What does a Fine Artist, Including Painter, Sculptor, and Illustrator do?

Create original artwork using any of a wide variety of media and techniques.

Jobs Roles

  • Use materials such as pens and ink, watercolors, charcoal, oil, or computer software to create artwork.
  • Integrate and develop visual elements, such as line, space, mass, color, and perspective, to produce desired effects, such as the illustration of ideas, emotions, or moods.
  • Confer with clients, editors, writers, art directors, and other interested parties regarding the nature and content of artwork to be produced.
  • Submit preliminary or finished artwork or project plans to clients for approval, incorporating changes as necessary.
  • Maintain portfolios of artistic work to demonstrate styles, interests, and abilities.
  • Create finished art work as decoration, or to elucidate or substitute for spoken or written messages.
  • Cut, bend, laminate, arrange, and fasten individual or mixed raw and manufactured materials and products to form works of art.
  • Monitor events, trends, and other circumstances, research specific subject areas, attend art exhibitions, and read art publications to develop ideas and keep current on art world activities.
  • Study different techniques to learn how to apply them to artistic endeavors.
  • Render drawings, illustrations, and sketches of buildings, manufactured products, or models, working from sketches, blueprints, memory, models, or reference materials.
  • Create sketches, profiles, or likenesses of posed subjects or photographs, using any combination of freehand drawing, mechanical assembly kits, and computer imaging.
  • Create sculptures, statues, and other three-dimensional artwork by using abrasives and tools to shape, carve, and fabricate materials such as clay, stone, wood, or metal.
  • Study styles, techniques, colors, textures, and materials used in works undergoing restoration to ensure consistency during the restoration process.
  • Develop project budgets for approval, estimating time lines and material costs.
  • Shade and fill in sketch outlines and backgrounds, using a variety of media such as water colors, markers, and transparent washes, labeling designated colors when necessary.
  • Collaborate with engineers, mechanics, and other technical experts as necessary to build and install creations.
  • Create and prepare sketches and model drawings of cartoon characters, providing details from memory, live models, manufactured products, or reference materials.
  • Examine and test paintings in need of restoration or cleaning to determine techniques and materials to be used.
  • Create graphics, illustrations, and three-dimensional models to be used in research or in teaching, such as in demonstrating anatomy, pathology, or surgical procedures.
  • Brush or spray protective or decorative finishes on completed background panels, informational legends, exhibit accessories, or finished paintings.
  • Trace drawings onto clear acetate for painting or coloring, or trace them with ink to make final copies.
  • Apply solvents and cleaning agents to clean surfaces of paintings, and to remove accretions, discolorations, and deteriorated varnish.
  • Model substances such as clay or wax, using fingers and small hand tools to form objects.
  • Collaborate with writers who create ideas, stories, or captions that are combined with artists' work.
  • Provide entertainment at special events by performing activities such as drawing cartoons.
  • Render sequential drawings that can be turned into animated films or advertisements.
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