Visual Arts Courses
Dive into the world of creative visual design art with these courses in art history and textile arts. Explore pictorial arts and artists from the prehistoric period through the modern era.
Explore our full library of visual arts courses:
What is Visual Arts?
The definition of visual arts is works made to be appreciated by the eye that require skill and imagination to create. The visual arts include painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, photography, digital art, graphic design, and handcrafts made by skilled craftspeople.
The three main visual arts categories are fine art, decorative, and commercial. Fine art is created for itself. It is meant to be looked at and designed to convey an idea or have the viewer experience an emotion. Painting, drawing, and sculpture are most commonly thought of when one considers fine art. Decorative art is designed not only to be visually appealing but also to serve a function. Decorative art can also be called craft. For example, textile art, including fashion and quilts, would fall in this category. Commercial art is used in marketing to help sell products or to promote companies or causes. Commercial art includes magazine ads and propaganda posters.
Visual art can also divide into representational, abstract, and non-objective art. As the name suggests, representational art includes depictions of easily recognized items. For example, a still-life painting of a vase of flowers would be representational. Abstract art distorts reality in some way. Depictions may be broken down into simple shapes or distorted to emphasize some feature. Non-objective art is not meant to have any basis in depicting actual objects.
Art history is the study of visual art from the prehistoric era until today. Art groups into periods based on the time of its construction and the style of the work. Some periods include Classical, Romanesque, Gothic, Rococo, Neoclassical, Impressionism, and more.
Visual Arts Test Prep
Prepare for important visual arts and history tests by reviewing various art types and significant visual artists using Study.com's test prep materials. Students seeking college credit can study for the DSST Art of the Western World exam. Prospective teachers can prepare for the TExES Core Subjects EC-6 or Praxis Art exams. Test-takers who complete these review materials will feel confident as they approach these significant tests.