How to Get Started in Painting


Painting is a fun way to experiment with colors and shapes. You can even let “accidents” happen to create interesting lines and textures. Ultimately, the purpose of painting is to tell a story or convey an idea. So, if you’re going to paint something, try to find a big “why” behind it – what makes it important? This could be a personal story or something you think others will find meaningful. Then, figure out how to communicate that through the composition of all the elements: shapes, lines, colors, and textures.

The process of creating a painting starts long before you ever touch your brushes. It’s all about finding the right subject and then preparing it for painting. Start with a rough sketch of the subject, then transfer it to your canvas and make sure that all of the dimensions are correct. Next, choose your colors and create a tone or “underpainting” to establish the shadows and values of the piece. This is especially important if you’re working with oil or slow-drying acrylics.

It’s also helpful to think about the shapes that you’re going to be using in your painting and how they will connect. A good rule of thumb is to start with the large dark shapes, and then fill them in with the lighter areas. This allows you to work on the bigger picture before getting too caught up in details.

If you’re new to painting, it’s a good idea to use a small brush and work on a simple project. This will give you a chance to learn some basic techniques like washing and stippling. Washing is a technique where you add water to your paint and then use your brush to spread it across the surface. It’s great for making your paintings look more translucent. Stippling is where you use a light touch to create different shapes of pigment, similar to pointillism.

Some painters prefer to paint in a series of steps, starting with the background and then moving on to the subject. Other artists prefer to jump around the canvas, working on different areas of the picture at once. Whatever your style, it’s a good idea to work on the whole painting in stages and take breaks to step back and evaluate it.

It’s also important to remember that you can paint anything — no matter how realistic or abstract you want to be. If you’re just starting out, it can be helpful to work on a simple subject like watermelons or some flowers so that you can focus on the details without worrying about getting your colors right. You can even paint caricatures or exaggerated cartoons, as long as it feels natural to you. Just don’t force it, or you’ll end up with a piece of art that looks forced and unnatural. So, just go for it and see what happens! You might surprise yourself! And don’t be afraid to experiment with different brushes, colors, and styles.