The Basics of Painting


Painting is the art of applying pigment to a surface, most often with brushes but also using sponges and even fingers. It can be done with any type of paint but the most common are acrylics and oils. Traditionally, the surface on which painting is done is canvas but some artists use paper. The choice of medium can be important for an artist just starting out because each has different properties and needs.

For the beginner, it is a good idea to focus on one kind of painting and learn the basic techniques before moving on to other kinds. Then, the student can compare how well each works and can make a more informed decision about which to choose for future projects.

Choosing the subject for a painting is probably the most difficult part of the process. A good painter will try to find the “big why” behind the painting – what is it that makes this particular object or scene worth painting? This can be a challenging question to answer, but finding it can help the painter to focus and stay motivated during the entire painting process.

The choice of brush is another major consideration for a painter. The shape and size of the brush will affect how it is used, and the quality of the brush will have an impact on the finished product. For example, a small, soft brush can create delicate lines and edges while a larger, stiffer brush can provide more power with each stroke.

Once a painter has chosen his or her subject, it is important to work carefully and slowly in order to achieve the desired effect. It is also helpful to add color from light to dark so that the shadows and highlights are clearly defined. This helps the painting to look more realistic.

Some painters like to work on one section of the painting at a time before moving onto another, while others work in different regions at once. It is a matter of preference and style, but it is generally recommended that the painter work steadily and methodically to avoid going overboard or “overworking” the painting. It is also useful to periodically stand back and examine the painting from a distance. This can help to reveal errors or areas that could be improved upon.

For more freedom and spontaneity, some painters may want to experiment with the unpredictability of splattering. This is a way to create splashes and explosions, express movement, or make textures such as sand and dirt. It is often a good idea to wet the brush before flinging it on the canvas in order to control the flow of paint.

Creating a good painting is a long process and it is easy to become frustrated or discouraged, but the key is persistence. Painters must be able to work at their craft every day and find new ways of working and of appreciating the beauty and value of the world around them.