Have you wanted to paint but unsure where to start?
Are you feeling that painting is too complicated to grasp on your own after seeing the vast range of YouTube videos and available art materials?
Or are do you think that to be able to start painting, you need to have some natural born talent?
But let me assure you that you don't need any natural talent, big-budget to afford all art materials, an art studio or an arts degree to start painting. In fact, you can get started and keep going with a basic kit of art materials, an attitude of curiosity, a little bit of practice and having lots of fun while you learn.
A tip to remember is that any art medium and associated painting style involves learning techniques which become your alphabets to paint your stories onto canvas. Painting is a visual way to communicate. You will feel much more confident in getting into a creative headspace and start painting if you start looking at painting techniques as alphabets that will enable you to express yourself via paints on canvas.
#1 : Claim your creative space.
What that means is you are going to need a space to spend your creative me-time and paint whenever you feel like. It is much easier to maintain interest and commitment to painting when you have a space that you can leave your artworks drying and return to paint whenever you are able to. Kitchen tables are fine for those who don’t have young ones living with them. If you do then a spare room, or a niche where you store your art materials safely would be handy.
If you are lucky to have a spare room or shed then go ahead and add items that inspire you and convey positive vibes. Also ensure that you have a storage which is free from dust and protected from extremes of temperature. This is because some art materials like isopropyl alcohol or turpentine can be flammable. Plus moisture can damage canvases and papers by encouraging mould growth.
#2 : Gather a set of basic art supplies
Decide on media you want to start with such as watercolours or oils or mixed-media. Once you have have identified what you want to start experimenting with, you’ll need to create a checklist for art-materials to check what you own and one’s that you need to buy. Get your free checklist here.
But before you go shopping, there are few things you need to know on how/what to choose in regards to art materials.
Art educators highly recommend that you invest in the professional quality paints as the cheaper grades have lesser pigment and more binders, often resulting in dull paintings.
While there are few exceptions such as Chromacryl’s student range, most cheap paints set you up for failure.
However, I have found that the high costs of professional grade art products and a low budget may discourage many from making a start. So I suggest investing in the best that you can afford and to slowly build up your stash of art materials as and when your budget allows.
For selecting colours, all you’ll need are three colours—red, yellow, and blue. With these 5 colors, you can learn to mix a version of every other color that you need: greens, purples, oranges, browns, grays, and blacks. If you still need more, the rest of the colors you can gradually purchase once you identify your style and feel confident in your artistic or painting abilities.
Another tip is to purchase a good quality white and black/payne’s gray for your art box if you can buy only a few.
Most commonly available types are cotton 10-12 Oz canvases in assorted shapes (rectangular, square or circular), depth of stretcher bars (single and double thick), thicknesses of canvas(such as 8, 10, 12 Oz.) and materials (such as cotton, linen).
Choose a regular size and type that fits your budget for starters and take it from there.
For painting with watercolours, you’d need to buy thick watercolour paper of about 300 GSM thickness as it’ll allow room for mistakes such as overworking a paper when just learning this medium.
You will find that old cotton T-shirts and kitchen towels works best.
You're also going to need a plastic container to rinse out your brushes and keep them clean again in different stages of the painting. Remember that keeping your water and brushes clean will ensure paintings are not murky and colours remain vibrant and expressive of your creative voice.
Last, an old melamine plate or a palette will complete your basic art-kit to get started with painting.
#3 : Finding inspiration for your muse.
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned artist, the process of finding inspiration is something we all engage in time and again. And while it is often said that looking for inspiration is for amateurs that not necessarily true. For some looking for inspiration could be due to difficulties getting into their creative head-spaces and meet the ‘urge’ to dump their anxieties on canvases or could be because they need to try something different from usual painting subjects. It is an activity you could undertake just to warm up your creative juices. Whatever the reason know that finding inspiration is essential part of painting process and not something limited to beginner painters.
Here are 3 easy ways to get started on your path to finding inspiration to paint
#4 : Select a subject
Once you’ve had your fill of looking for inspiration decide on a subject that appeals to you. Pick something simple yet meaningful to you. Again it’s much easier to create from a place of comfort and desire than a generic tutorial.
#5 : Create your first painting!
Your first painting is very important as it marks your first foray into a new art form. And no matter how it turns out, be proud of yourself for having taken the first step to many hours of a creative activity proven to aid better well-being.
Getting started as a beginner painter is just that easy. The key is that you have to start. Spend as little time as possible getting ready to paint. Don't put off creating that first painting. Get started as soon as you can, and then set about improving your skill and art.
Do you ever wonder how some painters get their colours right every time for every work of art?
