The Ultimate Guide To Different Art Mediums 2023

What’s the first thing that comes to mind before creating an artwork? What materials are needed, and how do you go about doing it?

For instance, when you enter an art supplies shop and see the plethora of art supplies, how do you decide what is best for you? Do you know the medium that you’re comfortable with? How about the materials?
This article serves as a guide to showcase art mediums in 2023 and the possibilities in the future of art.

Art mediums are generally split according to Digital vs Traditional art forms. Traditional mediums usually involve more tangible materials, whereas digital mediums usually require software and electronics to function.

Table of Contents:

Digital Art Mediums 2023

Traditional Art Mediums 2023

Digital Art Mediums 2023

Digital Art

Digital Art or Digital usually involves the usage of traditional art mediums like acrylic, watercolours, and oil painting and applying those skill sets onto a digital platform. Some of the commonly used digital platforms include:

  • Procreate
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Wacom
  • Blender
  • Maya
Attack On Titan Season 4 Artwork: Shingeki No Kyojin Fanart featuring Eren Yeager
Attack on Titan Artwork (2021), Artist Celine Chia, Digital Art with Procreate

Digital involves the use of layers, the editing and blending of the colours, and line drawing on each of the respective layers. The main advantage of digital as a medium is relatively easier to edit. The artist can also quickly produce multiple copies of the artwork for print.

Non-Fungible Token (NFT)

A Non Fungible Token, or NFT for short, is proof of ownership and authenticity of a digital asset. In layman’s terms, it’s a certificate of ownership of a digital asset. After creating NFT art, it is minted and tokenised on blockchain, a digital transaction system that records all transactions made via the platform. The original NFT artist will retain all rights and proof of digital asset ownership. 

Artificial Intelligence Art (A.I. Art)

Robots can even create art pieces with advancements in robots and artificial intelligence (A.I.). Last year, there was an a.i showcase of an A.I.-based robot creating fine art paintings at the SXW 2021.

A.I. Painting Robot by Team Suzuvre, showcased virtually at the SXW 2021
A.I. Painting Robot by Team Suzuvre, showcased virtually at the SXW 2021

In a recent LinkedIn poll conducted, we asked our respondents whether they feel that painting done by a robot should be considered an artwork; the results were surprisingly close, with 55% agreeing that it should be the case.

LinkedIn Survey Results of whether a painting done by a robot is considered a form of art. 55% voted yes while 45% voted no.

Henceforth, with that said, A.I definitely have the potential to be an up-and-coming art medium!

Virtual Reality Art (V.R. Art)

Virtual Reality Art or V.R. art makes use of headsets and tools like Google Tilt Brush, Occulus Rift and Facebook 360 to recreate an immersive reality to bring the users into another three-dimensional simulated environment.

Users/visitors are required to put on the V.R headset in order to experience the artistic wonders happening in the alternative reality.

Augmented Reality Art (A.R. Art)

Augmented Reality Art or A.R. art involves the use of technology to augment or ‘superimpose’ images onto the real world and enhances them with other sensory experiences like sound, touch and smell. Some of the software used in A.R include:

  • ARKit
  • ARCore
  • ARToolkit
  • Vuforia
  • Wikitude
ArtelierbyGen A.R. Painting App Utilises A.R. to Augment Paintings onto the walls and surfaces
ArtelierbyGen A.R. Painting App Utilises A.R. to Augment Paintings onto the walls and surfaces

Traditional Art Mediums 2023

Oil Painting

Oil Painting, or oil on canvas, is a traditional medium that originated in the 15th Century. Oil Paint contains linseed (flow medium) oil that helps blend colours and create textures. The advantages of oil painting are the ease of blending and the prolonged period for the oil paints to dry.
There is room for making necessary amendments (by painting another layer over) should the artist make a mistake in creating their painting.

House (2021), Artist Celine Chia, Oil On Canvas
House (2021), Artist Celine Chia, Oil On Canvas

Acrylic Painting

Acrylic painting or acrylic on canvas is a beginner-friendly traditional medium and utilises similar layers. Acrylic is fast-drying easy to blend and create textures.

Acrylic is usually more versatile, and there are many different types of acrylic best suited for other surfaces. For instance, there is acrylic for figurines, leather painting, and even acrylic for painting on aluminium boards.

Acrylic Painting - Realism Ice Cream (2020), Artist Celine Chia
Ice Cream (2020), Artist Celine Chia, Acrylic
Figurine Painting of Ling and Baby Yoda (2020), Artist Celine Chia, Acrylic
Figurine Painting of Ling and Baby Yoda (2020), Artist Celine Chia, Acrylic


Watercolour is a traditional medium that usually requires more techniques and control in the brush strokes. It can pose a challenge to some, especially if the painter does not have the suitable materials.

