At first, Stone Age artists painted predator animals (lions, rhinoceroses, sabre-toothed felines, bears) almost as often as game animals like bison and reindeer, but from the Solutrean era onwards imagery was dominated by game animals.
Pictures of humans were an exceptionally rare occurrence, and were usually highly stylized and far less naturalistic than the animal figures.
(Animal paintings at the site were dated to 33,400 BCE.) Next in age comes the Fumane Cave pictures (c.35,000 BCE), then two claviform symbols found at Altamira, dated 34,000 BCE.
The next oldest paintings are those in Chauvet Cave, situated in the Ardeche region of France.
Second, the completed drawing of the animal would be coloured or filled in with red ochre or other pigments.
Third, the edges of the animal's body would be shaded with black or another pigment to increase its three-dimensionality.
In contrast, the term "cave drawing" refers (strictly speaking) only to an engraved drawing - that is, one made by cutting lines in the rock surface with a flint or stone tool, rather than one made by drawing lines with charcoal or manganese.
How did Prehistoric Artists Obtain their Paint Colours?
Did Stone Age Painters Make Preliminary Sketches?
At present we have no firm idea when cave painting first began.
One theory links the evolution of Stone Age art to the arrival of anatomically modern humans in Europe during the period of the Upper Paleolithic.