An Introduction To Various Painting Styles

Note: The following is a guest from Geoff Jackson

Art has no definition, no discrimination, no hate, and no limitation. Not everyone can be labelled an artist, as a true artist is someone who enables you to feel and express through his/her piece. Abstract, expressionism, impressionism, realism, and surrealism are just a few styles of painting. An admirer does not need to be a graduate or have background knowledge, to appreciate the beauty and depth of art. Painters have engaged in several styles of painting, so that they can communicate their views on life to the world. All painters have unique ideas and perspectives to their themes and styles. There is no particular style that is best, or one that is harder to portray than the other.


Abstract Art

Abstract art is one of the most popular kinds, as it takes imagination to a whole new level. These pieces do not show a recognisable animal, structure, person, or building. The objects are not shown as they appear in the real world, which makes this type of art in demand and unique. Non-objective art is a type of abstract creation that is not meant to show specific objects. Different colours and shapes are used to show emotion and perspective. Sonia Delaunay and Jackson Pollock were both skilled in this type of art, and are still recognised for their amazing contributions of creativity and originality.



Expressionist Art

Expressionist art represents feeling and emotion. The artists do their best to show affection, sympathy, rage, passion, and grief through their pieces. This style of art isn’t based on how precisely proportioned edges are, or how beautifully flower peddles are placed on a lake. Marc Chagall is famous to this day, due to his intense and influential pieces of expressionist art. The colours that he used were the reason that people would stop to look and appreciate his work. He had the ability to capture an audience, only having used two or three colours on the entire piece. Artists in this field want the world to stop and pay attention, so that they can really understand what the work is about. Most claim that there is always a hidden message behind the scenes of expressionists’ pieces.


Impressionism Art

Impressionism was developed in the late 19th and early 20th century in France. Most of these paintings are outdoor scenes, and do not have much detail. Impressionists do not pay attention to specific aspects, and use bold colours. Claude Monet was an artist of poise and tranquillity, who painted some of the most popular paintings of all time. Water-Lilies painted in 1916, is calm and unique. The colours are blended so well with one another, and the emphasis of the pink lilies attracts your eye to the painting at once. Many ask the question of, how does something with so little detail result in such beauty and grace. These pieces also have a shimmer to them, so that the impression of being in the painting, comes to life. The visible brush strokes, and original themes, keep this style of painting alive and in high demand.


Realism Art

Realism is a kind of art that shows objects exactly as they appear in real life. Realists try to capture the live aspect of what the eyes actually see. Most usually, everyday characters are seen in these paintings. Unattractive women, violent situations, and general dilemmas, are all captured in realism paintings. Unlike the soft look of impressionism, realist painters pay attention to detail and perspective. The perception of depth and perspective are carefully analysed, to create a piece that looks like a viewer could reach out and jump into the painting. Jean-Francois Millet was a French realist painter, famous for The Gleaners 1857. This painting features three African-American women in a field of stray wheat and grains. The usage of emphasising shadows and reflecting lights, make the women come to life. This beautiful creation is still appreciated to this day, due to the significant detail and sympathetic aspect.


Surrealism Art

Dreams and fantasies are the factors that influence surrealist painters. These works consisted of familiar objects, which were designed to look bizarre and mysterious. These works are usually dreamlike images consisting of, unrealistic characters, bright colours, and various dimensions. Salvador Dali, best known for his piece The Persistence of Memory 1931, was a surrealist artist. Surrealist artists like Dali, are very creative as they take part in sculpture, photography, film, etc. Looking at a work of a surrealist, a viewer will feel many emotions as they analyse and gather.


Appreciating Art

Abstract art allows the artist to express himself / herself through shapes, colours, and alternative methods. Many laugh at certain works because they look effortless and basic, but this is what makes them special and valuable. Expressionists intend to express feeling and spirit, not so much physical reality. Impressionism is the form of painting that uses thin visible brush strokes, emphasis on light, etc. When looking at an impressionist painting your eyes are attracted to the colour, shimmer, and depth. Realism is the style of art where the subject of the painting looks full of life. These paintings look as if they are alive from far away, but when you move close-up you realise that it is all just an illusion. Surrealism is one of the most creative styles of painting, as it boosts your imagination to the next level.

Art is a gift to the humankind, and so we should all appreciate it with open minds and positive attitudes. Not stopping to glance at a painting on a wall is rare, as every piece is unique and symbolic. Exhibits are surrounded with loads of paintings and other forms of art, which helps open our eyes to true beauty. Seeing people come to life in a painting through passionate colours, textures, and spiritual effects, is life changing. Every painting or other type of art is sentimental and sensational.

Featured images:
Geoff Jackson published from Fotoviva, a supplier of wall art, canvas prints and acrylic art prints in the UK.