"It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it. "
- General Douglas MacArthur
Painting can be as easy and simple as you want it to be. All you need is a little push and dedication.
Do you frequently dream of becoming a painter, but don’t know how to, or when to start? Do you often put it off until you get more time? Or, are you carried away by the myth that it only takes talent to become an artist! Well, don’t believe it!
Your fascination and desire, combined with enthusiasm are the most significant factors you need for creating your desired painting. You need to hang on and keep trying!
Today, we are here to free you from any myths regarding painting and guide you on how to become a self-taught artist! So, let’s get started!
Decide Your Medium
First thing first, you need to choose the medium you want to focus on. The four major choices are oils, acrylics, watercolors, and pastels.
There is no correct choice here. All of them have their pros and cons. You need to find out which medium suits you the most. If one type of paint doesn’t match with you, go for another.
Oil painting requires a certain level of skills. Most professionals use oil paints because-
- It takes quite some time to dry, even with a drying agent. So, there is no need to work at a stretch. Breaks can be taken to think and to take rest.
- It gives enough time to work on color transition and to create more subtle and realistic shades.
- These paints don’t shift as they dry up, like some other paints.
If you are confused about where to start, we suggest you give a thought to oil paints. But it is also important to note that, you need to be patient while working with oil paints as sometimes they take days to dry. Besides, they tend to change color, mostly turn yellow as they age. Using binders can delay the process, but can not stop it.
these paints are suited to most people because-
- They also take some time to dry and remain workable for days.
- Even if they dry up, they can be reactivated by applying some water.
- They are very easy to clean up and less toxic.
- They are more durable and budget-friendly than oil paints.
Nevertheless, they dry up faster than oil paints. And once dried, they are hard to wash from clothes or nails. Some colors may get dark when dried. Still, we think acrylic paints are a great option for beginners.
Watercolor is another common medium. They come in different forms, like pan, liquid, and tube paint. They are easy to blend and comparatively cheap. They can also be reactivated with water, years after you finish your painting. However, watercolor is a messy medium. The colors can splatter quickly and make things messy. So you need to be extra careful when you use watercolors.
Pastel colors have a velvety texture with a wide range of colors. You won’t need many tools to work with pastels as you would need with other paints.
We encourage you to try all the mediums, then choose a particular one and be an expert on it. Better than being average, be the master of one medium.
Get Your Tools
The tools you will need are dependent on the medium you choose. In a broad sense, you will need –
- An easel for supporting your artwork
- Paper for watercolor/ canvas for oil or acrylic paints
- A color mixing palette
- Brushes suitable for your medium
- Paper towel for cleaning your brushes between strokes
- Palette knives
- The solvent for oil paintings
These are the products that you will need at the beginning. Don’t buy too many tools or brushes at once. You can always upgrade your products later on.
Get An Overview Of The Basic Painting Steps
The steps of creating a painting differ from artist to artist. Some artists begin with larger figures, and then gradually move to small ones and detailing. Some artists first sketch out the shapes, then move to colors. Some start with flat smudges of colors.
There are no right or wrong steps in painting. Simply go with the ones, you are most comfortable with. You can gather more knowledge from many how-to books and free online videos that are available on a basic painting by several renowned artists.
Learn To Mix Colors
We are so familiar with colors that we often tend to take it for granted. Beginners often hesitate to mix colors thinking it to be complicated. But once you get the basic color mixing techniques, a wide range of painting possibilities will open for you.
So, accept the challenge, learn, and practice, and soon you will be creating the correct tone, shade, and the perfect painting.
Decide What You Want To Paint
Since there is a wide range of options, people often get into a dilemma in choosing the first subject. We would suggest you go for an easy one first. It can be an object of nature, a simple sketch, or scenery.
- Create The First Painting, Observe, And Improve
Now that you have the tools, and you have chosen the subject, it is time to create your first painting. The first painting may be harder than it looks. Artists usually make it look very easy, but don’t forget that they have been painting for years. Moreover, don’t be frustrated if it takes more time and effort and doesn’t come out as you expected.
After that, review and observe your painting. Find out where you have gone wrong and how you can improve in the future.
In conclusion, don’t worry about what other people think or say. Try and experiment with new methods and things as you grow eventually. Always remember that practice is the only way that can make you a great artist.