Site Overlay

The top techniques for visual artists

If you are interested in making art, understanding some of the top techniques can help spice up your work. The right technique will make your art stand out, enhancing both your confidence and knowledge of colour, texture, tone, composition and brushwork.

So, what are the best techniques to help get you painting like a pro?

Best visual art techniques

Using mediums – Mediums are liquids that are added into paint. They are used to modulate the texture and consistency, which may influence the quality of strokes and overall drying time. For acrylic paints, gloss and matte mediums can be great for a unique finish.

Glazing- Glazing adds a layer of thin transparent paint over part or all of your painting. Glazing is a great technique for modulating colour and making shadows more intense. You could even consider glazing with other colours for unique hues and interesting colour effects. For instance, glazing with a thin yellow paint over blue could be a great way to paint green.

Sgraffito- For unique textures and interactive artwork, sgraffito can be a great technique. It involves scratching away wet paint to expose your underpainting. It can be a great way to portray hair, scratch marks and environmental objects such as grass. You should be careful not to rip through the canvas.

Using a dry brush- Some environmental depictions can be tough to get right with regular brushwork. Using different brushing techniques will help you get the desired edgy finish. When dry brushing, you will only slightly dip your brush into the paint before working quickly over your painting. The mostly dry brush creates a rugged and unique feel. It is a great technique for grass and rocky textures.

Blocking in- Your brushes can be key to different techniques, including blocking in. Blocking in takes advantage of the different sizes, shapes, textures and brush materials to create a unique and interesting texture. Working with both round and flat brushes will help you create high quality paintings.

Top famous visual art techniques to try

If you are interested in learning from the greats, here are a few techniques you could try out.

Van Gogh’s vibrant line and colour- Van Gogh’s energetic paintings feature a lot of color and vibrancy, as well as entrancing line work. Van Gogh uses both the line and colour to draw the audience to a central focal point. You can try it out with a double loaded flat brush with different colours on either end for the vibrant touch.

Michelangelo’s line- Michelangelo, though mainly a sculptor, made one of the most famous painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.  The fresco technique, which uses bold and quick strokes on a wet surface is great for unconventional visual art on walls and other sturdy surfaces.


There are many modern and classic visual art techniques to choose from to help you get the right finish on your painting. You should be able to master your skills by taking up these innovative suggestions.