Painting Styles

There are many types of styles in the painting world. Each has its own distinct style of creativity and in this article, we will discuss 5 of those painting styles.

This painting style was birthed in 1860 but it seemed to fade by 1970 as a widespread painting style. Over the decades, people tried to define the painting style but they were really never successful in their endeavors. Finally, the art critics came up with a definition which is ambiguous at best. It was defined as the foremost painting style lasting about 110 years. It was a radical style for its time because it took all the creative restrains off the artist.

The artist would combine many different techniques into the modernism style so you would be unbridled in what to paint on the canvass. This way, you would not be defined by the confines of the traditional painting style. You will notice that the details of the painting will be abstract in nature. For instance, you may find trees blended with squares in such a manner that you do not know where the trees begin or the squares end.


Impressionism was invented in the late 19th century in Paris. Paint critics noticed the style but not for the proper reasons. The main characteristics of this painting genre are the small and subtle strokes, odd angles as well as common objects, and the effect of never using black in the paintings. The paintings were to take the place of photography which at the time lacked in colors.

The impressionist artists would mix and blend colors together to make up for the lack of “black effects” in the paintings. The focus of the style evolved around natural landscapes and stressed natural lighting within the painting.

boats painting

The cubism style uses geometric shapes to define the object being painted. The different shapes were creatively blended to illustrate the object. The outstanding characteristic of this painting style is that it is an exact form of abstract painting.

It came into existence before the abstract painting style was birthed. There were a few famous artists who popularized this style in their day and, the painting world was never the same after the birth of cubism.


Surreal is the key concept in this style of painting. It is a subtle form of abstract painting because you blend two objects together quietly. You need to pay attention to the details of the painting or you will miss the objects blending.

For instance, there is a painting that illustrates a hot air balloon flying high in the clouds. Offhand, you would think the balloon was just flying through the clouds but upon closer examination, you notice the balloon is a part of the clouds. It is two natural objects blending together to become one. You really have to look to find these hidden details in the painting.


No painting style expresses the deepest cries of the human heart as expressionism does. The focus of the expressionist artist was to either express the inner workings of his heart or to elicit a deeply moving response from the viewer of the painting. Jackson Pollock had a very unique style of expressionist painting.

He would rarely use paint strokes on the canvass but would instead pour the paint directly on the canvass. His purpose was to show the natural flow of the paints as they fell on the painting, and his paintings rarely had defined images in them. Vincent Van Gogh was another famous expressionist painter.


We have just reviewed some of the most popular painting styles you will discover in the art world. In one form or another, they all branch off from the abstract painting style. Each style has its own unique abstract element. You need to observe each of these painting styles to find that abstract style.