Traditional Folk Art

Traditional styles of decorative painting tend to be referred to as "folk art" for indeed it is "art of the people" having had their origins among peasants and artisans of the past.

Some kind of traditional folk art exists in the history of each of the different cultures of the world and as such there are probably as many types of traditional folk art as there are cultures of the world. Some of the more important ones are featured here.

Traditional Folk Art -  RosemalingTraditional Folk Art -  ZhostovoTraditional Folk Art - Bauernmalerei

Traditional Folk Art -  Tole Painting & French Folk ArtTraditional Folk Art -  HindeloopenTraditional Folk Art -  English Canalboat Painting

Many of the traditional folk art styles are known by the names of the villages or regions from which they originated or by the foreign name associated with the region.

Features of Traditional Folk Art

There are several features generally associated with traditional folk art:

  • they were usually painted with a round brush. Today, filberts may be used in some styles such as zhostovoresulting in a more contemporary look
  • the early artisans used brushes made from the hair of animals such as sable or squirrel. Brushes with mixed hair or completely synthetic can be used successfully for some of the styles
  • a limited colour palette of primary colours was generally used
  • the designs comprised strokework, usually comma strokes, S-strokes, C-strokes

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Traditional Folk Art

Canalboat Painting
French Folk Art

Contemporary Decorative Painting

Faux Finishes in Decorative Painting

Decorative Painting Gallery

Decorative Painting Books & Magazines



Books to help you

Jo Sonja's Guide to Decorative Painting : Traditional Inspirations / Contemporary Expressions
Jo Sonja Jansen (Paperback - June 1999)

Decorative Painting of the World
Susan Gray (Editor) (Hardcover - September 1995




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