Painting is a way to express your creativity on a flat surface. There are many different techniques you can use to get the look you want, from blending colors to creating textures. You can also add a variety of elements to your paintings such as shadows and highlights, lines, or even a splash of water. Whatever your goal is, it is important to understand the basics of painting before attempting any project.
The first step is to decide what sort of painting you would like to create. There are a wide range of possible subjects, from simple landscapes to complex portraits. If you have a specific subject in mind, you should start by looking at it closely and analyzing how light falls on the subject. Photographs are helpful for this, but be careful not to over-reduce the image to the point that the details are lost. The next thing to do is decide what level of detail you would like to portray. Detailed work is time consuming, but it can produce amazing results. It is also good to try a few methods of painting to see which ones you enjoy the most.
Using paints with the right consistency is very important. A thick paint will dry slowly, and will give you better control of the brush strokes. You should also experiment with the different types of brushes available, and the marks that they make. A small selection of four or five different brushes should be enough to start with, although you may find that you want to buy more as you gain experience.
Another important thing to learn is color mixing. By understanding how various colors can be combined you will have a much larger color palette than if you used straight out of the tube. It is also a good idea to have a small container of white paint, as this can be added at the end to highlight certain areas of the picture. For example, in a mermaid painting, a bit of white paint is often added to the tail to show the light reflections.
Getting the correct canvas for your painting is also important. Some artists like to work on a rigid board called an easel, which can be secured with clamps or tape. This makes it easy to work on the painting and reduces strain on the back and neck. Others prefer to paint on a table or other flat surface. Whatever you choose to do, it is a good idea to protect the area with drop cloths and cover it with a tarp to prevent spilling paint or splatters on furniture. It is also a good idea to set up a still life and practice the various approaches to painting that you have learned from videos or books. This will help you to find your own artistic style, and communicate your vision to others.