Nothing beats wandering around an art gallery and admiring some amazing works of art. Many of the world’s greatest art galleries are free to enter: the National Gallery in London and the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris are two good examples. Art enriches our lives and makes us feel humbled in the presence of great talent. The good news is that anyone can have a go at painting – and you don’t need to be the next Renoir or Van Gogh to produce some amazing pieces. If you are itching to get started with painting, here are a few things you need to know.
Decide Which Medium to Try
There are different types of paint, all of which produce different results. The three most common are:
- Oil paints – oils are a traditional painting medium. Oil paint takes a long time to dry, so it can be worked on for weeks at a time. Many professional artists like working in oil because of the depth of colour you can build. The downside is that oil painting is messy and requires a commitment you may not have at this stage.
- Acrylics – acrylic paints are cheap and easy to work with. You can pick up sets of acrylic paints from stores such as Raaaft for less than £10. Dilute the paint with water or layer it on in thick daubs. Acrylic paint dries fairly quickly and is safe to use.
- Watercolours are great for instant painting when you are out and about. Use watercolour paints for quick work or invest in artist’s tubes of watercolour paint if you want to work on a more considered piece at home. The downside of using watercolours is that they are less forgiving. Unlike with acrylics and oils, you can’t paint over mistakes in the same way. The upside is that watercolour paintings are full of light and the medium lends itself to landscape very well.
Learn the Techniques
Each medium has its own techniques. YouTube is a great source of information and there are many artists who post tutorials on different painting techniques. Try watching some YouTube channels and see which style of painting appeals. Have a go at producing your own piece of art while watching a detailed tutorial – you can pause and rewind the video if you need more time.
Another option is to sign up for a local art class. Join like-minded people in your area who want to paint. Classes are often geared at beginners, so you don’t need to feel intimidated by more experienced painters. Use this as an opportunity to make new friends and learn new skills. Basic materials such as paper are usually provided, but you will probably need to buy your own paints and brushes.
Great artists spend a lot of time on their work. The more you paint, the more you will learn. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes or producing work you hate. That is all part of the creative process. Enjoy painting for what it is – a relaxing, soothing hobby that allows you to escape real life for a few hours.