This is so we can round off our perspective on the media people like to use. Last month we looked at your preferred plein air painting media and in May we found out which media people like to use when drawing or sketchingCornelissen's - the pigment and paint counter
(see Art shops in London)
photo copyright Katherine Tyrrell
What is "painting"?
That's a really good question - as the word relates to both the process and the end result. Here's a couple of definitions from the Glossary maintained by the Tate Museum and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
What we call art in all its forms – painting, sculpture, drawing and engraving – appeared in human groups all over the world in the period known as the Upper Paleolithic, which is roughly from 40,000 to 10,000 years ago. In Europe, sophisticated and powerful paintings from this period have been discovered in caves such as Lascaux in France. In 1994 possibly even more astonishing works were found in the Chauvet cave in the Ardèche Valley, also in France. Cave paintings consist of pigments such as coloured earths rubbed onto the rock. In some cases they appear to have been mixed into a paste first. The paintings mostly represent animals but there are some human images. Since then painting has changed in essence very little. Supports evolved from rock faces, through the walls of buildings, to portable ones of paper, wood, and finally cloth, particularly canvas. The range of pigments expanded through a wide range of earths and minerals, to plant extracts and modern synthetic colours. Pigments have been mixed with water and gum to make a paint, but in the fifteenth century in Europe the innovation of using oil (linseed) produced a newly flexible and durable medium that played a major part in the explosion of creativity in Western painting at the Renaissance and after. At the same time subject matter expanded to embrace almost every aspect of life (Genres).
Tate - Glossary - painting
painting - overviewI'm going to keep this really simple and say that from my perspective, I'd differentiate painting as a process and a formal painting as an end product from a sketch or a preliminary study by saying that painting involves:
Art consisting of representational, imaginative, or abstract designs produced by application of coloured paints to a two-dimensional, prepared, flat surface.
The elements of design (i.e., line, colour, tone, texture) are used in various ways to produce sensations of volume, space, movement, and light. The range of media (e.g., tempera, fresco, oil, watercolour, ink, gouache, encaustic, casein) and the choice of a particular form (e.g., mural, easel, panel, miniature, illuminated manuscript, scroll, screen, fan) combine to realize a unique visual image. Painting as an art form dates back to prehistoric cave paintings.
- the application of media using a brush
- and/or converting pigment into a liquid medium
- and/or typically covers the support completely
Media options for painting in the studio
The pros and cons for painting in the studio are a little different than those related to painting plein air. If you have a particular view or perspective on this please do comment on the pros and cons of different media.
The media options in the Opinion Poll are as follows:
- traditional oils
- water miscible oils
- alkyds (fast drying oils)
- watercolour (pans and tubes)
- artist quality ink
- soft/hard pastels
- oil pastels
- coloured pencils
- encaustic (hot wax painting)
- mixed media
You can find the poll in the right hand column - underneath all the smiley faces of my blog 'followers'. As last month, the poll allows multiple responses based on media used on a regular basis rather than those you might use occasionally.
The Poll finishes early on 31st July and I'll post an analysis of the results later the same day. Then the next poll on a new topic will start on 1st August.
Why do you like your chosen media? Do you have any tips you'd like to share?
Please comment - I'd love to hear about why you chose the medium you now work with.
- If you use a different media in the studio compared to when painting plein air I'd be interested hear your reasons behind this decision.
- If you've got any tips for working in the studio with your chosen media please leave them as a comment
- MAM Poll June RESULTS: Preferred plein air painting media
- The Making A Mark Poll - Resources for Artists Find out the results of the monthly Making A Mark Polls for artists. See the charts and read the main findings about topics of interest to artists.