Amongst the different types of art forms, the visual arts are probably the most popular. Here is the classification based on different criteria.
Art can be classified in 2 categories i.e. fine arts and performing arts. However, the term ‘art’ is considered different from ‘arts’. The former is used to group together only the visual forms of art. Other types such as literature and performing arts do not come under the term ‘art’. A broad classification of visual arts classifies them into different groups like painting, drawing, sculpting, architecture, printmaking, ceramics, photography, collage, digital graphics, film-making, etc. Earlier, handicrafts and applied arts were not part of this category. It was only in the beginning of 20th century that the ‘Arts and Crafts Movement’ (Britain) brought a lease of life to these art forms.
It is said that painting is the art of depicting the beauty of nature. For some, painting could be a medium of expressing their feelings. For others, it could be a way of depicting the surroundings they observe. Painting is basically an art of applying pigment to a surface (medium) like canvas, paper, wall, wood panel, etc. Brush is a tool commonly used for painting.
There are many different forms of painting. Landscape painting and abstract painting are the common types of painting. The classification of paintings is done based on different criteria.
One of the criterion used for classifying the visual arts is the purpose for which they are created. The purpose of indulging into arts could be self-expression, profit-making, religion or giving a social message.
Types Based on Subject Matter
Generally the subjects chosen for painting are nature, people, wildlife, objects, events, places, etc. The subject matter or topic chosen for creation of artworks is therefore, one of the important criteria for classifying visual arts.
Based on the medium or materials used, paintings can be classified into different types such as acrylic, watercolor, mural, etc.
A sculpture is a three-dimensional artwork created with the help of materials like rocks, wood, plastic, clay, etc. Carving out a sculpture and assembling it are the 2 different ways. In some cases, sculptures may also be painted. The different types of sculptures are described below.
This kind of sculpture is referred to as ‘in the round’ and it can be viewed from different angles.
This form of sculpture created from light is also known as light art. The fusion of modern art with creative use of artificial lights has led to the development of light art.
It is a form of artwork in which sound is produced. Maryanne Amacher, Dennis Bathory-Kitsz, Alexander Calder and Harry Bertoia were amongst notable artists in this field.
In this form of sculpture, artworks are raised from a plane at which the base or main work is presented. Such artworks are generally observed on the walls of historic buildings. Stone and wood are the materials used for these sculptures. Chiseling the surface to create a raised sculpture is a tedious job involved in making these sculptures.
There are many different shapes carved out of precious stones, metals, shells, etc. to make jewelry items.
New Age Visual Arts
The new age arts are a product of industrial revolution. Development of technology leads to use of different techniques for creating these artworks. Photography is one such art to have developed with the invention of camera and photographic film.
In the art of photography, pictures or images are created with the help of different light patterns. These light patterns when emitted or reflected from the surface of objects are captured on a sensitive medium (earlier times) or storage chips (nowadays). Lens of a camera plays an important part in capturing images. The lens helps focus the light emitted from the object to be photographed. The table given below presents a list of different types of photography.
The digital or computer art is widely used in creating websites, video games, clip arts, templates etc. Use of computer in the field of visual arts began in the 1960s. In today’s digital art industry, animation is the buzzword. Use of 3D animation techniques is made in many different fields like filmmaking, TV advertising, web advertising, etc. Digital technology has given a boost to the art industry since newer and innovative tools have been developed.
The art of filmmaking comes under the discipline of visual arts. However, scriptwriting, music, and many such arts converge and complement each other in this art form. A story or script is the core or soul of a film. It acts as a thread that guides the process of making a film. Incorporating features like audio and video offer viewers with a complete and fulfilling experience. It is the main reason why movies have become so popular.
The topic of visual arts is vast and a rough outline of different forms of these arts is presented above. Many other art forms like literature and performing arts are however, not included. The brief account of different types of art presented above should help readers gain a better understanding of them.