paint into American production in the 1930’s and then later on in the 1950’s acrylic paint finally was placed in the commercial market. Acrylic paint is now here and every starting artist begins here because of the simplicity of the medium. This type can also mimic watercolor or oil simply by diluting with water or modified with gels, media, or pastels (Crawshaw, 1982, p.8). When I started painting, acrylic was the first medium I started with, and it open the world of painting to me.
Secondly, Bays (1997) illustrated that watercolor is the result of plants made into pigments that create transparent and luminous artwork (p8). “Watercolor is an extremely old medium that perhaps dates back to cave paintings in the manuscript illumination from ancient Egyptian times. This is one of the most dominant mediums in Asia, Europe, and America in both ancient and modern world” (Watercolor, n.d). It is a frequent medium choice for beginners.
The third and hardest, “oil painting is the process of painting with pigments that are bound with a medium of drying oil. Oil painting is known as the hardest medium to work with because of the mixture of oils and paints and also because of the long drying period,” said Cherepov” (1971, p.14). Evidence of oil paint dates back to Afghanistan. In the 15th century, Northern Europe was the first to utilize oil as a painting medium that explored the use of layers and glazes. Oil painting applies different varieties of natural oil to create special effects with the paint. Modern artists like Justyna Kopania use oil for its beautiful texture, color, and form.
The next nine important mediums may be introduced to the beginner in no set manner or time frame. They may include ink, which is done with liquid that contains pigments, dyes, and other materials. Ink painting has a rich Asian history. The earliest ink painting was created in the Jin Dynasty 265- 420 B.C. This complex medium depends on the brushstrokes that make it thick or thin. Ink has become more popular with mixed employing media conspiring different mediums, conspiring to create more interesting artwork.
The next example, encaustic painting, also known as hot wax painting, involves using heated beeswax to which colored pigments are added. The liquid/paste is then applied to a surface usually prepared wood, though canvas and other materials are often used. Hot wax or encaustic painting was discovered in Egypt around 100-300 A.D. It also caught on in the Philippines and the Samar Island from the early 1600’s to the late 1800’s. In the 20th century, artists like Jasper Johns, Tony Scherman, and Fernando Leal Audirae used this painting medium by infusing melted beeswax and color pigments to