Learning to paint - useful tips for beginners

Learning to paint can be a great adventure and a great passion, but it takes time and a lot of patience. Check out our tips on how to

Learning to paint - useful tips for beginners
Learning to paint - useful tips for beginners

Learning to paint can be a great adventure and a great passion, but it takes time and a lot of patience. Check out our tips on how to learn to paint with watercolors, acrylics and oil paints.

How to learn to paint pictures?

Many people are looking for an answer to the question of how to learn to paint pictures. As with any art form, getting started is not the easiest. Therefore, it is worth remembering a few rules:

  • Start by learning to draw - if you haven't had any contact with painting or drawing before, you should reach for a piece of paper and a pencil first. Mastering the basics of chiaroscuro, perspective, and human anatomy will be much more difficult if you want to go straight to paints.
  • Plan your time - just like in the case of a drawing, you need to spend a certain amount of time on painting. Thirty minutes a day is not enough to become familiar with paints and other tools. Painting should be done for at least 2-3 hours a day, twice a week.
  • Use the knowledge of experienced people - you don't have to be a self-taught person. If you do not feel strong enough to master all the techniques alone, use the knowledge of professionals. You can sign up for a painting course in your city, buy painting books or find a step-by-step tutorial on YouTube.
  • Don't be discouraged - the beginnings are always hard. Painting can be mastered if you devote enough time to it and do not be discouraged by failures. Every artist and painter has started out sometime.

Learning to paint with watercolor

Painting with watercolors for beginners may seem difficult. Especially since it practically does not allow for corrections. Therefore, it is worth remembering a few important details:

Apply colors from light to dark - this is one of the most important principles of watercolor painting. Thanks to it, it is possible to obtain a harmonious whole;

Try different techniques - try the wet paint technique on a wet sheet, which is recommended for landscapes, or wet paints on a dry sheet;

Control the use of water - during the first contact with watercolors, it is very easy to overdo it with the amount of water. If we use too much of it, stains will start to form and the pigment will dissolve. On the other hand, if we use too little of it, the paint will not behave as it should;

Be careful with the layers - in watercolor painting it is inadvisable to apply too many layers. Remember that you will no longer paint over what has been painted, as in the case of oil or acrylic paints.

What watercolors to choose?

Learning to paint with watercolors should start with choosing the right materials. Watercolor paints, also known as water paints, may be associated with art lessons in kindergarten or the first years of elementary school. And in fact - most of us had contact with them since childhood, but articalers are far from professional watercolor paints. Watercolor paints intended for artists are much more pigmented than those intended for children, and you can also buy them in dozens of colors. They come in two forms: cubes or tubes. The cubes will be a good choice for people who want to paint outside the home - they are easy to transport in a case and do not take up much space. They will work well for works of a small format and those intended to be light and blurry. Just spray them with water or rub with a damp brush and they are ready to use. Many people use them in their bullet journals for a reason. Watercolors in tubes are much more efficient and do not require a lot of water, as is the case with cubes. Using them outdoors, however, can be problematic and inconvenient as they require you to take your pallet with you. They will be ideal for large-format works where colors need to be strong and expressive, as they do not require multiple layers to achieve this effect.

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High-quality watercolors intended for professionals can cost up to several hundred. For learning to paint with watercolors, 8-12 colors will be enough - other shades can be obtained by mixing them. The issue of brushes and paper is also important. Brushes must be soft, absorb water well and hold it. In turn, the paper should be of a high basis weight, for example 250-300 g / m2. Thanks to this, it will not wiggle and it will tolerate the application of several layers of paint.

Learning to paint with acrylic paints

Painting with acrylics is a relatively new technique that was developed in the mid-twentieth century. It was disseminated by, among others Andy Warhol, the king of pop art. Acrylic has a large group of supporters because it is universal and can be painted just like with oil or watercolor paints - of course with some exceptions. Their great advantage is the fact that they dissolve well in water, so you do not need any solvents. They have intense colors and dry quite quickly, which can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. On the one hand, it is possible to apply new layers in a short time, and on the other hand, it is not possible to work with paint on canvas. After painting the picture with acrylics, we will be able to enjoy its appearance for a long time, because the coating is durable and resistant to yellowing. Using them allows you to achieve an effect between oil and watercolor. Learning to paint pictures with acrylic paints will be easier than in the case of watercolors or oils, so beginners can successfully start with it.

Learning to paint with acrylics should begin with the preparation of all the necessary utensils. The first are, of course, paints - it's best to choose those from the middle price range. By using the cheapest acrylics of poor quality, it's easy to get discouraged. In painting, you will also need stiff but elastic brushes, supports (e.g. cotton, synthetic, painting base or a special block for acrylic painting), as well as a drawing board or an easel. In addition, you can also use other accessories, such as putty.

Learning to paint with acrylic paints - techniques

Learning to paint with acrylic paints will not do without checking various techniques:

  • Water technique - it consists in applying acrylic paint dissolved in water on wet or dry paper, similar to watercolors. Due to the quick drying, shading or mixing of colors, which would be possible when painting with watercolors, it will be significantly more difficult here. Acrylic paints allow for easy corrections in case of mistakes, which is important for beginners;
  • Mixed technique - due to the fact that acrylic easily dissolves in water, it can be successfully combined with, for example, watercolor, ink, pastels, gouache, pencil and others;
  • Oil technique - it consists in applying quite thick and covering layers in order to achieve an effect similar to painting with oil paints. It will also be easier because acrylics, unlike oils, dry quickly. Learning to paint pictures with acrylic paints will be easier than in the case of watercolors or oils, so beginners can successfully start with it.

Learning to paint with oil paints

Oil paints were used several hundred years ago, but they became widely used in the 16th century. Learning to paint oil paintings takes patience because unlike acrylics and watercolors, they take a very long time to dry. On the other hand, a novice painter can mix paints without haste and correct any mistakes. Durability is a characteristic feature of oil paints. The paintings painted with them survive even for hundreds of years. Water is not enough to dilute oils - turpentine should be used. They also have quite a strong smell, so painting at home is not always an option. Oil paints require hard bristle brushes, such as synthetic or bristles. When it comes to the canvas, they can be special blocks for oils or cotton supports. The disadvantage of the latter is primarily their price. HDF, MDF or fibreboards are a great and cheap alternative. It is enough to properly prime them with white facade paint.

What paints to learn to paint oil paintings? For beginners, studio paints, which students often use, will be suitable. They are quite cheap, so their quality is not the best, but they can be successfully taught. The basic color palette is also enough to start with.

How to learn to paint with oil paints?

The basic rule in painting with oil paints when using layers is to apply fat over lean. This means that the bottom layer should be less greasy than the top layer. Therefore, painting should be started with a paint thinned with turpentine, kerosene or other solvent. Subsequent layers should be enriched with a special medium, e.g. linseed oil. Thanks to this, the image will last longer and we will have more time to rework as it will dry at a slower pace. The last layers will also be much more saturated and we will prevent them from falling off. After the paints are completely dry, apply a varnish, i.e. a special varnish that protects the surface of the painting. Unfortunately, you have to be prepared for the fact that it can dry up all year round. After this time, it is worth dusting the painting and applying it again. Thanks to this, the gloss will be even. Learning to paint with oil paints is not the easiest one, but this technique is certainly considered noble and appreciated by many artists due to its numerous advantages.