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Painting Styles

Appreciation of fine art calls for understanding the range of art styles to admire and choose from. Here goes seven popular painting styles

Realism (Naturalism) This is the ary without stylization or following the rules of formal artistic theory. Artist spends a fair amount of time and effort paying attention to creating an accurate depiction of life forms and objects, perspective creating the illusion of reality, good composition, lights and darks, and color and tone.

Photorealism Here, the illusion of reality is so minutely fine tuned that the painting looks exactly like a large, sharply focused photograph on canvas or other paint support. It is a style where careful detail down to the last grain of sand on the seashore or the pores and wrinkles on a person’s face has been included.

Painterly Application of paint in a ‘loose’ or less than controlled manner, resulting in the appearance of visible brushstrokes within the finished painting.

Impressionism This is more a representation of an artist’s impression. It does not try to be accurate in its detail, but rather, is more like an expression of the heart. Generally, this style of painting that has the appearance of being rough and unfinished, and characterized by small, thin visible brushstrokes.

Abstract (Also known as Modern / Contemporary Art) This style in general does not resemble anything in real life. It’s an art style that is intentionally non-representational and seeks to achieve its point or subject using shapes, forms, colors, and textures.

Surrealism This is characterized by dream-like visuals, the use of symbolism, and collage images. Surrealist paintings are often illogical and express imaginative dreams with visions that emphasize the subconscious rather than rationale.

Pop Art It began as a revolt against the dominant approaches to art and culture and traditional views on what art should be. The movement presented a challenge to traditions of fine art by including imagery from popular and mass culture, such as advertising, comic books and mundane mass-produced cultural objects.

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