Beginner’s Guide to Painting


Painting is a fun and rewarding hobby that can be done almost anywhere. It can help build a strong mental health and promote creativity in individuals of all ages. It can also be a way to express emotions and ideas that may not be suitable for verbal communication.

The first step to becoming a painter is to decide why you want to start. For some, it may be simply to create beautiful art. For others, it may be a means to relieve stress and anxiety. Then, identify your personal style and learn how to use your tools. For beginners, it is important to focus on the fundamentals of painting, including color, value, composition, edges, and brushwork. This will ensure that you get the most out of your time with each stroke of the brush.

Painters can choose to work on a variety of surfaces, from traditional canvas and linen to wood or plastic. When choosing a surface, it is important to prep it with gesso or another primer so the paint will adhere. If using a canvas, it is usually best to stretch it before beginning to prevent it from curling or warping as the paint dries. It is also helpful to purchase a few canvas wedges or stretcher bar keys, which can be used to tighten the stretched canvas if it starts to sag.

Some painters prefer to work with oil paints, which are thicker and dry slowly. They are available in a variety of colors and offer advanced mixing and layering options for professional artists. However, they are expensive and can require solvents for clean-up. Water-soluble oil paints are a good alternative, which provide the benefits of oil paints while drying faster.

It is often helpful to begin painting by sketching the subject with contour lines and gestural marks. This will help you get a sense of the shape and size of the subject as well as its spatial relationship to other objects in the picture. You can then begin to add color judiciously, working from light to dark. Adding darker colors over lighter ones will make it much easier to blend the edges.

Using different brush sizes and types can be a great way to create texture in a painting. Using short little strokes can give the appearance of fur or hair, while longer smoother strokes can create more density and add an element of depth. Varying the amount of paint you apply to the brush can also affect the texture; less paint will create a dry and flaky look, while more will give it a more viscous consistency.

A painting should move the viewer, evoking a feeling of intrigue, curiosity, or emotion. The use of color and composition should be unique and recognizable, with an emphasis on blending and the capturing of light. Although it can be difficult to achieve, a successful painting should be beautiful and compelling. This will engage the audience and entice them to return and view it again.