Art is a fantastic way to express yourself and share your ideas with the world, but not everyone decides to take it up as a vocation or even just as a hobby. Maybe you’ve tried painting before, but stopped before you could reach proficiency. Maybe you couldn’t find the time in your busy schedule. Or perhaps, you’re intimidated by the idea of being an artist, believing that only some people are born with a natural talent for painting.
But is creativity really a case of nature versus nurture? Or can anyone learn to paint?
Talent vs. Practice
If you weren’t born with a knack for painting, should you still create art? Put another way: Is it better to be born with natural talent or is it just as fulfilling to put in the work and apply constant practice?
Some people believe that you are either born with the ability to do something great or you are not, and there is no way to change that. And then, there are others who swear by the value of perseverance, that you can achieve anything you set your mind to, if you strive hard enough and put in the time and effort.
Here’s another question: How many of us even end up being actual experts at the ability we were born with? Let’s say you are naturally athletic; that does not mean you are cut out to become a professional ball player. You still need to nurture your talent until you are the best you can be – that is, if you’re even inclined to pursue sports as a profession. What if, in all your sportiness, singing happened to be your life’s passion? Should you be discouraged, if you were not born with an ear for music?
This is an age-old debate and there is no easy answer! Everyone has different talents and abilities, and what works for one person may not for another. But one thing we do know, if you are truly passionate about something, nothing should stop you from pursuing it and enjoying your journey – and that includes painting.
Becoming a Painter: Let’s Start with the Basics
What’s great about learning how to paint is that you don’t even need to be good at drawing! Just pick up a sketchbook and see how many different ways you can interpret the same subject, even if your illustrations don’t turn out the way you want. Relax and take your time.
When you’re ready, start by painting simple objects or landscapes. Don’t force any style, but rather work on refining the one you have. The more you paint, the more your skills will evolve. And as your personal style develops, you’ll begin to notice repeating patterns. You may find that you prefer one type of painting over another. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different mediums and techniques. And of course, what’s important is to stick with it!
For people who want to take their new hobby to the next level or simply prefer learning with a group, there are many classes and teachers out there, for adults and kids alike, if you want to know how to learn drawing and painting for beginners. Among other things, painting classes will teach you the basics of picking paints, brushes, and canvases, and why spending a little extra on quality supplies is key to creating beautiful pieces of art!
Depending on which type of paint you use, you will achieve a different end result. For example, let’s say you want to know how to learn to paint acrylic. Acrylics are water-soluble and great for blending colours together. Oil paints or oils, on the other hand, allow you to paint in a unique way but require another solvent other than water.
For many beginners, it’s natural to want to find the cheapest way to get good results. However, when it comes to paints, using low-cost options can often lead to poorer quality artwork. For one thing, cheap paints often don’t have the same level of pigment as more expensive paints, which can lead to a lack of vibrancy and colour intensity in your paintings. This is particularly noticeable in landscape paintings, where you want the sky to be a bright blue and the grass to be a deep green.
Also, cheap paints are often less durable, meaning that they may not last as long without fading or chipping. This is because the pigments used in less expensive paints are not as finely ground as those found in more expensive brands. As a result, these paints can be more prone to flaking and fading over time. If you’re looking for a paint that will last, it’s best to invest in a higher quality product.
If you’re on a budget, there are ways to make your cheap paint more durable. For example, you can add a sealant to your painting once it’s finished to help protect the surface from fading and chipping. You can also choose a location for your painting where it will be less likely to be exposed to harsh weather conditions or sunlight.
Besides the type of paint, the outcome will also fall on the type of brush you use. What works for watercolour may not work for acrylic or oils. There are several types of brushes for painting, which are characterised by various fibres. When you’re first starting out, it’s important to invest in a good paintbrush. A brush with natural hair works the best because the bristles are softer and more flexible than other types of bristles. This makes them ideal for painting delicate details and for blending colors together.
Cheap brushes can be frustrating to work with and can lead to uneven coverage and streaks in your paintings. A high-quality brush is worth its weight in gold, so don’t skimp on this essential tool!
You’ll find that the texture and colours of your painting will appear differently, according to the type of canvas or surface that you end up using.
For example, you might use white and black on a grey surface. What happens if you splash the same colours on a red canvas? How about if you mix your colors? The resultant colour is not necessarily similar to the colour from which they were taken. For example, mixing a blue pigment with a red pigment will produce a colour that is somewhere between these two colours.
So What Should I Paint?
When you are learning how to paint, it is important to start off with simple projects. One benefit of doing so is you can focus on the fundamentals, such as color theory and composition. These skills will be helpful when you eventually move on to more complex paintings. Another advantage of starting with simple paintings is that you can complete them more quickly. This means that you will have more opportunities to experiment and learn from your mistakes.
Landscapes and still lifes are good choices for rookie painters, because they are easier to paint and will give you a good foundation for more complicated projects.
