Visual Art Processes: Definition & Types

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  • 0:04 Making Art
  • 0:17 Parts of a Whole
  • 1:06 Printmaking
  • 3:17 Stencils
  • 3:42 Technology & Visual Art
  • 4:43 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Stephanie Przybylek

Stephanie has taught studio art and art history classes to audiences of all ages. She holds a master's degree in Art History.

In this lesson, we'll explore several types of visual arts processes, including collage, mosaic, printmaking (relief, intaglio, lithography, and screenprinting), photography, and digital imaging.

Making Art

Have you ever looked at an image in a book or magazine and wondered how it was made? There are many ways to make art besides drawing and painting. Let's look at some additional art-making processes for two-dimensional art.

Parts of a Whole

Artists Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque invented a new method of making images around 1921. They called it collage after a French word that means 'to paste', and that's exactly what you do.

Collage by Kurt Schwitters

A collage is an image made from materials that are cut and pasted together to make a new whole. What kind of material? Things like fabric scraps, newspaper articles and pictures, images from magazines, wallpaper pieces, photographs, string, or even tin foil and plastic wrappers.

Mosaics also use many small parts, but these are a bit more durable and permanent. Mosaics are made by mounting pieces of stone, glass, or shell with mortar (a strong glue-like substance made of cement, sand, and other binders) onto a surface. Making mosaics is an old art form, dating back to the ancient Romans.

Floor mosaic, dog from a building in Macedonia.


Woodblock print of a house, Adrian Kaplun, 1919
woodblock print

In printmaking, you create an image on a printing plate and transfer it to another surface. All printmaking methods have several steps. First you prepare an image on the printing plate. Then you ink the plate and use specific tools to transfer the image to material like paper or fabric. Printmaking allows the artist to make more than one image, each one considered an original work of art. There are four kinds of printmaking:

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