Painting is a medium through which many people can express their thoughts and emotions. No prior experience is necessary and if you have taken any art class, even if you painted with your fingers in elementary school, then you have already had an introduction to painting. Boost your skills starting with step 1 below, or seek more specific help by reviewing the sections above.
Part 1 of 5: Choosing a medium
Step 1. Consider your goal
What kind of painting and art do you hope to create? Do you need a lot of time to work on a single project or do you hope to finish pieces in one go? Do you have a spacious work area with good ventilation or a small area that can cause fumes to build up? How much money do you expect to spend on materials? It is important to consider all of these things before engaging in one type of painting.
Step 2. Try watercolor paints
Watercolor paints come in small pigment tubes. When used alone they are thick, opaque and do not cover many areas. When used in combination with water, they will become light and transparent. Watercolor paints are used on specific paper made to be used with these paints; Any old piece of paper won't necessarily work very well. These paints do not allow thick layers of color, but they do give a nice effect of light, translucent layers of color.
- Watercolor paint sets start at $ 20 and can cost upwards of $ 100. If you want a quality starter set, expect to pay $ 50- $ 80 to get started.
- Because watercolors can only be used on specialty paper that will not wrinkle or curl when in contact with water, there are limited options of things to use as a "blank canvas," unlike acrylic paints and oil paints. oil.
Step 3. Consider painting with acrylic paints
Acrylic paints are another quick-drying, lower-fume water-based paint option. These are a good option for anyone interested in completing a painting in just one day. You can stack thick layers of paint for a nice 3D effect and because they are water soluble, they can be cleaned from surfaces and washed off textiles. The downside is that because they dry so fast, mixing and wet-on-wet techniques can be difficult to apply.
- The application style and general appearance of acrylic paints is more similar to oil paints.
- Acrylic paints are generally cheaper than oil paints and require fewer additives. However, they are a bit more intuitive in terms of layering and technique than watercolor paints.
- Acrylic paints are much less toxic than oil paints, as they do not emit fumes or require a lot of ventilation. If you are working in a small space or have pets and children nearby, acrylic paints are a safer option than oil paints.
Step 4. Consider using oil paints
Arguably the most advanced option of the three painting mediums, oil paints are thick and slow drying, offering dozens of specialized techniques. These take around three months to dry completely, making them the best option for someone who needs or wants a long time to work on a painting to completion. The downside is that they are slightly toxic and require a great deal of ventilation when wearing them.
- Oil paints are the most expensive option of the three painting mediums and require many additional materials including Stoddard solvent and gel.
- Oil paints have the richest colors of the three paint mediums and will dry to mixed color.
Step 5. Get quality paintings
When you have decided what type of paint you want to use, you will need to select a brand. As a beginning painter, it is tempting to want to buy the cheapest brand available. However, you will save time and money (in the long run) by buying quality materials. There are higher levels of pigmentation in good quality paints, which means that a single brush stroke is required whereas with a cheap paint it may take 2 to 3 to obtain a solid coat of paint. You'll end up using a cheap tube of paint much faster (and with much more frustration) than a more expensive tube of paint.
Part 2 of 5: Learning the Elements of Painting
Step 1. Understand the use of lines
The most basic type of line used in art is the contour line; this is the line that is drawn to sketch an object. Some painters include contour lines around their subject, while others just use patches of color to show shapes. Determine whether or not you plan to use very obvious lines (such as contour lines) in your painting.
Step 2. Learn how to build shapes
Each paintable object is the culmination of several shapes together. The biggest problem for beginning painters is trying to see a subject as a single shape, rather than layers of multiple shapes. Instead of concentrating on drawing the outline of a shape, think of it as multiple shapes that can be connected.
Step 3. Understand the value
The value is the color of your figure when converting it to grayscale; how light or dark a certain color is. Value is important when mixing paints as colors can be misleading when mixing unless taken in terms of light and dark. Note that most paints will only contain a range of value in the lower third (usually light colors), in the middle section (medium grays or medium tones), or in the upper third (usually dark colors) of a grayscale.
