How to Get Started in the Art of Painting


Painting is one of the oldest arts and has been a part of human culture for thousands of years. From ancient Mesopotamian temples and Egyptian hieroglyphics to the beautiful cave paintings discovered at Lascaux, paintings have shaped our world. Painting is a great way to express yourself and create something unique, while also challenging you to think about composition, color, and texture.

Creating a painting is a process, and it’s important to be patient with yourself. Don’t rush, and try to let your intuition lead you. This will help you to capture the essence of your subject.

It’s also helpful to work from light to dark when painting, starting with the lightest colors and gradually adding more shade. This will give your painting depth and dimension, and make it look more realistic.

Another technique to try is sgraffito, which involves scratching through paint layers to expose the base layer underneath. This is a great way to add texture to your painting, and it can be done with any type of tool, from the pointed end of a brush to a piece of wood, comb or fork. It’s best to experiment with different tools and see what works for you.

When it comes to choosing your paints, quality is key. A good brand of acrylic or watercolor paint will be easy to work with and last longer than cheaper brands. You’ll also want to invest in some good brushes, especially for stippling and small detail work. Kolinsky sable brushes are the best choice, as they have a fine point and softness that allow you to achieve detailed lines and shapes.

Water or Oil Solvent

A good water-based solvent such as turpentine or mineral spirits will help you clean your brushes and to thin your paints. It’s essential to have a well ventilated workspace as these solvents can be very toxic if used incorrectly. A good set of paper towels or cloth rags to wipe your brushes between colors is also essential.

Color mixing is a huge part of the painting process, and it’s a good idea to make a color chart so you can remember the combinations that work well together. This will also help you save time by not having to mix so many different hues.

Painting can be a very therapeutic practice, and it’s important to embrace happy accidents. Sometimes, if you mess up a section, don’t try to correct it, instead, let it be and see how it effects the overall composition of your painting.