Do You Know Your Art?

Art comes in many styles and forms. According to the Encyclopedia of Art, quite a few styles and forms. How many of these do you know?

Animation Art

Derived from the Latin meaning “to breathe life into” animation is the visual art of creating a motion picture from a series of still drawings.



Best understood as the applied art of building design. Historically has exerted significant influence on the development of fine art through architectural styles like Gothic, Baroque and Neoclassical.

Art Brut

Painting, drawing, and sculpture by artists on the margin of society, or in mental hospitals, or children. (English category is Outsider art.)

Assemblage Art

A contemporary form of sculpture, comparable to collage, in which a work of art is built up or “assembled” from 3-D materials (typically “found” objects).

Body Art

One of the oldest (and newest) forms – includes body painting and face painting, as well as tattoos, mime, “living statues” and “performances” by artists.


Practiced widely in the Far East and among Islamic artists, calligraphy is regarded by the Chinese as the highest form of art.


A type of plastic art, ceramics refers to items made from clay and baked in a kiln.


Composition consisting of various materials like newspaper cuttings, cardboard, photos, fabrics and the like, pasted to a board or canvas. May be combined with painting or drawings.

Computer Art

Includes all computer-generated forms of fine or applied art, including computer-controlled types. Also known as Digital, Cybernetic, or Internet art.

Conceptual Art

A contemporary art form that places focus on the concept or idea behind a work of art, rather than the work itself.

Design (Artistic)

This refers to the plan involved in creating something according to a set of aesthetics. Examples of artistic design movements include: Art Nouveau, Art Deco, De Stijl, Bauhaus, Ulm Design School and Postmodernism.


A drawing can be a complete work, or a type of preparatory sketching for a painting or sculpture. A central issue in fine art concerns the relative importance of drawing (line) versus color. Media includes chalk, charcoal, Conté crayon, pen and ink, pencil, markers, and more.

Folk Art 

Mostly crafts and utilitarian applied arts made by rural artisans.

Graffiti Art

Contemporary form of street aerosol spray-painting that emerged in East Coast American cities during the late 1960s/early 1970s.

Graphic Art

Types of visual expression defined more by line and tone rather than color. Includes drawing, cartoons, caricature art, comic strips, illustration, animation and calligraphy, as well as all forms of traditional printmaking. Also includes postmodernist styles of word art (text-based graphics).

Icons (Icon Painting)

A religious work of art, most commonly a painting, from the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, and certain Eastern Catholic churches.

Illuminated Manuscripts

This principally refers to religious texts (Christian, Islamic, Jewish) embellished with figurative illustrations and/or abstract geometric designs.


A form of painting, drawing or other graphic art that explains, clarifies, pictorializes or decorates written text.


A new category of contemporary art, which employs various 2-D and 3-D materials to create a particular space designed to make an impact on the viewer/visitor.

Jewelry Art

Practiced by goldsmiths, as well as other master-craftsmen like silversmiths, gemologists, diamond cutters/setters and lapidaries.

Junk Art

Artworks made from ordinary, everyday materials, or “found objects” of which Marcel Duchamp’s “ready-mades” are a sub-category. Typically includes 3-D works like sculpture, assemblage, collage, or installations.

Land Art

A relatively new category of contemporary art, also called Earth art, earthworks, or Environmental art. The materials used were often the materials of the Earth, including the soil, rocks, vegetation, and water found on site. A reaction against the commercial art world.

Metalwork Art

Embraces goldsmithing, the fashioning of precious metals into objects d’art, as well as enamelwork techniques like cloisonné, plique-à-jour, champlevé, and encrusted enameling.

Mosaic Art 

An ancient art form developed by Ancient Greek and Byzantine artists who created pictorial designs out of glass tesserae.

Outsider Art

Art by self-taught or naïve art makers. Typically, those labeled as outsider artists have little or no contact with the mainstream art world or art institutions. (French category is Art Brut.)


Since classical antiquity the highest form of Western art, painting has been dominated by Renaissance-style “Academic Art.” Until the invention of pre-mixed paints and the collapsible paint tube in the mid-19th century, painters had to create their own color pigments from natural plants and metal compounds. Includes styles such as encaustic painting, gouache, ink and wash, oils, miniatures, tempera, watercolors, and more.

Performance Art (and Happenings)

A 20th century art form involving a live performance by the artist before an audience. The form was explored and developed by exponents of Futurism, Constructivism, Dada, Surrealism and later contemporary art movements.


A 20th century medium by which the artist captures pictorial images on film as opposed to the traditional fine art supports of canvas, paper or board. New computer software graphics programs have created new opportunities for editing and image manipulation.

Poster Art

Peaked during the French Belle Époque and the Art Nouveau era.

Primitive Art

Associated with Aboriginal, African, Oceanic and other tribal cultures; also embraces Outsider art.


The process of making original prints by pressing an inked block or plate onto a receptive support surface, typically paper. Includes engraving, etching, lithography, woodcuts, screen-printing, and more.

Religious Art

Typically architecture, or any fine or decorative arts with a religious theme: includes Christian or Islamic, Hindu, Buddhism or any of a hundred different sects.

Rock Art

Traditionally encompasses primitive stone engravings (petroglyphs), relief sculptures, cave painting (pictographs) and megaliths of the Stone Age.

Sand Art

Encompasses sand painting (Navajo Indians, Tibetan Buddhists), sand drawing (Vanuatu, formerly New Hebrides), sand sculpture and architecture.


Sculpture is a three-dimensional work of plastic art created either by (1) Carving – in stone, marble, wood, ivory, bone; (2) modeling – from wax or clay, after which it may be cast in bronze; (3) an assemblage of “found objects”. Includes origami paper folding, bronze, ice sculptures, ivory carving, marble and stone carvings, and more.

Stained Glass Art 

 The supreme decorative art of the Gothic movement, stained glass reached its zenith during the 12th and 13th centuries when it was created for Christian cathedrals across Europe. Modern glassworks keep the art popular.

Tapestry Art

An ancient type of textile art, tapestry-making flourished in Europe from the Middle Ages onwards, at the hands of French and (later) Flemish weavers.

Textile Arts

Use plant, animal, or synthetic fibers to construct practical or decorative objects.

Video Art

One of the most recent categories of contemporary expression, pioneered by Andy Warhol and others, video is frequently used in installation art, as well as a stand-alone art form.


There are possibly many other forms of art not listed here. Test your skills at any one of the many branches of Art. You will find plenty of new worlds to explore!



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