The Battle of Art Mediums | Angela Zhang

The Battle of Art Mediums
Angela Zhang

The world of art exists in countless forms and mediums. Artists choose their medium of art
based on their different passion and styles. Some artists combine one media with another,
others create a media unique to their selves. Here is a look at the pros and cons of the most
common mediums used in art.

Simple and traditional, pencil sketching is one of the art mediums that requires the least
amount of time to set up. Grab a 4B pencil and a sketchbook, you can travel around the world
and capture all the scenery and people you discover. Sketching is often viewed as a medium
that helps an artist establish fundamental techniques in art. Whether it is perspective, light and
shade, or structure, pencil sketching, although only in black and white, provides an artist with
the basic foundation to the world of color.

Colored Pencils
Pencils with color. They can help an artist create an extremely photorealistic portrait or
establish an accurate texture of an object. Sharpening the pencils can really be time
consuming, and you might get judged by your artist friends (if you have any), if you sharpen
them with a pencil sharpener (they say you are supposed to sharpen it with an artist knife,
whatever that means?).

As one of the most care-free and relaxed mediums, watercolor is a favorite of plenty of artists.
It is a medium that is fast and easy to learn. Whether you are done with a piece or not, and
incomplete piece can look completed with watercolor because of how light the strokes can be.
However, there is no going back in watercolor. Once color is put down on the paper, it cannot
be erased or covered by another color.

Acrylic Paint
This is basically your most typical paint that you probably painted with sometime in elementary
school. Acrylic paint is a common medium used due to its vibrant colors and how fast they dry.
And if you make a mistake? Don’t worry, just cover it up with another layer of acrylic. (Or paint
away the entire canvas if you get way too frustrated with an art piece.) Trust me, it works like a

Oil Paint
You may notice that a lot of historically famous paintings were done in oil paint. Especially in
the impressionism and post-impressionism period, well known artists such as Van Gogh and
Monet used oil paint in many of their paintings. Oil paint is a rich medium that blends very
easily, it works great with skin textures while painting a portrait, but also adds a unique style to
other kinds of paintings, such as landscapes. Because of how slow oil paint dries, the artist can
have plenty of time to work back and forth on a section in the painting, unlike acrylic. This can also cause

the painting to take a very long period of time to finish and render to become one of
the finest ones in your portfolio.

Modern and digitalized, photography opens a brand-new world in art for artists that love to
explore. Technologies enable photographers to bring a camera with them and constantly create
gorgeous art. Editing software also helps a photographer fine tune their pictures after the
photos are taken. Some artists also like to use one of their own photos as reference for a

There are many more mediums of art that are well loved by artists that were not mentioned. If
you are an artist looking to try something new, explore the mediums you have not used before.
Come out of the one-style-only bubble that may be restricting you to find something you truly
love. There is no best or worst medium in art, each one of them shines in a unique way. It is just
a matter of what you prefer.