How to Create a Painting


Painting is one of the most common forms of artistic expression and has been used in all cultures since prehistory. It’s also the oldest and most varied of all art styles, encompassing a vast array of techniques.

Whether you’re an experienced painter or just starting out, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, always go with quality paint. The less expensive stuff may not hold up and can result in the need to apply many coats. Also, be sure to use the right tools for the job. Good paint brushes and a roller are essential for pro-looking results. Finally, be sure to take into account any lighting in the room you are painting, which will affect how the colors look on the surface.

The first step in creating a painting is choosing a subject. You should find something that inspires you, and gives you a “big why” for wanting to paint it. You should have a clear idea of what you want to say through the painting, and how you plan to arrange all of the lines, shapes, tones, and textures to communicate that big idea.

After you’ve chosen your subject, you should sketch it lightly with a light graphite pencil on the canvas or other surface you are using. This helps you get the proportions right, and can also help you to avoid making mistakes by painting over areas that don’t work. You should also decide what type of paint you’re going to use. There are many choices, but oil paints and acrylics are the most popular with beginners. Other options include water-based paints like gouache and watercolors, and even oil-mixable acrylics.

Once you’ve applied the primer and ground, it’s time to start painting. Most painters will lay down a thin wash of white or other color over the entire surface to create a uniform background and help the paint to stick to the surface. This is called a undercoat and is especially important for porous surfaces like wood or rough canvas that can absorb the paint and cause it to chip away. For some surfaces, a more substantial covering is needed, and this is usually referred to as gesso.

Before you begin, it’s a good idea to think about the dimensions of your painting and how you will frame it. This will help you to determine the size of the brush you need and what type of paint to use. Generally speaking, it is better to paint small than large because you’ll have more control over the details.

Once you’ve completed your painting, it is time to sign and date it! You can also choose to frame it or hang it on a wall, although this isn’t necessary. Finally, you should set it up in a well-lit area where you can see it clearly.