What is Fine Art?

Fine art is the visual expression or application of human creativity involving technical know-how (skill) and thinking of new things (imagination). Artists who create works of art do so primarily for aesthetic reasons, and they usually specialize in a specific type of art, such as painting or sculpture.

It is helpful to note that the word “fine” does not indicate the quality of the artwork but rather the discipline’s purity. In other words, creations considered fine art include calligraphy, drawings, paintings, printmaking, and sculpture. It excludes applied art, decorative arts, and crafts.

Types of Fine Art

  • Drawings—chalk, charcoal, colored wax pencil, crayon, graphite pencil, inked brush, marker, pen and ink, pastel, stylus, or various metals like silverpoint.
  • Paintings—acrylic, aerosol paint, enamel, fresco, gouache, hot wax, inks, oils, pastel, tempera, or watercolor.
  • Printmaking—engraving, etching, foil imaging, Giclée print, lithography, monoprint, monotype, screen-printing, stenciling, or woodcut.
  • Sculpture—clay, glass, metal, plastic, stone, or wood.
  • Calligraphy—the art of beautiful handwriting or fancy lettering. (See Calligraphy for more information.)

Fine Art Skills

The creation of fine artworks requires knowledge of art theory, design techniques, and adequate usage of the tools of the trade necessary for composition, design, and the creation of fine works of art. The skills required can be developed in a variety of ways.

These include, but are not limited to:

  • Apprenticeships under other accomplished fine artists
  • Attending college courses at all levels
  • Attending workshops and classes conducted by other artists
  • Joining artists’ collectives
  • Studying the Old Masters and other works of fine art by modern-day artists

Creative Imagination

Creative thinking is the ability to form a mental image of new ideas or something that has not yet been thought of or experienced beforehand. It involves: (1) picturing within one’s mind familiar objects or concepts in a new light; (2) digging down beneath the surface to find previously unnoticed patterns; and (3) finding connections between seemingly unrelated attributes.

Art Gallery Quick Links

Flowers     |     Landscapes     |     Marine     |     People

Space Art     |     Still Life     |     Wildlife

Additional Reading

What is Art Appreciation?

More information about this topic and many others can be found in My Artist Blog Index. Check it out!

Your Feedback

“I think you should be complimented for the definition [of fine art] you came up with – it reads as thorough and yet completely understandable to readers who don’t have much experience with fine art.  Based on all the sources I checked prior to, and after finding, your website that is quite an achievement. “ — Robert (RA) May, Berkeley CA

Thanks for reading this!

Feel free to share this with your friends.