Help Fund Free Art for Kids

What Are the Different Styles of Painting?

Painting styles for Hillsboro artists
Image Credit: Mr.Whiskey/

Understanding the different styles of painting is a major factor in a child’s artistic development. Whether they are creating art at home or in the classroom, it’s always important to show children the context of an art style – including the technical factors – its history and artist perspectives. The free art lessons created by Golden Road Arts in Hillsboro ensure that students are exposed to all different styles of art as they progress through the curriculum. Here is a look at seven of the most popular of these styles.

7 Popular Styles of Painting

1. Realism

Realism is a style that aims to depict subjects in an accurate and realistic manner. The use of color, composition and even subject matter come together to create a portrayal of everyday life. For realist painters, their works strive to avoid the artistic conventions common in most other art forms. An example can be seen in the woodblock printmaking of Utagawa Hiroshige.

2. Photorealism

Photorealism began in the 1960s as an art movement that attempts to capture the finest details of a photograph in a painting or drawing. Artists working in the photorealist style often paint everyday themes with a sharply focused and painstakingly accurate depiction.

3. Painterly Art

The painterly art style is characterized by visible brushstrokes applied in a loose, free-flowing style. Artists including Vincent van Gogh used the painterly style to great effect, applying broad and dynamic brushstrokes and contrasting colors to produce iconic works.

4. Impressionism

Impressionism evolved primarily around Paris in the late 19th century. Artists were focused on modern themes versus traditional historical or mythological depictions. Paintings feature bold colors with an interest in the light. Impressionist painters also used new ready-made paints to create works at a faster pace.

5. Abstract

Abstract art uses shapes, patterns and colors to create unique and innovative paintings. In contrast with figurative realism, abstract artworks use a visual language that stirs emotions without attempting to represent everyday life. The Dutch painter Piet Mondrian is a much-loved abstract artist.

6. Surrealism

Surrealist art contrasts realistic images with unconventional, imaginative and dream-like concepts. Paintings can be unsettling or confusing, frequently incorporating symbolism, juxtaposed objects and iconography. The Spanish painter Salvador Dalí is among the most celebrated surrealists.

7. Pop Art

An art style and movement from the 1950s, pop art took inspiration from advertising and popular culture. With its bold, colorful imagery and contrast between high-brow and low-brow culture, the genre became an accessible style of art for kids, adults, connoisseurs and newcomers alike.

Learn the Styles of Painting by Watching Our Free Art Lessons

At Golden Road Arts, we provide free lessons for children that cover the different styles of painting and the history of art along with hands-on instructional content. Watch our free art lessons now. You can also help support our goal of delivering free online and in-person art education to kids by making a donation or buying art from our online art gallery.

Artey the Art Bear holding a news for you sign about online art lessons news
Free Summer Art Events for Children

Join Golden Road Arts this summer for free in-person art events and book readings at Hillsboro parks.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Delivered to Your Inbox

Every Child Deserves Access to Art Education

We deliver free art lessons to elementary and middle school children online and at in-person events through partnerships with school districts, libraries and community organizations.

Free Art Lessons

Whether you are a parent, teacher or student our art lessons are free.

Shop Our Art Gallery

The art featured in our online gallery is available for browsing and purchase.

Support free online art lessons for kids

Support Art for Kids

By spreading the word, making a donation or purchasing art you can help us.