Art Forms

Throughout the course of human history, civilisations have expressed themselves through art. In fact, cave paintings have been discovered which date back at least 40,000 years. Art tells a story while provoking an emotional response.

Art comes in a wide range of forms. Some of these are ancient, whereas others are relatively new mediums such as film. Art is visually and/or auditorily stimulating. It often expresses conceptual ideas while showing off the artist’s technical skill. Here are some of the most significant forms of art that continue to dominate the creative landscape.


The art of painting involves applying paint, pigments and colors to a solid surface. The paint is applied using a brush, giving the painter a good amount of control. Other common implements used include include sponges, airbrushes and knives.

Painting is one of the most important types of visual art. It combines the technical skill of drawing with narration (storytelling) and abstraction (abstract images or concepts). Over the centuries there have been numerous styles of painting. Some aim to look as realistic as possible. The best paintings of this type will be indistinguishable from photographs.

Other paintings aim to be more expressive in their visual style. The strokes themselves elicit emotion. Symbolism is another important aspect. The artist will often place symbols in the picture for the viewer to interpret. Objects will be representative of bigger ideas such as death, society, politics and love.


Animation was first developed during the late 19th century. It became popularized in the 20th thanks to the films of Walt Disney. Today, sophisticated animated features from companies like Pixar continue to delight audiences. Animated film has come a long way over the past century.

In animation, individual drawings are photographed as frames. Each frame is slightly different from the one it precedes. When these frames are run in succession it creates the illusion of movement. This is the basic principle of all motion pictures. The difference between live action films and animated ones is that the latter are entirely constructed either by hand drawing or computer modeling.


With the invention of the written word, literature became an important aspect of art for countless generations and cultures. Literature is any piece of written work that is considered to be artistically or intellectually valuable. Literature can be fictional, meaning the events and characters described do not exist in the real world. There are also non-fictional types which depict real world events.

Literature has been an important tool for the religions of the world. Practically all large scale faith types have their own text which is used to follow and spread ideas. Examples of religious literature include the Bible, Quran and Sutras. These texts have been translated into different languages in order to increase the teachings and appeal of each religion.


Music is unique from all the other art forms on this list because it is not a primarily visual medium. Instead, music utilizes instruments and the human voice in order to create soundscapes. These sounds are very effective at conveying an emotional tone.

A number of anthropologists believe that music is the oldest art created by human beings. It can be done by anyone using any tools available. After the advent of orchestral stage performances, music began to be regarded as high art. Music of this period is still revered today.

In recent decades music has become a commercial product. Singers and bands record their work and sell it to a mass market. This can potentially result in a high level of fame and wealth.

Video Games

The video game is the most recent art form to be developed. It relies on computer technology and responsive hardware. Unlike most mediums the audience takes on an active role. They use a controller, mouse or keyboard to control a character that appears on screen.

Video games first became popular when they were available as attractions in arcades. Later, home consoles were made more affordable and a new industry was born. Modern video games are much more sophisticated than their predecessors. They include elaborate graphics and narratives. Video games are now the most lucrative type of art available, bringing in billions of dollars every year.

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