Watercolour painting requires watercolour brushes and absorbent watercolour paper. (300 gsm) With water as a medium, Watercolours give rise to a wide range of tones and colours. Unlike oil and acrylic painting, the colour intensity increases as the artist applies more layers. Hence, it is harder to make amendments during the painting process.

One Piece Commission art featuring Big Mom, Kaido and White Beard (2021), Artist Celine Chia, Watercolour
One Piece Commission Art (2021), Artist Celine Chia, Watercolour


Charcoal or graphite on paper/canvas is another traditional medium commonly used for portraits. The use of graphite on paper gives the monochromatic effect (black and white) that brings out the essence and realism that the artist seeks to portray.
Charcoal can be blended using a blender, a soft eraser, or simply the artist’s own hands.

Graphite on Paper Commission Art (2021), Artist Celine Chia
Graphite on Paper Commission Art (2021), Artist Celine Chia


Pastels are divided into soft pastels and oil pastels. Like charcoal, soft pastels are suitable for blending and creating a relatively blurred silhouette. The blending technique is similar to charcoal, and the colours can be blended using a blender, your own hands, or a piece of tissue.

Oil Pastels produce a similar effect as oil painting, but on paper instead. Oil Pastels have a very creamy texture that is good for blending, but it may pose a challenge for beginners to control the brushstroke.

Oil Pastel Still Life Drawing - Cute Pug Portrait (2021), Artist Celine Chia
Cute Pug Portrait (2021), Artist Celine Chia, Oil Pastels

Coloured Pencils

Coloured Pencils are a childhood medium for many that are easy to start but take a certain level of skill set to master the techniques. Coloured Pencils may seem amateurish, but in the hands of a professional artist, they are valuable tools to recreate photo-realistic masterpieces.

The quality of coloured pencils is of paramount importance, especially to a Coloured Pencil Artist. They are usually divided into wax-based Coloured Pencils, oil-based Coloured Pencils, and Water-soluble Coloured Pencils. (Watercolour Pencils)

Green Goblin Artwork (2021), Artist Celine Chia, Colour Pencils
Green Goblin Artwork (2021), Artist Celine Chia, Colour Pencils

Pen and Ink

Pen and ink usually require a high level of visualisation, as it is costly to make mistakes. More often than not, a slight mistake (e.g., proportions and accuracy of lines) can lead to a ruined art piece. Pen and ink have come a long way since ancient times, with modern variations ranging from fountain pens to ballpoint pens and drafting pens.

Standard techniques involving pen and ink include pointillism, hatching, and line drawing.

Pen and Ink Sketch (2018), Artist Celine Chia
Pen and Ink Sketch (2018), Artist Celine Chia

Chinese Painting

Chinese painting usually involves the use of ink and rice paper. A lot of control and technique are needed to master this skill set for this medium. This is because the artist has multiple hurdles to overcome, from using the calligraphic brush (made from horsehair) to the painting on the thin rice paper. (Too much water can cause the paper to tear!)

Chinese Calligraphy is another derivative that utilises the same medium and brush, with the only difference being the usage of black ink. In ancient times, poets used Chinese Calligraphy for scrolls and books to depict the annals of history, while in modern times, it is mainly for traditional pursuits.

Clay Art

Clay is another traditional medium initially used to create pottery and cookware. Clay art has also evolved from being utilised for daily essentials to aesthetics. (e.g., used for clay earrings)
In general, there are two types of clay – polymer clay and air-dry clay.

Polymer clay is mainly used for sculpting and creating models. They usually require heat (baking oven) to harden the clay.
Air-dry clay is more beginner-friendly and does not require heat to produce the end product. Air-dry clay usually involves using water to mold the clay into your desired shape.

Candy Cane Earrings made with Polymer Clay (2020), Artist Celine Chia
Candy Cane Earrings made with Polymer Clay (2020), Artist Celine Chia

Resin Art

As the name suggests, resin art involves using a liquid chemical called epoxy resin, combined with other colour pigments and additives to produce a unique blend of patterns and textures.

The epoxy resin consists of a two-part system of synthetic polymer resin and a hardener, and they undergo a chemical reaction when combined.
The result is a solid medium that looks like a durable and transparent plastic that takes the shape of the image that you have created.
Resin works well with wood, metal, stone, flowers, acrylic, oil paints, and photographs.

Gameboy Colour Resin Art by Artist Koh Yuan Han
Gameboy Colour Resin Art by Artist Koh Yuan Han

Final Words

We compiled this 2023 art mediums guide to showcase the different mediums used in art and how they have evolved with the times.
Additionally, we also focused on the respective mediums and their advantages and included them alongside the possibilities in the future of art as technology continues to advance.

Whether you’re a beginner starting in this field or a seasoned artist looking to hone your craft, we hope that this article helps you better understand the various forms of art mediums available in 2023.
Do take note of the relevant materials needed as well before you embark on your artistic journey. Continue to chase your passion and keep adding colours to life!

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