Unless there is a great contrast, all the values in your painting should be similar to each other
Step 4. Use your space efficiently
Because you are working on a flat surface, you need to create the illusion of distance through the use of space. To maintain a flat surface, keep objects the same size and separated. To create depth, try overlapping shapes and making things smaller when far away while things closest to the viewer should be larger.
Step 5. Learn how to create texture
To make things look tangible in your painting, you need to create the illusion of texture. The texture is created by using different brush strokes and moving the paint in different directions on the canvas. Quick short strokes will add a skin texture while long flowing strokes will make things look softer and longer. You can also physically reinforce the paint on the canvas to create texture.
Step 6. Create movement with your paint
The movement is like the continuation of the texture, but on a larger scale. Movement is created when a texture pattern is repeated multiple times throughout the canvas. Not all paintings require movement, but if you are trying to create a realistic painting, then movement is an important element to incorporate.
Step 7. Look at your composition in general
The design of your painting and the arrangement of objects and figures is known as composition. To create an interesting composition, the figures must be arranged in such a way as to cause the viewer's eyes to sweep across the painting. Avoid putting a single figure in the center of your painting, as this composition is the most basic. Create interest by putting a single figure at an intersection of third parties, or by adding interesting objects in the background.
Part 3 of 5: Creating your painting
Step 1. Choose a topic
The most important decision in your painting is deciding on a subject to focus on. For most beginning painters, it is easier to choose an image (which is already flat) and paint a copy of it rather than choosing a three-dimensional object. To start, look for something with basic lines and shapes, without too many colors, that is easy to assess your artistic abilities. Common themes for beginning painters include:
- A bowl of fruit
- A vase of flowers
- A stack of books
Step 2. Create an outline
While not a requirement, many painters find it helpful to draw a rough sketch of the figure on their canvas before painting it. Use a soft graphite pencil to lightly sketch the outline of the shapes and figures on your canvas. You'll paint over that, but having a smooth outline will help keep your paint in the correct areas.
Step 3. Find the light source
The colors you mix and the arrangement of the paint on your canvas depend on the light source. Look at your subject and determine where the light areas and the dark parts are. With this in mind, mix your paints to create multiple shades or hues of a single color to combine colors efficiently if necessary.
Step 4. Begin painting the background
When painting, it is best to work from the background to the front. This will help to layer objects accurately and create the perception of distance. Paint in one color all the time, going back and adding other layers of color as you work. You should paint the background first and you can add objects closer to the foreground later.
Step 5. Add your theme
When you're happy with the background, you can add objects and shapes. Work with layers of paint, similar to how you added the background. Your subject is the center of attention in your painting, so it is important that you spend a lot of time paying attention to incorporating all the art elements into it. Analyze it from all perspectives and focus on recreating shapes instead of the whole figure.
- If you have trouble painting your subject accurately, put your head paint on. Painting it from a different angle will force your eyes to see exactly the shapes that create the figure, rather than the symbol of the shapes that your mind creates.
- Start with the light colors and then with the darker ones. It's difficult to layer dark colors over light ones, so start with whites and pastels before moving on to hues and tones.
Step 6. Add the details
When you are finishing your painting, add the details you want for your background and your figures. Often times this includes adding texture with your brush, a wash or glaze, as well as small or complex shapes as a coating. This is the time for you to take a minute to finish the touch-ups.
Step 7. Clean
With the final details completed, your painting is done! Touch up any mistakes in your painting, sign in a corner, and clean up your work supplies. It is very important to thoroughly clean your brushes so that they stay in good condition and work well for future projects. Store any leftover paint in containers and store your art supplies.
Part 4 of 5: Gathering the Remaining Materials
Step 1. Select your brushes
There are two main things to pay attention to when choosing a brush: the shape of the bristles. Bristles come in three shapes: round (with a cylindrical tip), flat, and countersunk (like a flat brush that ends in a point). Bristles can be made from sable (mink) hair, synthetic hair, synthetic blend, bristle hair, or squirrel hair.
- For watercolor paints, the best brushes are sable or squirrel hair, with a round tip.
- The best brushes for acrylic paint are synthetic or synthetic mix with a flat tip.
- For oil paint, the best options to use are synthetic and bristle mix with a cat's tongue tip.
