Do you want to start painting? Are you new to painting? Do you feel a little overwhelmed and don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, I got you covered. It is not as hard as most people think.
As a beginner to acrylic painting you might not have all you need or maybe you don’t have anything. No worries, acrylic paint and brushes are easy to find. Actually, everything you will need is easily accessible, but you are the one who needs to decide how much money you want to put into this. You could buy the most expensive brush set with every brush you could ever think of made of angels hair, and a gold-plated easel with a silver palette. But to be realistic, if you are new and don’t even know if you are going to like it stick to the basics. You can always grow your supplies as you grow as a painter.
As far a paint, you could just buy the three primary colors along with black and white. You can always mix paints to get the desired color (I almost always mix paint). There are also some reasonably priced paint sets that give you a beautiful range of colors in small amounts. Use them, test what works for you, you can always get more of the colors you find you use the most. What ever direction you take, try to keep it simple in the beginning. Paper towel and a glass or jar of warm water (or two) are important for cleaning brushes and any spills that may occur.
To break it down to the bare minimum here is a list to get you started.
- Canvas (come in many sizes, but try to go bigger than a standard sheet of paper so you won’t feel crowded)
- Brushes (I mostly use a 2″ brush, a fan brush a 1″ brush and a fine point brush)
- Paper towel
- Plastic or Paper Plate (use the plate for holding and mixing paint)
That’s it, pretty simple. I have and use other brushes as well as a painter’s knife but most of my painting are done with three brushes. I also like to use an easel, but it is not necessary.
Find a Comfortable Place
Remember, you are likely doing this to relax or have fun. It’s not serious, but distractions and uncomfortable seating (or standing) won’t make for an enjoyable time. Find a place that is at least somewhat quiet and relaxing. Kids running and screaming, a dog barking, or any real big distraction will take away from the experience. If you have a tall easel and prefer to stand great. I like to sit. The point I am getting at is to make this your time to focus and relax. Be comfortable.
I personally like to listen to music while I paint. I also enjoy a beer or wine (or 3 or 4). There are no rules here. What ever helps you relax. Use this time to let go of the stress in life and enjoy what you are doing. I think you will find it makes the process much more fun and you will be coming back for more.
Nobody can tell you what to paint. Paint what you feel like painting. However, when you are beginning, highly detailed paintings can frustrate you and put the seed of doubt in your mind. I suggest starting with some landscapes. Trees and grass, clouds and mountains are very simple and easy to paint. People and objects of detail are fine, and if you are confident and want to paint them GO FOR IT! I just find that some simple paintings that don’t require a lot of time and detail are more fun. Not only that but you can push out a finished painting in 30mins to an hour no problem.
Of course there are some techniques to create different effects (which I will cover in another post) but for now just get paint to canvas and be comfortable. Don’t judge yourself too harshly. Don’t take yourself too seriously. After all, this should be for fun and relaxation, don’t ruin it by telling yourself you suck. You will get better the more you paint.
One of the things that helped me the most was watching old Bob Ross on NETFLIX. If you can find videos of Bob, he will show some of the most common and simple tricks to creating really nice paintings in no time at all. Now you need to keep in mind that Bob used oil paint which doesn’t act the same as acrylic paint. So some of his techniques don’t transfer across directly but variations of the same technique will work. The best way to learn is by making mistakes. And you can’t make mistakes without putting paint to canvas.
Everyone is Different
The first time I went out on a paint night date with my wife, I noticed something. Everyone is different. I mean I knew this already, but I was very impressed by the different ways people paint. Let me explain. My wife is a pretty good painter as well, along with a few other people in the group. Now, if you don’t know what paint night is, it’s where a group of people sign up to meet at a location and follow along with an artist duplicating his/her painting in their own fashion. It’s a great place to go as a beginner because they supply everything and give you direction and support (I highly recommend it if you have something like this in your area). So we are all painting generally the same painting, but everyone has their own style. Everyone mixes colors different, and holds the brush different, and different, different, different. When we had all finished, you could walk around and see that everyone painted the same thing but no two were alike.
The point is, that your style is your style. Picasso, Monet, Bob Ross, all had their own style and signature. So do you! Eventually, you will notice your particular style begin to emerge as you learn different techniques and find the different colors you like and even what you choose to paint. I urge you to keep practicing and find your inner artist.
You don’t need to spend a fortune to get into painting. Let yourself go and have fun, relax. To quote Bob, there are no mistakes, just happy accidents. Painting should make you happy and help take stress away, not add to it. Don’t get too caught up in whether your painting is good or bad, art is subjective. Remember that there are many styles out there and you should watch some videos, try different things and find what works for you. Maybe you are the next big thing, you won’t know until you try.
I have put some links below to help you get started. If you have questions or comments please leave them below. This is my first ever blog so I welcome the input. Thank you.