Teach Yourself To Paint (it’s easier than you think!)

“What would you do if you believed you could not fail?” Would you pick up a paintbrush, and embark on a new passion: painting? Many people want to dive in to this art form, but don’t know where to start. Intimidated and misinformed, so many believe that they don’t have the creativity, inspiration, or money to spend learning to paint; in reality, however, starting this creative journey is well within their grasp. 

I’m here to share a few pointers to start on a path towards painting - you absolutely can do it! Remember: fundamentally, all you need to do to be an artist is to start making art! 

BONUS - Get your PREMIUM ACRYLIC SHOPPING SUPPLY LIST to accompany these instructions emailed directly to you by filling out the form below!

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DO: Buy professional quality supplies to get you started.
DON’T: Buy cheap or student alternatives. 

The shopping supply list I use is a great resource to get you started (sign up above to get it emailed to you!), but here are a few other guidelines you may find helpful!

At any art store, keep your eye out for the “artist” or “professional” quality paints. Though more expensive than the “student” quality or other cheaper alternatives, the high quality paints will help your growth as an artist and keep you encouraged in your colors. Less expensive paints have lower pigments and added fillers. As a result, the paints are a bit murky, and the subsequent result is paintings with dull hues as opposed to bright, clean colors. 

Don’t worry about spending tons of money on different tubes of paint: to start off, begin with a primary palette (red, yellow, blue, and white). You can start experimenting with mixing your other colors!

Similarly, don’t worry about dropping huge amounts of cash on brushes either. Select two or three options in different shapes and sizes to start. These will be enough for you to begin! Once you figure out which brushes you like the best, you can invest in more for the future. 

DO: Learn about and experiment with styles that excite you.

Do some research! There are tons of instruction articles, demonstration videos, and video channels that provide plenty of information on starting in a specific style. Learn how other artists begin their process, and what their first steps are. This may help you find a place to begin, or it may give you some ideas for exercising your creativity! 

(I offer online workshops for beginner painters explaining techniques, basic elements, and offer personal feedback case you get stuck! www.carylfineart.com/online-workshops)

DO: Pick a subject that inspires you.
DON’T: Pick a subject that doesn’t excite you.

Select a subject that thrills and inspires you! Whether that’s a fresh bouquet of brightly colored flowers, a nature photo from a recent holiday trip, or a snapshot of one of your sweet pets, focus on a subject that makes you want to paint! If you’re leaning towards going down the abstract route, take a leap and paint your emotions in an expressionistic painting. Lean into those things that kick start your creativity!

DO: Experiment to find what works for you.
DON’T: Get discouraged by finding things that don’t

Pay attention to the things that you like and dislike as you’re getting started. Test out different styles and approaches. Hold on to the things that work for you, and let go of the things that don’t. Find where your biases are (are you partial towards certain colors, angles, etc.?), and find where your weaknesses are. Identify these things! They’re crucial for both your personal growth as well as developing your personal voice and style!

DO: Set attainable goals. 
DON’T: Get too self-critical.

Pick actionable objectives to work on with each painting. Pick one or two things to focus on (such as making your colors dynamic, working on your values, or improving your composition) and make those your primary goals for a few paintings. Address the things you want to work on, one at a time, and focus on the successes as you accomplish those goals! 

DO: Celebrate your success.

You’re doing it! Celebrate the work you’re doing. Write down the things that are working and that you’re proud of. Don’t focus on your faults and shortcomings, but celebrate your creativity, your hard work, and your progress. Find one thing that’s working in each painting you do. 

These building blocks will help you get started in a painting journey - and all artists, new and lifelong painters alike - are still on their artistic journeys, some further along their paths than others, but all walking together. And remember, there’s a Caryl Fine Art online course for you every step of the way if you decide you’d like some additional guidance on your path! (www.carylfineart.com/online-courses)

Happy painting!