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Media (arts)

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Title: Media (arts)  
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Subject: Art, Source code, Data storage device, Writing, Wood, Media, New materials in 20th-century art, Installation art, Nativity scene, Kaunas
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Media (arts)

In the arts, a medium is a material used by an artist or designer to create a work.


In the art and science of architecture, the design and construction of buildings and interiors, infrastructure and other physical structures are created. It can involve multiple disciplines of brickwork, carpentry, engineering, stonemasonry and many other skills.


The art of carpentry and woodworking is by a skilled craftsperson or joiner, who designs and builds buildings, furniture and other objects.


Main article: Outline of drawing and drawings

In drawing, "media" refers to both the material that is manually applied and to the base onto which it is applied.[1] The media applied can be many things but the method of application is a stick type object with a point (not a brush) that transfers particles of media to the base. The point of the stick can be as minute as it can be large. The medium applied can be graphite, fusain, pastel, and ink among other things. Bases can be paper, plaster, canvas, wood or basically anything that accepts the medium applied from the point of the stick.

Traditional drawing media

Traditional bases for drawing


In contrast to traditional art media, electronic art media are tools and materials such as computers and electronic media to produce electronic art either for electrical display or printing.

Various application software such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Painter, and Maya are some of the programs that artists would use to modify photos, create new digital illustrations, or model 3D objects and turn them into full body animations. The different tools that these programs provide allow the artists more control to modify, add or undo, and delete an action as they please, to achieve the level of industry quality that you see on marketing advertisements, magazines and special effects that you see in animated or live action films, and technical illustrations and visualization graphics with reconfigurable and scalable precise detail. Electronic art media also allows for art to be interactive art and virtual art in ways not possible with traditional art media.

Examples include electronic forms of traditional methods such as:


In cinematography and film, a sequence of still images is captured with a video camera. A series of individual images are called frames. When these images are shown in rapid succession, a viewer gains the displayed illusion that motion is occurring.


The illumination of light as a practical use to reveal what may be shaded or dark is common. Light as an art form is a function of art works and entertainment, it is a projection source and a backlighting source, for colours, focal or focus points and can be an element to enhance or change atmosphere or mood in areas or on objects.


Main articles: Literature and Writing implement

The art of written words and typography is traditionally an ink and printed form on paper or is creatively written with many forms of mediums.

Traditional writing mediums

Traditional bases for writing

Natural world

In the natural world large scale creative works can involve horticulture for the cultivation of plants, earthworks for landscaping and irrigation or rainwater harvesting for water features, in gardens, parks and botanical gardens.


Main article: Outline of painting

In painting, "media" refers to both the type of paint used and the base (or ground) to which it is applied. A paint's medium refers to what carries a paint's pigments (colors), and is also called a "vehicle", "base" or binder. A painter can mix a medium with solvents, pigments, and other substances in order to make paint, and control consistency.

Traditional paint media

Supports for painting

Traditional tools and methods

Mural techniques

Muralists use many of the same media as panel painters, but due to the scale of their works, use different techniques. Some such techniques include:

Performing arts

Main articles: Performing arts and Performance art

The performing arts is a form of entertainment that is created by the artist's own body, face and presence as a medium. There are many skills and genres of performance, dance and theatre being examples. Performance art is a performance that may not present a conventional formal linear narrative.


In photography a photosensitive surface is used to capture an optical still image, usually utilizing a lens to focus light. Some media include:


In the art of printmaking, "media" tends to refer to the technique used to create a print. Common media include:


Main article: Outline of sculpture

In sculpting a solid structure and textured surface is shaped or combined using substances and components to form a three dimensional object.


Carving materials

Casting materials

Modeling materials

Assembled materials

Finishing materials



The art of sound can be singular or a combination of speech or objects and crafted instruments, to create sounds, rhythms and music for the enjoyment of hearing.

Technical products

The use of technical products as an art medium is a merging of applied art and science, that may involve aesthetics, efficiency and ergonomics using various materials.


In the art of textiles a soft and flexible material of fibers or yarn is formed by spinning wool, flax, cotton, or other material on a spinning wheel and crocheting, knitting, knotting, weaving, or pressing fibres together (felt) to create a work.

See also

Arts portal


External links

  • Media (artists' materials) definition from the Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus

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