The Basics of Painting

Painting is an art form that has been around for thousands of years. It is a way for artists to express themselves and communicate their ideas to the world. The basic skills needed to paint are simple, but there are many different techniques and tools that can be used to create different styles of paintings.

The first step in creating a painting starts before the brush is even picked up, when the artist decides what they want to paint. They must consider what the subject is and if there is a big idea or message that they are trying to convey through the work. They should also think about how they are going to arrange the elements in the painting – shapes, lines, colors and textures.

Getting the basics right will make it easier to achieve a good finish. A good quality canvas is a must and most professional artists will choose to use an easel to work on. This allows them to secure their work and reduces strain on the back and neck. They will also likely have a selection of solvents and mediums at their disposal, these can be used to thin out or speed up the drying process or to produce certain textures.

Another essential part of the kit is a palette. Most painters will prefer to mix their own colors rather than using straight from the tube, this requires a good quality palette. There are plenty of different options available, from professional wooden ones to cheap plastic or cardboard versions. However, many artists will simply use a flat plate or piece of wood or even a Tupperware lid as their palette.

It is important for beginner painters to spend time mastering the basics of color mixing. This will allow them to greatly increase the number of hues that can be produced with only a few tubes of paint. It is also a useful skill to have if they wish to recreate a specific color in the future. It is recommended that a paint mixing chart is kept, as this will help to remember the various combinations of colors that have been used.

Other basics that are useful to learn include the different types of edges that can be created, such as hard, soft and lost. It is also a good idea to practice the technique of scumbling, this involves using a dry brush to add texture to a painted surface. The paint will not be fully blended at this point, and the effects can be quite striking. This was a favourite technique of Turner.

A final skill that can be very effective is smudging, this is achieved by rubbing the wet paint with a rag or piece of paper. It can be used to roughen up a block of colour or to add more texture to the painting. It is also possible to use a variety of materials to add texture to the paint, including egg shells, sand or linseed oil.