What Are Different Types of Art and Their Meanings

Here we put together a list of different art types  and a brief description.

Image by MediaPhoto

Image by MediaPhoto

Animation Art

Animation art is an art that adds motion to drawings or graphic illustrations. It made its appearance for the first time in the early 20th century. Today, animation art is mostly with the aid of computers. One can have a view of such art in movies like Jungle book and Shrek.


 It is an art of designing building structures. Experts of this art are known as architects. Style of architecture evolves with a change in time and different cultures have their own architectural style. Some of the buildings exhibiting an excellent architecture are the Ferdinand Cheval Palace (France), the Hole House (Texas), the Taj Mahal (India) and many more.

Outsider Art

 Outsider art is also popular as raw art or rough art created by untrained artists like self-trained artists, patients, and children i.e. people not attached to the mainstream art. Some of the notable artists of this type of art are Henry Darger, Al Carbee, Royal Robertson, and Kea Tawana.

Assemblage Art

This is a form of three-dimension visual art. It is created with everyday items such as kitchen utensils, beer bottles, old shoes, machine parts and much more. This form of art became popular in the United States of America in the 20th century. Now, even, exhibitions of this art form are organized across the world.

Body Art

The form of art in which the human body is used for creating something beautiful or meaningful is called body art. For example, tattoos, body piercings, and body painting. Some of the famous body artists are Davor Džalto and Anthony Gormley. Nowadays, body art is quite popular and annual body art events are held at many places in the world. 


A visual art of writing via a pen or brush is calligraphy. It is an ancient art. The advent of computers has largely handicapped this art. Some of the popular calligraphy includes Arabic or Islamic calligraphy, Chinese calligraphy, and the Japanese calligraphy. Today, calligraphy is alive in religious texts, wedding invitations, and logos.


Ceramics are non-metallic materials that are used to create tableware, sculptures, tiles, and much more. The process of creating an art with these materials is ceramic art. Some of the examples of ceramics are clay, alumina, and silicon carbide. Things made of ceramics are often covered with a ceramic glaze.

Christian Art

The form of art that consists of themes and imagery related to Christianity and practiced by the followers of Christianity is called Christian Art. This sacred art dates back to the first century. Church murals, sculptures of Mother Mary, Jesus, and more are all examples of this art. One of the greatest artists of this art was Michelangelo.


Collage is an old art form of assembling various things like paper cuttings, photographs, and ribbons with the help of glue and making it unique. It made a reappearance in the 20th century. Now, there are collage making software to edit and assemble various images in a visually –pleasing manner.

Computer Art

This is a relatively new term given to anything created by artists and designers with the help of computer or tools available in the computer like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe illustrator, and much more. This is now very much popular as digital artists create logos, website design, app design, and even cartoons on the computer. 

Conceptual Art

In this art form, the artist gives more importance to the idea than on the visual components of the art. This art form is the most controversial one in the contemporary art, as many people cannot figure out the idea involved in this art. It can be a sculpture, a wall painting, or anything.


Drawing is a visual art form in which an artist creates something with the help of some instruments like pencil, pen, ink, or charcoal on paper, leather, blackboard, and much more. Drawing can be technical or non-technical. Cartooning or freehand drawings are the examples of non-technical drawings while the plan of building structures is a technical drawing.

Folk Art

This ancient art form has survived centuries. Every country and sometimes, different cultures living in a country has its own folk art like the Chinese folk art, Indian folk art, etc. This is passed down generation to generation by the people. Some examples of popular folk art are Madhubani and Gond art of India.

Graffiti Art

In this art, an artist draws or writes something creative on a wall with the help of spray paints and marker pens. Graffiti art is in use in many parts of the world to convey political and social messages to a large public. Some popular graffiti artists in the contemporary world choose to remain anonymous.

Graphic Art

This is a form of fine art. Here, an artist uses various mediums to express their views or to create something distinctive on a flat surface. Today, most graphic artists use computer tools like Coreldraw, Adobe Photoshop, QuarkXPress, and Adobe Dreamweaver to create graphic art. Now website designs and logo designs are excellent examples of graphic art.

Icon Paintings

Icon paintings are religious paintings that date back to the ancient times. Most of these paintings either depict Virgin Mary, Christ, holy saints or entire episodes of sacred scriptures. Sometimes, these paintings have a symbolic meaning too. Egon Sendler and Simon Ushakov are the names of two notable icon painters.

Illuminated manuscript

The Illuminated Manuscript was written because there was no provision of printing the books. The manuscripts were illuminated with the help of Gold or Silver and the gold was applied in the thin sheets called gold leaf. The Illuminations have taken the form of borders, figurative scenes and decorated letters, etc.