Painting landscapes is a great way to learn how to use color and light. The sky is a vast canvas with endless possibilities, and you can experiment with different colors and techniques to create different effects. Try painting a sky where the light is coming from different directions and you can see how that affects the appearance of the colors in your sky. You can also experiment with different lighting conditions (daylight, overcast, etc.) to see how that changes your results.
Still life is another good choice for beginners, because you can experiment with different objects to create unique compositions. It is relatively easy to paint, and you can use it to practice your shading and highlighting skills. Depending on the subject, they tend to require a lot of detail and perspective, but that’s part of their appeal.
The most common subject for still life paintings are everyday objects, like fruit or ceramic objects. They are good for still life painting, because they have smooth surfaces and can be painted in a variety of different colors.
Dos and Don’ts of Learning How to Paint
If you are picking up a paintbrush for the first time, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here is a list of dos and don’ts:
✅ DO: Experiment with different brushes and paints.
Although some people are born with natural talent for painting, others may need to experiment with different brushes and paints in order to learn how to paint correctly. It is important to find the right type of brush for the type of paint you are using, and also the right size brush for the project you are working on. Brushes come in different shapes and sizes, so it is important to find the ones that work best for you. You may also want to experiment with different types of paints, such as acrylics or oils. Acrylics are fast-drying and can be used on a variety of surfaces, while oils produce a more realistic finish and take longer to dry.
✅ DO: Use light colors if you are a beginner. They are easier to work with than dark colors.
There are a few basic rules of thumb to follow when mixing colors. First, consider what colors have the same tone, or temperature, as each other. For example, yellow and blue are both cool colors. Blue is a cooler version of yellow. Second, consider how light or dark each color appears when mixed with the other; blue and yellow make green, red and yellow make orange, and so on.
If you are new to painting, it is best to start with light colors. They are easier to mix together, giving you a wider range of shades and hues to work with. Even if you’re not new to painting, it is best to start with light colors. How can you go wrong with white?
The next step is to add other colors. The goal is to have the painting look natural and not too bright or dark. When you are done, you should be able to take a picture of your painting with a white background.
Dark colors can be more difficult to work with and can sometimes cause your painting to look muddy. Muddy colors can be a common issue for painters, especially those who are just starting out. But once you get the hang of mixing colors, you can start darkening them. And with a little bit of practice, you can start to mix colors in a way that prevents the muddy effect from happening. One way to do this is by using lighter colors as your base. For instance, if you’re trying to create a dark green, start with a light green and then add in small amounts of black until you reach the desired color.
✅ DO: Take classes or watch online tutorials to learn how to paint.
In order to teach yourself how to paint, you can take classes or watch online tutorials. Sometimes, people believe that they don’t have natural talent and therefore cannot learn how to paint. Painting classes are guaranteed to cancel that myth altogether.
There are many different types of painting classes available, so you will want to do your research and find one that fits your needs and interests. In-person classes, which can last anywhere from one afternoon to several weeks, will teach you about different painting techniques, as well as how to mix colors and create compositions.
Another option for learning how to paint is by watching online tutorials or painting along a livestream demo. Web-based lessons are typically shorter than in-person classes, but they still offer a lot of valuable information.
❌ DON’T: Try to copy other artists’ work. Instead, find your own style.
If you’re serious about your painting, copying the work of other artists is not the way to go. You need to find your own style if you want your creations to be truly original. This may take some time and experimentation, but it’s worth it in the end.
One way to find your own style instead is to study the work of different artists. Try to figure out what makes their paintings unique and how they create their effects. Another way to develop your own style is to experiment with different mediums and techniques. This can be a lot of fun, and you may surprise yourself with what you can do on canvas.
The most important thing is to keep practising and don’t give up. It takes time and effort to develop a personal style, but it’s well worth it in the end.
❌ DON’T: Get discouraged if your paintings don’t turn out the way you wanted them to.
Even professional painters have their good and bad days, so don’t fret if your work doesn’t turn out the way you wanted it. Everyone has a different approach and unique way of doing things; trust your instincts and do what you feel is right.
The most important thing is to enjoy the process, and not focus on the end result. Eventually, you’ll start to see progress and your paintings will look better and better. You just need to be patient and keep practicing.
❌ DON’T: Rush through your painting process. Take your time and enjoy the experience.
Painting is a journey. It’s best not to rush it, but you can’t leave it to sit around, either. If you want to get better at painting, you simply have to paint. That’s it. Make a habit of painting.
When you’re painting, keep your eyes open for interesting subjects. You can start a series just by creating artworks of the same subject. If you get bored or tired of it, try a different one. Just keep at it, as often as you are able, every day if you can find the time.
Someday it will click and the rest will be easy. Soon, you might look at your piece and think “Wow! I am really good at this!”
Even if you think you aren’t ‘artistic’ enough, know that you can learn to paint if you are willing to put in the time and practice. Especially with proper instruction, youo can create beautiful pieces of art. The most important thing is to enjoy yourself and be ready to experiment, and eventually you will find your own style. Hint: Paint and sip classes are one of the most fun ways to get started!