There are different mediums in paintings that are used today. Artist's uses different kinds of mediums, they includes acrylic, pastels, fresco, gouache, oil tempura, water color and water miscible oil paint.
Acrylic is a fast drying paint. It contains pigments suspended in polymer emulsion. Acrylic paints are usually diluted with waters.
Another medium that is being used is the Pastel. Pastel comes in three different types, the soft pastels, the hard pastels and the pastel pencils. The soft pastels are the most widely used; it has a higher portion of pigments and less binder. The hard pastel has a higher portion of binder and less pigment. The pastel pencils are pencils with pastel leads.
Fresco paintings can often be seen on walls and ceilings. The word fresco came from the Italian word fresco (fresh). There are three types of fresco, the Buon fresco, which consist of painting pigments mixed with water on a thin layer of plaster. Secco, which done in dry plaster. The pigment requires a binding medium such as egg (tempura, glue or oil to attach pigments). The Mezzo-fresco. In this type, the pigment should only penetrate slightly on the plaster.
Gouache, derived from Italian guazzo, water pan, splash or body color. This medium is also dilute in water. It differs from water color considering that its particles are larger, the ratio of pigment to water is much bigger and white pigment such as chalk is present on it.
Oil, oil is a type of slow drying paint. It consists of particular pigments suspended in a drying oil. This kind of medium does not dry quickly. It blends into the surroundings and allow the blending of color. It produces vivid colors with a natural sheen and distinct context. It provides a surface translucency similar to human skin making it an ideal for portrait painting.
Tempura, another medium is the Tempura. It is a permanent fast drying painting medium consisting of colored pigment mixed with water soluble binder. Tempura paints dries rapidly and it allows for great precision. When dry it produces smooth matte finish. Tempura painting has been found on early Egyptian sarcophagi decorating many of the Fayum mummy portraits sometimes in combination with encaustic.
Water Color, in water color the pigments are suspended in a water soluble vehicle. The art of water color extremely began in the cave paintings of the Paleolithic Europe, used in the manuscript illumination by the Egyptians and continuous to flourish in the renaissance. Water color paint consist of four principal ingredients; colorant (commonly pigment), binder, the substance that holds the pigment in suspension and fixes the pigment to the painting surface, additives, substance that alter the viscosity, hiding, durability or color of the pigment and vehicle mixture, lastly, the solvent, the substance use to thin or dilute the paint for application and that evaporates when the paint hardens or dry.
Another medium is the Water Miscible Oil Paint; this is a modern variety of oil paint. One of its features is that it can be thinned and cleaned up with water. The water solubility comes from the use of oil medium in which one end of the molecule has been altered to bind loosely to water molecules.