Mixed media art

The Mixed Media Art refers to the media, drawn on the canvas, which has ink, collage and painting combined within it. In the Mixed Media, the painter has to seek for the structural layers, as the art needs to be dried up. For choosing the Mixed Medias in it, the sturdy foundation needs to be chosen.


The Installation art is generally done for the interior spaces and mostly the three-dimensional work is preferred. In this, the work is actually specific to a particular site or it can be an arrangement of the objects in the space where art is exhibited. Even in this form of art, the artists generally blur the boundaries.


An Illustration is usually related to the visual presentation and explanation of the text and it is mainly used in the flyers, magazines, posters, etc. Many kinds of illustrations are used in the contemporary, fine arts, technical and scientific illustration. It is generally realistic, expressive or stylish.

Land Art

The Land Art is mainly designed with the help of natural materials such as rock, water, organic media and soil. In this, the artists link the work of art and the natural landscapes for designing the art form. This form of art is pursued in the natural conditions that are away from the civilization and it erodes under natural conditions.

Mosaic Art

The Mosaic Art is the art form done with the help of stone, glass, beads, shell or other forms of material. This is used for exterior and interior decoration as they are made of different textures and colors. They are mainly used in the religious buildings, palaces, etc.


This is one of the popular art forms as Painting uses the color, paint and the pigment that is applied on the solid surface. This art form includes creative expressions and forms like narratives, abstract art, gestures, composition or drawing, etc. The surfaces can include the wall, canvas, wood, concrete, etc.

Performance Art

The Performance Art basically includes factors like performer, space and time. It can depend on the fine art context and it can be non-scripted or scripted forms of art. This form of art can be represented in front of the audiences or the artist can do it privately too.


The Photography is related to capturing images with the help of a lens or a photographic film. The image captured with the help of the camera is processed by the photographer and is stored in the form of digital image copy as it comes in the form of print.


Under Printmaking, the art form that is printed on the paper is the realistic form of art printing. It is not associated with the reproduction of the photographs and is considered original work of an artist. In this, the ink is transferred with the help of a matrix or with the help of the prepared screen.

Poster Art

The Poster art generally includes graphic or textual elements that are written on the paper and it is posted on the walls. This graphically oriented art form is used to advertise the product, any new offer, communicating important messages and so on. This is one of the low-cost forms of printing and art.

Primitive Art

The Primitive Art is that form of art that displays the works of primitive people who were not technically sound as stated by the westerners but their work is regarded valuable. This art form lacks the technically advanced art and is made by the people who do not belong to the developed world.

Public Art

The Public Art form is displayed in the public space for general audiences and is planned by the artists. It may include varied forms of art that have a relationship with the public domain. This art is accessible to everyone as the content is only presented for the viewing of the audiences.

Religious Art

For uplifting the mind of the audiences and taking them to the way of spirituality, the artist uses the Religious Art. It conveys spiritual messages through the motifs and inspirational messages. It conveys valuable information about the artists’ religious traditions. It also involves the cultic and sacred practices for spiritual realization.

Sand Art

The Sand Art includes designing of the miniatures with the help of sand as it includes sand sculpture, sand bottles, sand brushing, etc. This art form is made with the help of sand and water that is available on the beaches and it is used for sculpturing the artifacts out of the sand.

Rock Art

In most of the cultures across the globe, Rock Art is related to the ritual in some customs. This form of art is made out of natural stones and it is also known as the parietal art. Most of the art forms are sculpted out of the living rocks or the cliff or one can state it as the rock-cut architecture.


In the Sculpture, the art form is related with the carvings that are done with the help of the materials like clay, metal, wood, ceramic, etc. The sculptor can use kinds of materials for carving out the best sculpture and it can be assembled with the help of casting, modeling or welding.

Stained Glass Art

Many spectacular art forms can be created with the help of Stained Glass Art form, as it has been popular from the historical times. One can see it in the religious places, palaces and other important buildings too. In this, yellow stains and painted details are used for the enhancement of design.

Tapestry Art

The Tapestry Art is the form of textile related art that is woven with the help of vertical loom. In this, the warp threads in the weft-faced weaving are hidden under the complete work. The artisans interlace these wefts forward and backward in the small patterned areas and make the final design.

Video Art

The Video Art form came into existence in the year 1960 or early 1970 when the video technology became available for the customers. This is recorded with the help of digital recording equipments. In this, the motion pictures are depicted as the source of entertainment and are differentiated from the cinema.