Home / Starting Out as a Painter - Where do You Begin?

Have you always had a hankering to create something on canvas? Do you see scenes in your minds eye that you’d like to capture in tangible form? Is painting a form of expression you have dreamed of accomplishing but never knew how to go about it?

It may seem like producing a piece of art requires an inherent gift or is acquired after lengthy, painstaking study.

The truth is, you can begin right now, and the initial techniques can be picked up any time or place, by anybody. It only requires taking the first step. Simply put, anyone can learn how to paint.

Whether you have always dreamed of becoming an artist or are just interested in painting as a new hobby it all begins with a little preparation.

When starting upon a new activity for the first time, its almost a given to find it confusing and even overwhelming. Reflect for a moment the reason why you are taking up painting. It’s a good idea to focus on the objective and the end goal. What does it mean for you personally to get involved in art and painting?

Now consider what you want to get out of the experience. You might be looking for a diverting new hobby, or perhaps you are considering taking up painting as a professional career. What kind of piece are you looking to execute? Portrait, landscape, collage? A sweeping canvas or a small composition? Keeping the end product envisioned in mind is a good idea, enabling you take step by step progress on actually reaching your goal.

The next step is to choose the material that you will use to paint with. This can be acrylic, watercolor or oils. Decide which one suits you best and is a comfortable form of expression for you.

From there, stock up on supplies. Get out to your nearest art supply store and pick up the paint pigments, canvases and brushes you need to be able to get off the runway! You don’t need to invest in a large outlay at the beginning. It’s important to get started and once rolling, experiment with techniques and equipment.

Other items you may want to acquire are mixed media paper pads, sketch pencils, erasers, and paint retardant gel, which helps keep your paint from drying quickly.

Now, at this point you may want to get familiar with some fundamental techniques on painting methods and know how. A couple of hours of study is sufficient to get you started. You could get a simple, well illustrated book on painting for beginners, or maybe YouTube tutorials are more relatable to you. Some basics that you need to cover are how to correctly hold a brush, preparing your colors and how to create depth of field and perspective. The main rule to go by is create more and worry less! Just go ahead and begin an exploratory phase and get the paint working onto your canvas. It is not strictly necessary to draw at first.

Now go ahead and create your first painting. Your first completed canvas is quite significant and one that you will look back on and use a judge to measure subsequent pieces. No matter how it turns out, it is a broad statement that says you have arrived as an artist. It’s just about simply sitting down and starting. Don’t spend too much time in preparation. You have to get your hands dirty (literally!) and just get on with it!

Getting started as a painter is really that simple.

A Few Further Tips:

Possibly your first effort may fall short of your expectations. Don’t get discouraged with your painting and keep in mind there are many more art opportunities and experiences to come. As you continue with different painting projects, here are three tips to help you along.

  • Spend time to actually observe and examine art works you admire. This is where there is much to be learned from others who have achieved their own mastery. Great painters such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet and countless others can inspire much insight in composition, brushwork and color. Observe the works of these masters, take note of what you can learn from these pieces and get inspired!
  • Read up on the subject of art. There is a lot to be learned by just reading about the theory of art, the lives of the great artists and the history of their iconic pieces. You can greatly improve your understanding and comprehension of painting by reading about it. When you have built up knowledge about the subject as a whole, you will notice you have become more proficient in the practice as well.
  • View art videos on line. They are quick, cost free and filled with limitless, helpful information based on the experience of novice and expert painters. This option is particularly useful in trouble shooting or problem solving and can help to demystify a particular technique or action that may be presenting difficulty. Getting online and actually seeing artists demonstrating a particular technique may be all you need to accomplish your desired effect.

And on That Note:

There are a few routes you can go to further enhance your skills and techniques on your quest to become an accomplished painter. You can:

  • Take a painting class at a local studio near you.

Nothing provides as much assistance in learning how to paint as face to face direct coaching. In approximately two hours, our Life With Paint instructors can direct you in the fundamentals of painting. They will help you to execute your own work of art, and they can  ensure that you understand the basics and techniques in the art piece you are aiming to accomplish.

  • Reach out and get connected in the ort community in your area, thereby joining a network of like minded people who want to attain personal accomplishment through art.

Life with Paint offers classes around the U.S. (Verify what the deal is here) We offer private, ensemble and corporate tutorials, whether in person or online. We are here to assist you in getting started on your path to a creatively expressive new world.

An added benefit to a Life With Paint class is that they take place in a group setting. While art is definitely an experience of personal appreciation, it is also gainful when shared with others, discussing the pieces, what is good and bad about them, and the effect created as a whole. Getting involved with like minded people in your area will create not just art but new bonds and personal connections. The classes give you the opportunity to collaborate with others, and the mutual support will help keep you focused on your goals as an artist .

Life With Paint is the ideal vehicle to launch in a creative field of art in a constructive, convivial setting. It’s as simple as viewing our event locations, selecting a date that works best for you, signing up for the class and arriving! We’ll take care of the rest.

Within each individual lies an artist. Let us tap into your inner potential and help you open up a new world.

See you soon!