The Basics of Painting


Painting is an expressive art that can convey a wide range of emotions and ideas. It can depict a natural scene or an object, tell a story, or be wholly abstract. It’s one of the most ancient forms of visual communication and has been used to communicate political, cultural, educational, and entertaining viewpoints from around the world throughout history.

The process of creating a painting can vary widely from artist to artist, but there are some fundamental techniques that are useful for anyone learning to paint. A good start is to understand how value and color work together. Value refers to how light or dark a color is, and is one of the most important aspects of any painting. It’s also helpful to learn the basics of composition and edges.

It’s a great idea to get familiar with the tools and supplies you’ll need for your project, so you can feel confident when you’re ready to begin. We’ve got some tips for prepping your walls for a paint job here, and don’t forget to check out our primer and paint buying guide. It’s worth taking the time to properly prep your walls and surfaces to ensure you’re left with a professional finish that you can be proud of.

Once you’re comfortable with the basics, it’s a good idea to experiment with different techniques. Try changing the way you apply your brushstrokes, or even switch to a different type of paint. Water-soluble oils, for example, are a popular choice amongst artists because they can be blended and cleaned up with water instead of solvents such as turpentine.

When you’re ready to start, choose a subject that inspires you and feels challenging. It’s also a good idea to have a clear “big why” for your project, a single idea that makes you want to pick up your brushes. This can help you to stay focused on the task at hand, and prevent you from becoming distracted or discouraged by mistakes or challenges along the way.

One of the most important things to remember when starting out is that it takes time to develop a unique and memorable style. Rather than trying to create a “perfect” painting right from the start, focus on improving your fundamental skills, such as color, value, composition, and edge control. These will compound over time and lead to a more impressive painting overall.

It’s also a good idea to practice with some of the masters who came before us. By studying their styles, you can learn the techniques they used and how to use them in your own paintings. This is an invaluable resource and can help you become a more proficient painter. However, beware of gimmicky techniques and secret methods; the only true secrets are hard work and a willingness to learn. If you stick with it, you can achieve the beautiful, expressive paintings of your dreams. Good luck!