Being an Artist

The influence of media and surfaces on artistic outcomes

Artists have long experimented with various materials to bring their visions to life. Whether it's canvas, paper, wood, or digital screens, each surface interacts differently with the chosen medium, influencing texture, color saturation, and overall visual impact. This article explores the fascinating interplay between media and surfaces in the world of art.


Bridgette Bardot, Gary Hogben

Paper: A blank canvas

Paper offers versatility for a wide range of artistic expressions including pencil, ink, watercolor, and pastels. Its absorbent nature facilitates the portrayal of fine details and intricate shading. However, the texture and weight of the paper can impact the blending of colors and the intensity of pigments. Rougher paper surfaces create a textured appearance, while smoother papers yield clean lines and crisp details

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Canvas: Texture and depth

Traditionally crafted from linen or cotton, canvas is a classic surface for painting. Its woven texture provides a unique foundation for oils and acrylics, enabling a variety of brushwork techniques. The absorbency of canvas influences how paints are absorbed and dried, ultimately affecting the final appearance of the artwork. Additionally, canvas can be stretched over a frame, adding a three-dimensional quality to the piece.


Wood: Natural warmth

Wood introduces a distinctive surface for artistic expression. Its grain pattern and natural warmth add character to the artwork. Artists can carve, paint, or stain wood, providing a range of techniques to explore. The texture of wood affects how paints adhere, creating a unique visual texture that can either complement or contrast with the subject matter.


Digital screens: Precision and flexibility

The digital age has brought forth a plethora of virtual canvases. Digital screens offer precise control over color, texture, and brushwork, allowing for endless experimentation and modification. Artists can work in a digital environment that mirrors traditional media or venture into entirely new realms of expression. The ability to undo and redo strokes provides an unprecedented level of flexibility and refinement.


Metal and glass: Reflective surfaces

Metal and glass surfaces introduce a new dimension to artistic expression. Reflective surfaces interact with light in unique ways, creating dynamic effects that evolve with changes in lighting conditions. Artists can choose from a range of techniques including painting, etching, or mixed media applications to create their desired effect.


The interplay between media and surfaces in art is a dynamic and multifaceted relationship. Each combination brings its own set of challenges and opportunities, influencing the final result in profound ways. Embracing this interplay opens up a world of creative possibilities, allowing artists to push boundaries and redefine artistic expression.