Art and craft are two of the oldest forms of expression, with a long history that dates back to prehistoric times. From painting and sculpture to literature, architecture, cinema and music, there are many different types of art and craft that have been used to express ideas, emotions and stories throughout the ages. In this article, we'll explore the five traditional visual crafts, as well as the other forms of art and craft that have become popular in modern times. Painting is one of the oldest forms of art, with cave paintings dating back to prehistoric times. It is an artistic medium that is often taught in early childhood education, and many of today's best-known contemporary artists work in this medium.
Painting involves applying paints of different colors on a solid surface, usually a canvas, to produce a work of art. Paints can be oil, acrylic or watercolor paints, but pigments, inks and other materials can also be used. The application of paint can be done with a brush, spread, rub or splash. Paintings are classified by subject, style and genre.
Common subjects include still lifes, landscapes, seascapes, portraits or abstracts. Styles range from Modernist to Expressionist to Classical to Surrealist to Cubist to Chinese to Abstract to Impressionist and more. Sculpture is another ancient visual art form that dates back to prehistoric times. Sculpture creates three-dimensional visual images using materials such as clay, stone, ceramics, metals or wood. Famous classical sculptors such as Michelangelo and Myron preferred the techniques of carving and casting with marble and bronze.
However, modern sculptors have just about any object at their disposal to create a sculpture, including metals, plastics, glass or found objects. Contemporary sculptors also have a wider variety of techniques at their disposal. In 1917 Marcel Duchamp's “Fountain” changed the public perception of what art and sculpture were when it revealed a sculpture that consisted of a prefabricated porcelain urinal. Since then the definition of what falls under the category of sculpture has continued to expand.
In many cultures sculptures were the first and oldest forms of public art. Literature is an art form that shares stories through language. It can be read or spoken and is closely related to theater, poetry, cinema, music and the spoken word. Architecture is an art form that we go through every day without realizing it or fully appreciating it as an art form. Architecture involves creating structures for utility but it is also an early representation of man's desire to build significant structures throughout history. Many classic cities from the ancient world are home to impressive public collections of sculptures. Cinema is the newest of the seven art forms.
Created just over a century ago, cinema may not have the length of history like the other art forms on this list but it has quickly become one of the most popular. Movies are projections of a three-dimensional world on a two-dimensional screen and involve our auditory and visual senses. Music is an art form that organizes audible sounds and vibrations into musical compositions using elements such as melody, harmony, rhythm and timbre. Music can use human voices or instruments or both and is present in all human societies in the world. Music has strong associations with religion and is often used as part of religious practices. Theater is an art form in which artists combine visual art with dramatic representation.
Theater often incorporates other forms of art such as music, scenography and literature into its productions. Other forms of decorative arts such as costume making also contribute to theatrical productions.