Step 2. Get a canvas
A stretched canvas is the best option, as it is relatively inexpensive and all three types of paint will work on it. However, thick drawing paper, canvas panel, and watercolor paper are also good options. Acrylic and oil paints can be used on most smooth surfaces, including wood and plastic. Watercolor paints can only be used on special paper and canvas or fabric.
- Do not use standard printer paper or any thin paper for painting, as the paint will be very heavy and wet and will cause the paper to curl and warp.
- If you plan to paint on wood or plastic, you will first need to prepare the surface so that the paint will stay in place.
Step 3. Get your other supplies
In addition to the primary supplies, you will need a trowel, jugs full of water (two is fine), and a rag, an old pole, or an apron to use. Other specialized supplies are required for oil paints, but not required for watercolors or acrylics. It is also helpful to get gesso; is a white primer that prepares any surface (including canvas and paper) to create the best surface for painting.
Not necessary for most paintings but often desired, an easel can be used to support your painting. Otherwise, any flat, stable surface will suffice for painting
Part 5 of 5: Mixing colors
Step 1. Get familiar with the color wheel
The color wheel is a color map that shows the shapes to create new colors. Three sets of colors are present: primary, secondary, and tertiary. The primary colors are: red, blue and yellow. These are colors that come straight from a tube; they cannot be done by mixing other colors. However, the secondary colors (purple, green, and orange) can be made from the primary colors. Tertiary colors are between the primary and secondary colors on the color wheel (such as tertiary or peach colors).
- Red + yellow = orange
- Yellow + blue = green
- Red + blue = purple
Step 2. Mix your colors
There is nothing worse than creating a painting using colors only straight from the tube. Mix your colors to create new variations; mix two primary colors in equal amounts to get a true color, or add a little more of one color than the other. For example, doing violet with a little more blue than red will result in an indigo blue color, while mixing more red can result in a dark maroon.
Step 3. Create different shades
Adding a small amount of white to any color will make it lighter, turning it into a hue. Most of the tube colors are very bright and intense; these can be turned into more pastel colors by adding white.
It's harder to add white to a color, so try adding a little of your color to the white paint first. This way, you will have to use less paint to make a tint
Step 4. Mix some shades
The opposite of a hue, a hue is when you mix any color with black. This makes the color slightly darker, that is, turning red to burgundy or blue to navy. It is easier to add a small amount of black to your color (rather than adding your color to the black paint) to achieve your tone. In this case, less is more: always start with the smallest amounts of paint possible to avoid creating a drastically different color all at once.
Step 5. Create different shades
If one color is too bright for your taste, mix it with the opposite of the color to tone down the shine. By doing this you are changing your hue (true color) to a hue; you are reducing the color tone. The opposite of a color is the one directly in front of it on the color wheel. For example, the opposite of red is green, yellow is purple, and blue is orange.
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- Painting the skin tone does not have to be complicated, but if you just mix orange and white to get a peach color, you will notice that it looks unrealistic. Take a moment to observe your own skin. The veins under it make all the difference in colors. For light skin tones, add just a pinch of green and for dark skin tones, just a pinch of blue.
- Be spontaneous, if you have no idea what to paint, dip your brush in random colors and paint on your canvas, you will be amazed at your creation, probably a passion buried in your subconscious.
- Look at some examples of classical paintings, such as the work of Pablo Picasso, Johannes Vermer, Vincent Van Gogh, Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo, Jackson Pollock, Edvard Munch, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. They will give you an idea of the different styles of painting.
- Watch movies about art, such as:
- The young woman with the pearl earring, portraying the art of Vermeer. Many scenes deal with color theory and painting methods.
- Frida, on the life and art of Frida Kahlo, gives excellent examples of illustrative vision and expression, in addition to painting techniques.
- Try to make friends with other painters. In some art schools or art programs, they will have an open studio session where artists can use the same space to work. Talk to others about their preferred style and methods - watching other people work can show you what else you can do.
- Visit art museums in your local area. If there are no museums, contact art departments at nearby colleges and universities to see if they have any exhibits. Some popular galleries in cities have online tours and high-resolution photographs of paintings.