Painting is a medium in which artists convey their thoughts and emotions through the use of pigments and paint on a surface such as paper or canvas. It can be naturalistic and representational, photographic, abstract or loaded with narrative content, symbolism or emotion.
It may be an art form that is influenced by spiritual motifs and ideas, cultural or religious heritage, or by the political or social agenda of the time in which it was created. It may also serve to express a personal aesthetic or the expressive intent of the artist.
In Western culture, painting typically refers to works of art that are rendered on a flat surface such as canvas, wood or plaster using various media and a brush or other tool to apply the paint. It is an important part of the history and tradition of visual arts.
While traditional Western painting often employs oil or egg yolk as the primary paint media, other traditional and contemporary art practices are increasingly characterized by the use of other mediums such as clay, pastels and charcoal, among others. As such, debates over what constitutes a painting remain a vital and ongoing topic in the globalised and interdisciplinary world of contemporary art.
Before you begin, it is essential to define your intentions and what you want to achieve through painting. For instance, you might wish to become a professional, full-time artist or perhaps just learn to paint as an outlet for creative expression and to develop new skills as a way of self-expression.
To get started, you might decide to explore some of the different kinds of artworks available on the internet or in galleries and museums around you. If you are a beginner, you might want to focus on paintings with subjects that you find inspiring and that will help you practice your painting skills.
Another good idea is to look at photographs and see what appeals to you about them. For example, are the colours vivid and saturated? Or do you prefer the more muted colours of nature? You might even try a picture in monochrome.
Then you need to take your inspiration from the photo and choose your painting materials based on its color scheme, tones, and texture. For instance, if you are painting a landscape scene you might want to use a mixture of greens and yellows, while a portrait painting might benefit from warm colors like oranges and reds.
Next, you need to choose the size of your canvas and your preferred medium (acrylic, oils, pastels or watercolour). You also need to consider the thickness of your brushes and the material you are going to use for the backing of the canvas.
When you are ready to begin, make sure you have everything you need within reach so that you don’t waste time searching for the brush or paper towels you might need. You should also be careful to avoid taking shortcuts or rushing, as this can be a detriment to your progress.