Painting is a form of creative expression, and involves the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other type of medium to a surface. Different types of paint include oil, pastel, acrylic, watercolor and ink, among others. The essence of a painting is usually evoked by the color and tone such as pitch and rhythm are the essence of music. Color in a painting is highly subjective, yet has detectable psychological effects, and can add various contexts to its potential meaning. There are many different variations of painting, such as abstract painting, representational painting, minimal painting or conceptual painting, among many other forms. They are most commonly seen as portraying emotion, symbolical or political nature. The perception and representation of intensity of a painting enables the viewer to connect and understand the purpose of the artist.
The history of painting dates back to pre-historic humans and spans all cultures, continents and millennia. Before the early 20th century its principles relied heavily on representational, religious and classical motifs. Both Eastern and Western European paintings relied generously on spiritual ideas, ranging from the depiction of mythological figures in clay to biblical scenes on the ceiling of the Sistene Chapel by Michelangelo. However, over time more abstract, conceptual and non-traditional concepts have gained acceptance and remain heavily influential today.