What is the most difficult painting style? (2023)


What is the most difficult painting style? A very common doubt, especially among those who are starting to paint.

It's a strangely difficult question to answer. At first glance, most people would be quick to say that realism or hyperrealism is the most challenging (since many people believe that the main goal of painting is to create something that looks exactly like a photograph).

Personally, I think this is a silly question, but one that makes for an interesting discussion. Each painting style is challenging in different ways. I'm embarrassed to say that one style of painting is more difficult than the other, especially when I don't practice all styles.

So, let's go over some of the main styles and discuss the challenges with each.

In the end, I'll offer my humble thoughts and then we can discuss more in the comments section below.

  • realism
  • hyperrealism
  • Resume
  • impressionism
  • surrealism
  • that matters?
  • final thoughts
  • Would you like to discover more?
  • Thank you for reading!


Norealism, the subject is presented with great precision and detail. The challenge of realism is to achieve a high level of accuracy without making the painting appear too stretched or refined.

The first teacher that comes to mind when I think of realism is the greatSergeant John Singer(although I think there could be some argument that it had a touch of impressionist style to it). He is best known for hisportraits, but his landscapes are just as competent, in my opinion.

What's interesting about Sargent's painting style is that even though his paintings look incredibly realistic and accurate, you can still see highly visible lines and strokes.broken colorsin his paintings. he had a lotpicturesquestyle, resulting in paintings that appear natural yet incredibly accurate.

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What is the most difficult painting style? (1)

Another master of realism isricardo schmidt🇧🇷 He is a painter of painters with an incredible talent for painting portraits and landscapes.

What is the most difficult painting style? (2)


Hyperrealism and photorealism styles are extremely popular in today's environment due to people's response “WOW, it looks like a photo”. These styles attract a lot of attention and praise from the public, but not necessarily from other artists.

For those who don't practice painting, hyperrealism and photorealism are often considered the most difficult due to the wow factor.

Personally, I'm not very fond of spending hundreds of tedious hours trying to find the perfect color and perspective in a painting. I don't care if a painting looks like a photograph. I paint because I like to paint and if I wanted to take photos I would use photography.

Still, I try to capture the overall colors, values, and composition as accurately as possible without bogging down unnecessary detail. I try to capture the essence of the scene rather than render it perfectly on my canvas.

I do not question the abilities of hyper-realist and photo-realist painters. In fact, I admire the incredible precision and patience required. But you must paint according to your strengths and interests.


Abstraction is becoming polarizing in the art world, as it is often the focus of ludicrous valuations for paintings promoted by major art conglomerates (for example, a painting with a red stripe down the middle that costs over $40 million). Dollars).

However, abstract art is also considered by some to be the most demanding due to the lack of rules and definitions. For me, abstract art is defined by the overall feeling that is achieved through painting and I certainly appreciate the talent of those who are able to create great abstract art.

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However, it would be hard to argue that many abstract paintings are technically demanding, especially very minimalist abstract paintings.

At its peak, abstract painting can be extremely thought-provoking. Take a look at some of the abstract works created by the great Pablo Picasso in the latter part of his career.

At its worst, abstract painting can be nothing more than simple drawings on canvas that sell for exorbitant prices because they are more than they really are.

What is the most difficult painting style? (3)

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impressionismit is my favorite. Every time I try to paint realism I am not satisfied with the exact detail required and I slowly revert to impressionism.

I love the challenge of capturing just the essence of a scene and ignoring unnecessary details. This can be a difficult task, as it is easy to miss the target. Too much detail and you'll end up with a messy, tense painting. Too little and you start to get into completely abstract territory.

At its best, Impressionism combines surprising uses ofheartmiWertin beautifulharmony, without unnecessary details. At worst, impressionism could be used as an excuse for sloppy engineering (I've certainly been guilty of that in the past).

The problem with impressionism is that it can be misunderstood by those who don't practice art (often the same ones who praise hyperrealism and photorealism). Even when the Impressionist movement began, it was heavily criticized by a community more accustomed to realist styles.

However, most artists will appreciate the difficulty of impressionism. The great impressionists use simple techniques to give only hints of form and movement that come together in beautiful harmony. Most of the work is left to the viewer's imagination.

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I want you to imagine a stormy seascape that you want to paint. Most people will try to paint exactly what they see in the seascape. The dark outlines thathello featuredreach the tops ofaguaand the wavy lines of foam above.

But what if you instead tried to recreate the feeling and emotion of the stormy scene without worrying about the exact visual representation of the scene? This is very difficult to achieve in my opinion.

Most of the time there is a chaos of colors on the screen with no real harmony. But if you do it right, people will tell what it is by the overall feel of the paint job and the subtle hints left behind. But if you look closely, it won't look exactly like the scene you painted.

What is the most difficult painting style? (4)


Surrealism is really a field of its own in terms of creativity. It's completely free and defies conventional wisdom.

Surrealism doesn't necessarily excel in technical prowess, but the goal is to be intellectually challenging. Furthermore, many of the famous surrealist painters were highly talented in pictorial technique, such as Salvador Dalí.

What is the most difficult painting style? (5)

that matters?

No. Ultimately, you shouldn't try to paint in any particular style, and it doesn't matter which one is the most difficult.

If you are just starting to paint, you should focus on painting with accurate values, colors, and perspective. You must learn to do it.compose your photosand the many techniques available to communicate your message through painting. Everything is stylistically irrelevant.

Once you learn these skills, you will be more flexible when painting. Don't be fooled by generalizations that abstract painting is not difficult or that realism lacks creativity. Just focus on thoseFundamentalsand then you are free to paint how you feel.

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final thoughts

The reason I originally wrote this post was to challenge the common perception that the main purpose of a painting is to create something that looks like a photograph. In my opinion, this should be the last thing you try to do.

In my humble opinion, realism and impressionism are the most difficult styles to master. Realism has the advantage of technical difficulties, but impressionism has the added difficulty of capturing the essence of the scene without exaggerating or underestimating it. Both styles aim to accurately represent what you see and are great beginner styles.

But like I said, that's just a personal opinion and it doesn't really matter. Just try not to get involved in painting a certain style. Just focus on the basics and progress from there.

Now for you. What do you think is the most difficult painting style? Or do you think it's just a stupid question that doesn't justify an answer? Please share in the comment section. (Note: there is no correct answer.)

Would you like to discover more?

You may be interested in minepainting academyGrade. I'll walk you through the basics of painting. It is perfect for absolute beginners and advanced painters.

Thank you for reading!

Thank you for taking the time to read this article and I hope you found it useful. Feel free to share it with friends.

Happy painting!

y scott

What is the most difficult painting style? (6)

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