In this article, you will find the different types of paint and their definitions. This will help you better understand your universe and know which category you fall into. 

1 – Abstract

Abstract painting is one of the main trends that have emerged in 20th century painting. The painter dispenses with a model and “abstracts” from the visual reality that he does not try to reproduce.

Abstract painting does not represent natural, real or imaginary subjects or objects but only shapes and colors. It is the harmony of these shapes and colors that the painter will transcribe and share on his canvas, with a completely personal vision.

2 – Cubism

The painters Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso were at the initiative of this artistic movement which appeared in 1907 and developed until 1914. But after the First World War, this movement ran out of steam until it died out. In the 1920’s.

The principle of cubism is to represent on a single plane, in a geometric way, all the faces of a pattern.

3 – Daily painting

Daily painting (or painting on a daily basis) consists of making one painting per day. This practice is a great way to progress quickly and build your own style.

The idea of ​​daily painting was born in the mind of Duane Keiser for ten years. Since then, this movement has grown and many painters have started to follow it around the world.  

The regularity of this practice constrains small formats and imposes personal requirements and attendance.

The time constraint leaving little room for reflection, daily painting favors working with a limited palette as well as having a good knowledge of its brushes and brushes to guarantee good results. Often, daily painters paint small still lifes. 

4 – Expressionism

The expressionist movement developed from 1905 in northern Europe and more particularly in Germany. Later, it was condemned by the Nazi regime which considered it to be a degenerate art.

Expressionism tends to distort reality to elicit an emotional reaction from the viewer. The motifs are often agonizing representations, distorting reality for greater expressive intensity.

We can say that expressionism has been strongly influenced by psychoanalysis which is developing at the same time, as well as research on symbolism.

5 – Fauvism

Fauvism in painting is a current which developed in 1905 in France, alongside Expressionism which developed in Germany. It ended in 1910.

Henri Matisse was the leader.

Fauvist painters use large flat areas of pure, vivid and violent colors. They separate the color from its attachment to the object to accentuate the expression.

This current is close to expressionism .

6 – Figurative

Figurative art, especially in painting, is an artistic style that takes real objects as a model, changes or deforms them to convey a message.

Often the term “figurative” is taken to mean “which represents human or animal. Although this is often true, it is not a generality. Figurative painting represents not only human beings but also figures. objects, landscapes, animals, flowers … This representation refers to reality but was born in the only imagination of the artist who does not endeavor to scrupulously reproduce reality or even to use academic bases.

9 – Impressionism

French pictorial movement of the second half of the 19th century created by artists on the fringes of official art.

The impressionist seeks to represent the motif according to the light and its effects. Impressionism uses color as the only tool of composition, not seeking meaning but form, which it reinvents by painting the moment according to the scientific laws of visual perception.

Strongly criticized at its beginnings, this movement marked the break between modern art and academicism.  Impressionism is notably characterized by a tendency to note fleeting impressions, the mobility of phenomena, rather than the stable and conceptual aspect of things, and to transfer them directly to the canvas.

12 – Pop Art

Pop art is a movement of the 1950s and 1960s mainly in the United States and Great Britain.

His inspirational subjects are drawn from the customs, objects and media of Western and particularly American consumer society. The colors are often bright and out of step with reality. The advertising culture of the company is a great source of inspiration for pop art, which, in the same way, marks the unconscious from childhood with the aim of desacralizing the work of art that was previously reserved for an elite.

Andy Warold (1928-1987) is considered one of the fathers of pop art.

13 – Realism

Realism is an artistic movement of the 19th century (around 1850 to 1885). He made the transition between Romanticism and Impressionism .  

Realism studies reality in its authenticity and aims to depend on the subject as frankly as possible, without idealizing them and without applying rules of formal theory.

Most often, the subjects are the daily life of the common people.

14 – Romanticism

Current which dominates from the end of the 18th century to the middle of the 19th century. Romanticism is inspired by current events in different European countries such as France, Germany, the United Kingdom; facts that the artist transforms into legends.

The romantic painter is also inspired by the immensity of still virgin nature. He will strive to show that nature is all-powerful by depicting steep mountains or erupting volcanoes.

Among the romantic painters, we should mention Eugène Delacroix.

15 – Street art

Street art or urban art is a contemporary artistic movement that brings together all forms of art practiced in the street or other public places.

Mainly an ephemeral art, it encompasses various methods such as graffiti, stencil, tag, mosaic, etc …

Long prohibited and condemnable, more and more cities and towns now provide graffiti artists with walls so that they can practice their art legally.


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