10 Popular Types of Paintings

Painting has been a popular form of art and a means of self-expression for centuries. Different artists and cultures have their styles of painting but one thing remains true for all of them; they are all fantastic works of art that people can admire and gaze at for hours on end.

Some paintings tell a story, while others leave it to the imagination of the viewer, some of the greatest works of art have been around for centuries, yet all their secrets have not been unlocked.

Although the best paintings aren’t made solely for the reason of selling them, many people want to adorn their homes with exquisite paintings and so, therefore the demand has to be met.

This leaves us with a big question: what are the most popular kinds of paintings?

If you are looking to buy a painting for yourself or as a gift for someone else, this guide to the most popular types of paintings is here to help. The most popular types of paintings are, without a doubt:

Landscape Paintings

There is no beauty finer than the natural beauty of the world so it is without a doubt that landscape paintings are the most popular types of painting.

Whether it is a view of mountains, a desert, or a lake; putting up a painting of a landscape in your house is like taking a slice out of the natural beauty of the earth and bringing it home.

People love landscape paintings, it can be someplace that a person saw on holiday or a dream destination. Real or imagined, everybody adores good landscape painting.

Abstract Art

A complete opposite of visual reality, abstract paintings focus on different shapes and a variety of colours. Abstract paintings aren’t clear as to what their meaning is and different people may have different ideas as to what the artist intended.

The reason why abstract paintings are so popular is that they allow the viewer to immerse themselves in something out of this world. When choosing a painting to match the home décor, abstract paintings are the way to as the colour scheme can match the room very well.

There can be striking contrasts between two different pieces of abstract painting, some are bold with geometric patterns whereas others are more fluid like a sea of colour. 

Local Views

Paintings of local views are very popular, especially for people who live in suburban or rural areas. Many restaurants display either local paintings or a view from the birthplace of the particular cuisine they serve (for example, a Turkish restaurant anywhere in the world that has a painting of a farm in the Turkish countryside). Local view paintings are generally calm and tranquil, they transport the viewer to a lovely place.

Another form of local view paintings which can be quite popular is something specific to a particular person like a holiday or honeymoon destination. Rather than just displaying a photograph of the area, many people prefer to have a painting instead as they can appreciate the effort of the artist as well as the moment.

Besides, there is something magical and awe-inspiring about paintings of local views. A classic example is a painted cityscape that would give any room a cosmopolitan look.

Wildlife Paintings

Whether you have a favourite animal or not, wildlife paintings are a good choice for people who love animals. Whether it be a majestic lion or an elegant swan, wildlife paintings look spectacular.

A typical feature of these kinds of paintings is that the animal is generally shown in action in a particular setting, a jaguar prowling through the rainforest or a horse galloping across the steppes. The aforementioned characteristics of wildlife paintings help the viewer to understand the untamed nature of the piece, such as the jaguar that is going to hunt as long as it can and this is an example of the powerful force of nature. 

Dog Paintings

They aren’t called a man’s best friend for nothing, and dogs are the most loyal creatures to humans on the planet. It is without surprise then, that so many people want paintings and portraits of their furry best friends.

The reason why dog paintings aren’t included in the section regarding wildlife is that they are two separate categories of paintings in their own right. Whilst wildlife paintings typically show an animal in action in its natural habitat, dog paintings are generally close-up portraits where the dog is staring at the viewer lovingly.

Be it a German shepherd or a Chihuahua, at the end of the day these aren’t ferocious beasts but adorable pets and the paintings emphasise that in an artistic way.

Historical Paintings

When choosing a historical painting there are some spectacular options. It is down to preference, you may prefer a painting of the mighty city of Rome or a naval battle in which ships are ablaze and brave sailors are jumping overboard into the crashing waves below. Here are some types of historical paintings:

- Portraits of notable people
- Vintage cityscapes
- Ships, buildings, and bridges
- Battles

Human Figure Paintings

Humans have always been intrigued by the ability to create a likeness of themselves or others realistically with paint. Even after the invention of cameras, painted portraits are still highly prized and can fetch a high price depending on the skill of the artist and how authentic the likeness is.

Some people purchase paintings of their loved ones, themselves, or a stranger; sometimes it doesn’t matter who the person is but it is the expression that counts and only very skilled artists can paint a clear expression on a person, so clear that without a doubt the viewer will be able to tell if the person in the painting is happy, sad or even outraged!


Some people live by the sea and therefore decorate their homes with paintings of the sea or marine wildlife. You don’t have to live by the sea however and many people just like the idea of a seascape painting. Something is calming about the sea, a sort of therapeutic effect that skilled painters can reflect in their seascape paintings. Traditional fish and chip shops in Britain generally have paintings of the sea or fish, alive ones of course.

Fantasy Paintings

The reason why fantasy paintings are so popular is that the depiction of a creature of a landscape is fictional. This allows the painter the freedom to design as they wish without the restraints that painting something real has.

Anything from dragons to a fictional utopia, fantasy paintings would look great in a child’s or teenager’s bedroom. If you are a fan of the fantasy genre then a painting depicting your favourite character would make an excellent display piece.

Miniature Paintings

Assembling and painting miniatures from a variety of genres has been a much-loved hobby by people of all ages for a very long time. Whether you prefer role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons or full-scale tabletop war games such as Warhammer, there is a vast range of miniatures available to suit all tastes.

Painting miniatures is a lot different from painting on a flat surface but there are specialised paints for the job like wash paints that are transparent and settle in the lines and crevices of the miniature to provide the effect of folded clothes or to separate pieces of amour.

All in all, miniature painting is really fun and you should defiantly give it a try even if you have no ambition of amassing a horde of orcs for conquest and plunder. But if you prefer to buy a collection of ready-painted miniature figures, they would make a stunning display too.