Do you know of a hobbyist whose paintings never fail to amaze you with the vibrancy of the colours and emotions conveyed through their art works?
Paints an egg or a dog or stormy beach scene or moon lit sky – they all touch a chord, tell a story and looked luminous and full of life just on account of the colours. And this person has never been to art school??!
One of those people? I do... I know several.And honestly they used to bug me.
How come every colour they mixed looked right where as my efforts still looked amateurish and lacked depth?
What was their secret?
I’ll tell you exactly what their secret is...
Artists and hobbyists refer the Colour Theory Guidelines to avoid muddy paintings and maintain luminosity in their paintings. So when I resumed painting after a 15 year hiatus, I decided to arm myself with all the art school books on techniques and one of them was on Colour Theory and its use in art practice.
So the only problem was... that didn’t help.
Little did I know that ‘Colour Theory’ is an extensive topic if not complex ...and requires years of practice to master and get the luminous and vibrant colours right every time. Those books offered colour-mixing recipes which were helpful... but the concepts and the terms and its application was hard to remember when actually needed in practice!
I frequently got confused with the various colour schemes in practice and was unable to select colour schemes that looked aesthetically right for my abstract art-making process. If you want to get into splashing, dripping and any of those freestyle expressive styles of painting then knowing how to recall colour theory when you are in the creative zone is a must.
Worse was when I ended up with muddy colours on a painting because I followed the colour recipes which said mix red and blue to get violet...but none mentioned (at least not in BOLD) that there are various types of reds and some of them actually don’t mix well with blue to give you a purple or violet...you get ‘MUD’ or what’s referred to my artists as ‘Neutrals’!!
Creativity, as research shows, is generally a pleasurable activity that helps lower stress and is good for our mental health...but I felt that the effects were nullified if everything I made was lack-lustre and/or a muddy mess.
And that is when I decided to go back to the basics I learnt in my fine art courses in school which I remember vaguely offered as a very simplistic and almost foolproof way to remember the colour theory in a way that we could use it in practical projects.
Designed for easy recall for school children, there is no reason why adult learners of art can’t use it!
I means as adults we have to time-manage everything and if there’s way that we could just jump-start our way into a fulfilling painting session without going through tons of art literature and books – then why not learn this method to save time and feel that sense of satisfaction at the end of our ‘creative me-time’.
Plus for those wanting to paint abstract styles, trying to recall colour theory concepts can prove to be a creative block for painting freely and expressively.
Now you could go and buy or borrow colour theory books and spend lots of time and money to learn it by yourself or you could save yourself time and hassle by doing this easy jump-starter course on ‘How to do colour-mixing for absolute beginners’ where I have included all the tips, tricks and secrets to paint using a limited number of colours and avoiding muddy paintings for good.
‘How to do colour-mixing for absolute beginners’ will:
If you would like to jump-start your colour-mixing skills and never paint muddy paintings again then get onboard this online course right now!
It’s so easy to give in to buying art materials thinking that more of art materials you own, better would be your artwork. Nothing could be further from the truth.
There are many ways to create good artwork with limited art materials and tools. Have a look at this limited palette painting created by artist John Magne Lisondra. His videos show how he’s able to create beautiful paintings buts with limited palette made of 3 primary colours, white and black.
Check out the link explaining his technique: https://youtu.be/uMxssCDdFoE
Find alternatives for paint supplies. Explore the hidden potential in unconventional items found in salvage yards and op shops. Old metal pans and garden tools make excellent surfaces for oils, acrylic and variety of permanent marker pens. Check out the following link:
Examine the plastics that are going in your recycle bin – question if these can be reused for paint storage or water containers to clean brushes. You could also recycle your canvases by gessoing them. As Gumble suggests, “If you are not yet at a stage where you can sell your work, you can do art on and with almost anything. You could draw on kraft paper, for instance, or other perishable or light sensitive materials until you reach a point where you want your work to last”.
Artist Lee Hammond discusses on her blog on how her ‘favourite palette is one that she found at the corner Dollar Store. A tray made for condiments or chips came with a very slick plastic surface, enabling the paint to peel right off. Being light weight, it was also easy to hold, and the wells in it were perfect for mixing colours. Being plastic she found it was great to use for both oils and acrylics’.
So look for unconventional surfaces to express your creativity, save money while helping reduce waste going into landfill!
If you’re lacking skills to paint a particular subject then hop online and search. The web offers an abundance of information and you can find a variety of resources to suit skills of any level. From paid online tutorials, eBooks to free videos of art techniques, it’s all available and quiet a few for free. For example: YouTube has free tutorials where many artists generously share their skills and showcase their work. Make use of this generosity and aim to pay it forward.