Material for fine arts: Painting techniques

Do you know the different techniques that are applied when making a painting? Today in Bogarra we talk to you about the different methods that exist to turn painting into a work of art.

Through the artistic painting we can represent the art combining different elements and material of fine arts like pigments or different synthetic or organic agglutinating substances.

In order to achieve this art we must use some painting techniques, techniques that we must carry out with different previous knowledge such as color theory and pictorial composition and drawing.

There are many methods that can be used when painting a picture, which will be divided depending on the dissolution and fixation of the pigments on the support in which it will be painted.

The different painting techniques that we find in the world of fine arts are the following:

Watercolours and gouache:

This technique is used when we use gum arabic to fix the pigment and we also use water as a solvent. We must dissolve the gum in water so that it fixes more easily on the paper, which will also later act as a varnish effect and give more shine to the painting. Watercolours are made of finely ground pigments which are bound in gum arabic. It is very important that the artist knows how to use the watercolor because to achieve a good result he will have to make the strokes in a very safe and spontaneous way.


Drawing is, perhaps, one of the most common painting techniques, which is carried out using different lines or shadows that represent objects or people, whether they are real or the result of the imagination. To carry out this technique, pencil, charcoal or chalk, ink or even a combination of some of the elements mentioned above are usually used.


Also known as “Gouache”, it is a water-based painting technique and usually opaque. This painting is made from ground pigment but not as fine as watercolors, which makes the color more opaque. Like watercolors, gum arabic is also used as a binder, however, many gouaches now also contain plastic. The result with this technique is more solid but less luminous colours.


The essential elements for airbrushing are aerosols, sprays or acrylic paints. With this kind of techniques, paintings such as landscapes or imaginary places are usually made.


It is said that acrylic painting techniques are used when the materials that are diluted in water are synthetic. This type of painting is packaged in tubes and has a viscous texture very similar to oil. This resemblance to oil has made many artists prefer acrylic oil paints because it does not give off toxic fumes among other advantages, however acrylic has a much shorter drying time.


Another major element of fine art material is cakes. These are powdered pigments that must be mixed with gum or resin to obtain a dry and compact paste that will allow them to bind. These paints are made from a moulded paste in the shape of a bar of approximately eight centimetres. It will be applied directly to the surface we want to work on, usually paper or wood. They are opaque and strong colors.


The painting techniques made from fresco are based on ground earth pigments combined with pure water. This mixture will be applied on a recent lime mortar in the form of calcium hydroxide and sand. The lime is transformed into calcium carbonate thanks to the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the pigment is thus crystallised. This is a very laborious technique but once it is known and correctly performed it is very simple.


Ink is usually in liquid form but sometimes also in solid bar form which must be diluted before use. Also known as Indian ink, this technique is used on paper and the most common colors are black and sepia. It can be applied in different ways, it all depends on what we want to use them for, whether for drawing or calligraphy. Nibs or pens will be used that will be loaded with ink and with which you can draw or write.

Wooden engraving:

As the name says, the technique of engraving consists of making different incisions on a surface. This surface will be inked and applied on a paper, thus obtaining the image that had been made. From these insertions made it will be possible to obtain different identical copies, one of the advantages that not many techniques have. Once we have the image we want, we can choose to have it framed and thus highlight the work of art.