If you want to study painting, go to art school. If that doesn’t work out, maybe you can get a job painting houses. Then you can paint a house purple or paint a picture, which is called a painting.

Slapping a coat of paint on your apartment walls is painting, but so is creating a masterpiece like Van Gogh's "Starry Night" or maybe even C.M. Coolidge’s “Dogs Playing Poker.” The picture that results from your painting experiments is also called a painting. The Latin root of painting, pingere, means "to paint," but also "to stain, embroider, or tattoo."

Definitions of painting

n creating a picture with paints

“he studied painting and sculpture for many years”
show 5 types...
hide 5 types...
a method of painting in which the pigments are mixed with water and a binder; used for painting posters or murals or stage scenery
a durable method of painting on a wall by using watercolors on wet plaster
painting that applies the pigment thickly so that brush or palette knife marks are visible
oil painting
the art or method of painting with oil paints
water-color, water-colour, watercolor, watercolour
the art or technique of painting with watercolors
Type of:
art, artistic creation, artistic production
the creation of beautiful or significant things
beaux arts, fine arts
the study and creation of visual works of art

n the act of applying paint to a surface

“you can finish the job of painting faster with a roller than with a brush”
spray painting
applying paint with a sprayer
spatter, spattering, splash, splashing, splattering
the act of splashing a (liquid) substance on a surface
painting by using the fingers to spread the paint
Type of:
application, coating, covering
the work of applying something

n graphic art consisting of an artistic composition made by applying paints to a surface

“a small painting by Picasso”
“he bought the painting as an investment”
show 24 types...
hide 24 types...
an abstract painting
painting depicting a city or urban area
an unskillful painting
a painting created with paint that is made by mixing the pigments with water and a binder
a painting produced by spreading paint with the fingers
icon, ikon
a conventional religious painting in oil on a small wooden panel; venerated in the Eastern Church
painting depicting an expanse of natural scenery
illumination, miniature
painting or drawing included in a book (especially in illuminated medieval manuscripts)
painting done in a range of tones of a single color
mural, wall painting
a painting that is applied to a wall surface
nude, nude painting
a painting of a naked human figure
oil painting
a picture painted with oil paints
the reappearance in a painting of an underlying image that had been painted over (usually when the later painting becomes transparent with age)
sand painting
a painting done by Amerindians (especially Navaho); made of fine colored sands on a neutral background
seascape, waterscape
a painting of the sea (as distinguished from a landscape)
a semiabstract painting
still life
a painting of inanimate objects such as fruit or flowers
a Tibetan religious painting on fabric
trompe l'oeil
a painting rendered in such great detail as to deceive the viewer concerning its reality
water-color, water-colour, watercolor, watercolour
a painting produced with watercolors
canvas, canvass
an oil painting on canvas fabric
a mural done with watercolors on wet plaster
a watercolor executed with opaque watercolors mixed with gum
wash, wash drawing
a watercolor made by applying a series of monochrome washes one over the other
Type of:
graphic art
the arts of drawing or painting or printmaking

n the occupation of a house painter

house painting
Type of:
craft, trade
the skilled practice of a practical occupation

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.