5 Different Types of Painting Styles All Art Lovers Must Know About

by | Jun 21, 2021 | News

Do you have an interest in fine arts and want to truly appreciate the iconic paintings hanging in museums around the world? If so, learning about some of the most popular styles of painting will not only allow you to enjoy each piece of art properly but will also help nurture your style.


Popular Types of Painting Styles

Here are some of the most revered painting styles that all art lovers must know about.



Realism has been one of the most popular types of painting styles since the Renaissance.

Most people consider it the “real art” for its closer-to-life depiction of the subjects. These paintings appear just like photographs, featuring smooth textures and a perfect composition of light and dark. Moreover, realist paintings have little to no stylizations.

The famous “Mona Lisa” by Leonardo da Vinci is perhaps the best example of realism in art.



Originating in Paris in the late 19th century, impressionism was all about bold strokes of the brush and unusual angles. This style of art presented its subject in a vibrant and unique style without distorting its realistic appearance. Artists who adopted this painting style refrained from using the black color in their pieces and instead focused on capturing the light.

The iconic “Sunflowers” by Vincent Van Gogh is a great example of impressionist art.



Rejecting the idea of realism, abstract art relies on lines, textures, shapes, and colors to illustrate the essence of its subject. Starting in the 1950s as the Abstract Expressionist movement, this particular painting style may look like a mess to some, but it allows you to interpret the shapes and forms on the canvas as per your liking.

The “Orange, Red, Yellow” by Mark Rothko is a classic example of abstract paintings.



Modernist art also originated in the late 19th century. It shunned realism and rejected the conservative values in art by adopting a more innovative and creative approach. Though considered radical at the time, modernism focused on experimenting with different textures, colors and forms. It essentially had no boundaries, allowing the artist to express themselves uniquely.

Oil paintings such as “The Old Guitarist” by Pablo Picasso are among the most well-known examples of modern art.



The surrealist movement began to gain footing in the 20th century. It focuses on portraying its subjects more realistically while completely removing them from their typical surroundings. Instead, this painting style imagines them in almost paradoxical settings.

The “Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening” by Salvador Dalí is an iconic representation of surrealism in art.

So, which of these types of painting styles resonate with you the most?

If you are interested in visual or performing arts, feel free to browse the classes and camps offered by the Edmond Fine Arts Institute. You can also get in touch with us by calling 405-340-4481 or sending an email at