How to Start a Painting


Painting is an art that involves the use of pigment, a binder of oil (such as linseed, poppy seed or walnut) and water to create an artwork. It is traditionally applied to canvas or wood, but it can also be used on paper and metal surfaces. The medium is renowned for its vibrancy and ability to produce subtle tone changes, and it can be layered in many different ways to achieve specific effects.

When beginning a painting it’s important to have a plan and to work from either a photo or a sketch of the subject. Some painters will sketch out their entire subject in pencil, but others prefer to just jump right into painting. Regardless, it’s important to start with a solid plan, as this will help guide you throughout the process.

Most painters will purchase a palette that they can work with while painting. There are wooden, plastic and even glass palettes that can be purchased in stores, although a lot of painters will simply use a piece of cardboard or Tupperware lid as their palette. Once a painter has their palette they will spend some time mixing their colors and trying to get the kinds of shades that would be found in the subject they’re going to paint.

It is also important for a painter to have a good selection of brushes. Some brushes will be used for very small details, while others can be used to paint big splashes of color or even draw lines. A painter should also have various solvents and mediums on hand to be able to change the thickness of the paint or slow down its drying time.

One of the most common mistakes that amateur painters make is to over-paint their subjects. This is a mistake that can make a painting look unnatural and overdone. Amateur painters often try to make the shadows on a vase deeper or the lines of the light shining on a table brighter than they actually are. It’s important for a painter to trust their own color checking and not try to exaggerate what they see in the object that they are painting.

When a painting is being painted it’s important for the artist to work in stages and take a step back from time to time to be able to appreciate the progress that has been made. It’s also a good idea for the painter to secure their work to an easel, as this will allow them to be more comfortable and reduce strain on their neck and back.

Once the painting is finished it’s important to let it dry thoroughly, which can take up to a week or longer in some cases. When the paint is completely dry, a sealer or varnish can be applied to help preserve the work. The varnish also protects the painting from harmful UV rays, which can fade the color over time. Alternatively, the work can be cleaned with a solvent such as turpentine.