Learn the Basics of Painting

Painting is the meditative act of applying wet pigment to a surface. It used to be confined to the creation of realistic or abstract depictions, but has since morphed into mixed-media assemblages that incorporate drawing and other elements, such as photography, digital printing, tattoo, and architectural design. It has absorbed aspects of high culture and low, influencing commercial illustration and decorative, theatrical, and commercial art, while maintaining a place at the center of artistic production.

Historically, the craft, form, and subject matter of painting were controlled largely by early cultural traditions of tribes, religions, guilds, and royal courts. These influences continued until the notion of a “fine artist” emerged in Renaissance Europe and East Asia, affording painters the social status of scholars and courtiers while allowing them to sign their work and decide its design and often its subject and imagery.

A painter can become an expert by learning the fundamentals of color, value, composition, edges, brushwork, and technique. Mastering these skills will benefit every stroke and compound the painter’s level of skill over time. Painters must also consider their purpose for painting – what they want to say through their art. They may want to express their own unique style or they might be drawn to a specific period of art history. Whatever the motivation, it is essential that a painter develop a clear vision for their practice and stay open to change and experimentation.

In a world that often devalues and disparages the creative arts, many people who long to paint never take up the brush because they believe they don’t have innate talent or they aren’t financially able to afford instruction. Others are intimidated by the wide array of brushes, paints, and other supplies on the shelves at art supply stores. Still, others simply don’t know how to start.

Painting is a powerful activity that can help you learn to deal with adversity and find happiness. It can even improve your overall mental health by reducing stress and anxiety levels. Creating visually appealing artwork that others admire encourages positive emotions in the painter and motivates them to reach new levels of skill.

If you are ready to begin a new painting project, prepare the surface of your canvas or wall by using a sander or scraper to smooth out bumps and cracks. Then apply a primer to seal the surface and ensure your paint will adhere properly. Once the primer has dried, you can sand down any rough areas and sand again to prepare it for a fresh coat of paint. Use a roller to shave off some time and speed up the process by rolling on the paint rather than cutting in with a brush first. This trick will save you from having to use as much blue painter’s tape, and it will allow you to roll right up to the edges without worrying about staying in the lines. You can also try a putty knife instead of the standard brush for tricky corners.