The oldest known paintings are at the Grotte Chauvet in France, which some historians believe are about 32,000 years old. They are engraved and painted using red ochre and black pigment, and they show horses, rhinoceros, lions, buffalo, mammoth, abstract designs and what are possibly partial human figures. However, the earliest evidence of the act of painting has been discovered in two rock-shelters in Arnhem Land, in northern Australia. In the lowest layer of material at these sites, there are used pieces of ochre estimated to be 60,000 years old. Archaeologists have also found a fragment of rock painting preserved in a limestone rock-shelter in the Kimberley region of North-Western Australia, that is dated 40,000 years old.[7] There are examples of cave paintings all over the world—in Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, China, Australia, Mexico,[8] etc. In Western cultures, oil painting and watercolor painting have rich and complex traditions in style and subject matter. In the East, ink and color ink historically predominated the choice of media, with equally rich and complex traditions.


Surrealism developed out of the Dada activities of World War I and the most important center of the movement was Paris. From the 1920s onward, the movement spread around the globe, eventually affecting the visual arts, literature, film and music of many countries and languages, as well as political thought and practice, philosophy and social theory.

Digital painting is a method of creating an art object (painting) digitally and/or a technique for making digital art in the computer. As a method of creating an art object, it adapts traditional painting medium such as acrylic paint, oils, ink, watercolor, etc. and applies the pigment to traditional carriers, such as woven canvas cloth, paper, polyester etc. by means of computer software driving industrial robotic or office machinery (printers). As a technique, it refers to a computer graphics software program that uses a virtual canvas and virtual painting box of brushes, colors and other supplies. The virtual box contains many instruments that do not exist outside the computer, and which give a digital artwork a different look and feel from an artwork that is made the traditional way. Furthermore, digital painting is not 'computer-generated' art as the computer does not automatically create images on the screen using some mathematical calculations. On the other hand, the artist uses his own painting technique to create the particular piece of work on the computer.[25]


Abstract painting uses a visual language of form, colour and line to create a composition that may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world.[29][30] Abstract expressionism was an American post-World War II art movement that combined the emotional intensity and self-denial of the German Expressionists with the anti-figurative aesthetic of the European abstract schools—such as Futurism, Bauhaus and Cubism, and the image of being rebellious, anarchic, highly idiosyncratic and, some feel, nihilistic.[31]


Historically, the painter was responsible for the mixing of the paint; keeping a ready supply of pigments, oils, thinners and driers. The painter would use his experience to determine a suitable mixture depending on the nature of the job. In modern times, the painter is primarily responsible for preparation of the surface to be painted, such as patching holes in drywall, using masking tape and other protection on surfaces not to be painted, applying the paint and then cleaning up.[2]

Aerosol paint (also called spray paint) is a type of paint that comes in a sealed pressurized container and is released in a fine spray mist when depressing a valve button. A form of spray painting, aerosol paint leaves a smooth, evenly coated surface. Standard sized cans are portable, inexpensive and easy to store. Aerosol primer can be applied directly to bare metal and many plastics.


A painter and decorator works with homeowners and commercial business managers to design and create a color/decoration scheme for homes and businesses. This usually means talking with a client to determine particular likes and dislikes in regard to interior design and decoration, making suggestions, and creating an overall project plan that meets the needs of the client. Some clients have clear ideas for their project, while others may want the painter to take the lead and be responsible for developing overall themes and designs. Either way, the position requires considerable experience with interior design, excellent decoration and aesthetic skills, and knowledge of materials and techniques.
If working inside a person’s home, special attention will need to be paid to the different problems that can be encountered, such as those presented by pets and furniture. It is also essential to respect the private space of the client, and to work appropriately within it. If working for a construction firm, dangerous situations can be encountered, such as working at heights and employing the use of safety harnesses and ropes. Working outside brings with it its own hazards and difficulties, and the worker will need to plan for these accordingly through the types of clothing worn and the equipment used. The days can be long, and the hours can vary significantly. If self-employed, planning is essential to fit in as many jobs as is appropriate for the week, in order to avoid long spells of little work, or booking too many jobs into a short period of time. It is also possible that some jobs will require unsociable hours of work, such as working at the weekend. Although the profession is traditionally male dominated, more women are now being encouraged into the trade.
Painters deal practically with pigments,[6] so "blue" for a painter can be any of the blues: phthalocyanine blue, Prussian blue, indigo, Cobalt blue, ultramarine, and so on. Psychological and symbolical meanings of color are not, strictly speaking, means of painting. Colors only add to the potential, derived context of meanings, and because of this, the perception of a painting is highly subjective. The analogy with music is quite clear—sound in music (like a C note) is analogous to "light" in painting, "shades" to dynamics, and "coloration" is to painting as the specific timbre of musical instruments is to music. These elements do not necessarily form a melody (in music) of themselves; rather, they can add different contexts to it.
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