When you think about being an artist, you might picture painting, drawing, or sculpting. You might feel limited to traditional materials: oils, watercolors, charcoals, or clay. However, artists can create in many ways, and the materials they use are limited only by the artists’ imaginations. There are limitless art mediums from which to choose.

What Is an Art Medium?

When we discuss art mediums, we’re referring to both how you create art and what you use to create it. For example, your art medium might be sculpting with wire and paper-mache. Someone else’s medium might be painting with watercolors on canvas.

What Are Some Art Mediums?

Drawing is probably the most accessible art medium, to begin with, if you’re a new artist. All you need is paper and a pencil. In addition to pencils, you can use charcoal sticks, colored pencils, pens, or ink. You can draw digitally with a computer and mouse, though many artists prefer a tablet and stylus pen for more precision.

Painting is another medium with many options. You’re not limited to traditional canvas. You can paint on woodblock or cloth using pastels, watercolors, acrylics, or oil paints. Alternatively, you can use a computer or tablet to paint digital art.

Three-dimensional art encompasses a variety of mediums. You can sculpt with glass or clay, carve wood or stone, construct objects with found materials, or cast an art with molds.

With photography, you can use traditional film or go digital. You can photograph in black and white or in color. You can focus on a certain style of photography, such as portraits or landscapes.

When using textiles as your medium, you can sew, embroider, knit, and crochet. Examples of common textile art include tapestries, quilts, and clothing.

How to Choose Your Medium

The best way to pick an art medium is to try as many as you can. Start with the one that interests you the most, learn all you can, and then go from there.


Don’t feel limited to using traditional materials. There are countless other ways to create art. For example, perhaps you don’t want to make sculptures, but you enjoy finding unique objects and combining them in interesting ways. Art is what you make of it.