What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a painting? The first thing that comes to mind when you think of a painting is a picture. However, the word painting has a variety of meanings. A painting is usually made of paint applied to a canvas, paper or glass. This type of painting is called an oil painting. Other forms of painting are done on other types of surfaces, such as metal, paper, and glass. The word painting is also used to describe the act of creating artwork.