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3 Tutorials that teach Painting
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Painting

Painting

Author: Ian McConnell
Description:

This lesson will present a few examples of the main types of painting.

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Tutorial

Painting!

Exploring paint and its types.

Video Transcription

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Hello. I'd like to welcome you to this episode of Exploring Art History with Ian. My name is Ian McConnell. And today's lesson is about painting. As you're watching the video, feel free to pause, move forward or rewind as many times as you feel is necessary. As soon as you're ready, we can begin.

Today's objectives, or the things you're going to learn today, are listed below. By the end of the lesson today, you will be able to identify and define today's key terms, explain the differences in types of paint, and some advantages and disadvantages of using different types of paint.

Key terms, as always, are listed in yellow throughout the lesson. The first key term is oil, a type of paint that uses linseed oil as a binder.

Acrylic is a type of paint developed in the late 20th century that use synthetic polymers as binders. It is very fast drying compared to oil.

Watercolor is a type of paint in which the pigment is temporarily suspended in water.

Tempera is a type of paint that uses egg yolk as a binder.

And key terms continued. Encaustic is a type of painting that uses beeswax as a binder.

And Pigment are fragments of color, usually ground minerals, sometimes also plant dyes or synthetic colors.

And a Binder is the liquid substance that holds pigments together and helps them adhere, or stick, to the surface of the painting.

Today's Big Idea is that paint is a combination of a pigment, which is a color, with a binder, a liquid that keeps it together.

So what is paint? Let me start by explaining, anyway, what paint is in a very simplistic way. So let's zoom in on a drop of binder, which is a liquid like oil or water, for example. Suspended within that binder are particles of pigment, or color. And when the paint is applied to the surface of something, the binder helps the particles to adhere, or stick, to the surface, before eventually evaporating, or drying, leaving only the pigment behind.

Next we're going to look at types of paint, each with an example of artwork that was made using that particular type of paint. The first is oil paint, which is a pigment suspended in an oil-based binder, usually linseed oil. And linseed oil comes from flax seeds.

So why do we care? Well, oil painting emerged as the preferred paint of choice in Europe during the 15th century. And it's relatively easy to work. It holds color very well. And it's easy to combine other colors with. The artwork produced will often last a long time, assuming that proper precautions were taken while working with it.

Now acrylic paint is a relative newcomer, emerging during the 1950's. It is a pigment suspended in a synthetic, which means artificially made binder, as opposed to linseed oil, which is naturally produced by flax seeds. And why do we care? Well, the emergence of acrylic paints allowed for experimental types of artwork to be produced that wouldn't, or couldn't, have been possible with oil paints, because of their much slower drying times. Acrylic paint dries pretty quickly and was the paint of choice for artists like Jackson Pollock, who relied on it to create his splatter, or drip, style paintings.

Watercolor paint is a pigment suspended in a water binder. And you may have had experience with watercolors as a little kid. Being water-based means cleanup is much easier, which makes parents happy. So why do we care? Watercolor paints are very easily blended and allow for a translucency, or near transparency, that is very difficult with other types of paint, even when thinning them down.

So some artists find that they produce a more natural or realistic color effect. And again, that's open to interpretation, particularly when objects like water-- or with objects like water or the sky, where the colors tend to fade into each other.

Tempera paint is a pigment suspended in a protein binder, typically egg yolk or milk casein, which is the protein part of milk. And why do we care? It's one of the earliest types of paint used, and it tends to produce a nice glossy finish, so it's very long lasting and durable. It's also important in its use with Fresco Secco, which is painting on dry plaster. And the binder that's in the tempera paint helps in moistening the plaster and helps with adhesion.

Encaustic paint is a pigment suspended in a beeswax binder. And why do we care? Well, again, it's one of the earliest types of paint. And one of the interesting things about it is that in order to work with it, the artist uses hot metal tools to help manipulate and blend the wax, rather than the typical paint brush. The earliest examples of encaustic painting are the Fayum mummy portraits from Egypt, dated between 100 and 300 AD.

Let's take a look at our objectives for today and see how we did. Now that you've seen the lesson, are you able to identify and define today's key terms? Can you explain the difference in types of paint and some advantages and disadvantages of using different types of paint?

Once again, the big idea for today is that paint is a combination of a pigment, that is a color, with a binder, a liquid that keeps it all together.

Well, that's it. I'd like to thank you for joining me, and I'll see you next time.

Citations

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Oil

    A type of paint that uses linseed oil as a binder.

  • Acrylic

    A type of paint developed in the late twentieth century that uses synthetic polymers as binders. It is very fast drying compared to oil.

  • Watercolor

    A type of paint in which the pigment is temporarily suspended in water.

  • Tempera

    A type of paint that uses egg yolk as a binder.

  • Encaustic

    A type of painting that uses beeswax as a binder.

  • Pigment

    Fragments of color, usually ground minerals, sometimes also plant dyes or synthetic colors.

  • Binder

    The liquid substance that holds pigments together and helps them adhere to the surface of a painting.