The difference between different types of paint is an important one. Many of the visual aspects of a painting are dependent upon the particular type of paint that was used in its manufacture.
It is common that as you are painting, much of the paint that you apply will not be used straight from the tube, rather it will be mixed. This mixing can take place on the canvas or on the pallet. Most of the ‘serious’ mixing will be done on the pallet with the fine-tuning being done on the canvas. The science of mixing is simple enough…
As well as referring to the surface upon which you will mix your paints, the term pallet also refers to the selection of paints that you have chosen to paint with.
Paint is a physical material, composed of pigment, binder and (sometimes) an extender. It is often combined with dilutent (e.g. linseed oil). Additionally, the manner in which paint behaves is, in part, dependent on the surface it is painted upon, as in the case of using the primer or underpainting to supply the white values in a painting. The painting can also be treated after it has dried, with varnishes or glazes. The many ways that paint can be applied are almost without bound and all are dependent upon these physical qualities.