Unit A6: Medium and Support

Unit A6 - Medium and Suppport: Introduction

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This short unit considers some of the material elements which make up a painting: the type of paint used (medium) and the type of material onto which the paint has been applied (the support).

It is useful to remember at this stage that paint consists of two principal materials: the pigment, which gives it colour; and the medium, the material in which the pigment is suspended, and which binds the pigment to the wood, canvas, paper or other material onto which the paint will be applied. Different types of medium produce different effects; this unit will examine some of the ways in which the use of a particular medium can change the visual impact of a painting. The unit has two sections.

In section a, we shall consider the effects of different types of medium, including tempera, oil, acrylic and watercolour; and introduce terms associated with brushwork.

In section b we shall go on to consider the effects of different types of support.


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© Matthew Treherne, School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT.

This resource was created with the help of a University of Leeds Faculty of Arts Enterprise Knowledge Transfer Grant.

Pages in this document

  1. Unit A6 - Medium and Suppport: Introduction
  2. Unit A6a - Medium and Support: Brushwork and types of medium
  3. Unit A6b - Medium and Support: The importance of support
  4. Unit A6 - Medium and Support: Summary