How Realism Artists Use Different Techniques and Mediums to Achieve a Truthful Representation

How Realism Artists Use Different Techniques and Mediums to Achieve a Truthful Representation

Realism art is about showing the world as it really is, without making it fancier or changing how things look. Artists who follow realism use different methods and materials to make art that looks real. Let’s talk about some common ways they do this.

Understanding Realism Art

Realism art started in the 19th century. Artists wanted to show what life was like at that time, including how people lived and what was happening in society. They focused on everyday things, regular people, and natural places, instead of using stories from the past or religious ideas.

Realism art is different from abstract art, which uses shapes and colors to express feelings or ideas. Realism is more about showing things exactly how they are, using careful observation, research, and skill.

Realism in Paintings

Edward Hopper - Nighthawks
Edward Hopper – Nighthawks

Many realism artists use painting as their main way to show the world. There are different kinds of realism paintings based on the methods and details used by the artist.


Hyperrealism goes beyond photorealism, making art even more real than a photo. Artists not only copy the photo but also add their own feelings and ideas. They use detailed brushwork, special lighting, and careful arrangement to make super-realistic images.


Photorealism artists use photos as a guide to make their paintings look just like them. They pay close attention to details, textures, and everything in the photo to recreate it on canvas. Techniques like airbrushing and masking help them make smooth and perfect paintings.

New Realism

New realism came in the 1960s and 70s, challenging how people thought about art. Artists used everyday things and materials, using modern technology to make realistic paintings. They added humor, irony, or social messages to their art. Famous artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein did this kind of art.

Classical Realism

Classical realism goes back to traditional ways of making realistic art. Artists use old techniques and methods to create lifelike images. They use oil paints, brushes, and canvas, paying attention to details and proportions. They get inspiration from old masters like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.

Figurative Realism

Figurative realism focuses on making people look real in paintings. Artists use different techniques, like drawing from life or using modern tools, to create lifelike images. They might use different styles like impressionism or surrealism to share their ideas.

Illusionistic Realism

Illusionistic realism tricks your eyes into thinking a painting is real by adding depth. Artists use techniques like trompe-l’oeil, which means ‘trick of the eye’ in French, to make paintings that look like real objects or scenes. They use shadows, reflections, and textures to make the art seem real.

Read also: Realism Art Movement: Capturing Life as It Was

Realism Painting Tips

Realism Painting Tips

To make realistic paintings, artists need some important skills.

Precision: Drawing accurately is crucial. Artists need to observe carefully and avoid simplifying things. This takes practice and patience, but it makes the painting look real.

Brightness Values: Understanding how light and dark parts work in a painting makes it look 3D. Artists figure out the brightness levels by looking at the light source and direction.

Contrast: Having a good balance between light and dark parts makes the painting more interesting. Too much contrast can be harsh, though.

Edges: Realistic paintings don’t have lines around objects. Artists need to control edges to make things look sharp or soft, depending on the scene.

Transitions: Changes within an object, like shifts in color or texture, help make it look real. Artists need to manage these changes to avoid making the painting look confusing or boring.

Realism art is a cool and varied style that shows the world just as it is. Artists use different methods, like photorealism, hyperrealism, classical realism, new realism, figurative realism, and illusionistic realism. They also need to master skills like precision, brightness values, contrast, edges, and transitions to make their paintings look real. Hope you had fun learning about how realism artists make things look truthful!

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