Taking up the art of painting can be a great way not only for people to express themselves and show off their skill and creativity, but it can also an excellent way to relax and rid oneself of stress. An experienced painter will already know what medium, or style, of painting, turns them on. But for someone just starting, that decision can be more difficult. So, to make that decision easier, let’s do a brief rundown on these three different mediums for painting.

Acrylic Painting

Acrylic first became commercially available in the 1950s. This type of medium is especially appealing to beginning painters and other budding artists because of its ease of clean-up and the fact that it is straightforward. They don’t have to worry as much about combining ingredients in the right amounts as they would with oil and watercolor paints. The downside to acrylic paints, however, is the quickness with which it dries. Famous acrylic paintings and their artists include:

    • Campbell’s Soup Cans (Andy Warhol)
    • Drowning Girl (Roy Lichtenstein)

Watercolor Painting

A bit more involved than painting with acrylic paints, watercolor painting, might be better suited for a more experienced painter. This paint medium, consisting of various colors mixed with water, started gaining popularity among US artists in the 19th century. Watercolor painting requires a little more skill than, say, acrylic painting mainly because of the presence of the water—if the painting technique is too heavy, there is the chance that the colors will run. Famous watercolor paintings and their artists include:

    • Woman Sewing (Vincent Van Gogh)
    • Train at Night in the Desert (Georgia O’Keeffe)

Oil Painting

Combine an oil-based paint with either turpentine or linseed oil to create the medium used by artists who specialize in oil painting. One of the oldest painting mediums, oil painting’s roots can be traced back to the 7th century. The trick with oil painting is knowing what to mix with the oil-based paint because turpentine and linseed oil affect drying time differently. Famous oil paintings and their artists include:

    • Mona Lisa (Leonardo da Vinci)
    • The Scream(Eduard Munch)