Painting is a wonderfully relaxing pastime that’s well suited to people who are looking for hobbies that aren’t too physically taxing.
One of the best things about painting is the fact that it offers some great feelings of accomplishment and plenty of opportunities to further your creative prowess.
Even if you’ve not tried anything like it in years, don’t be shy of giving painting a shot – even the experts had to start somewhere. Settle down with a paintbrush and see what kind of masterpieces you’re able to produce with a little practice.
Settling down to paint
Before you start painting, you’ll need to decide what kind of materials you’d like to use. There are lots of different types of paint to try out, but most beginners are likely to find watercolours or gouache paints suit them best. Watercolours are the most economical choice but they can be tricky to master, meaning they can be a little frustrating for inexperienced users. Gouache paints, on the other hand, can be layered and altered on the page, meaning mistakes can be more easily corrected. They can also be a fairly economical choice, as long as you take good care of your paint tubes. Find out more about the types of paint from Elfwood, an art site with a section dedicated to beginners.
To help you mould your painting, you may want to sketch your subject out first. This works better when you’re using thick paints like gouache or oils, as you will be able to see pencil markings through watercolours. It can take a few attempts to work out what type of paint and which style of painting suits you best, but experimenting is half of the fun. For a little help on picking your paints and art materials without breaking the bank, have a look at eBay’s beginner’s guide to art materials.
Choosing your subject matter
Still lives, paintings of a collection of items from around your home or garden, are perfect for honing your skills. Arrange your items on a small table and simply paint what you see. It’s best if you choose a variety of shapes and sizes, for example a book and a tea cup on a tablecloth, as this will help you get used to painting all different kinds of things. Turn to Artist Daily for some great advice for setting up your still life.
Landscapes are another popular choice for new painters and this can be an excellent way to get some fresh air and see a little of the country’s beautiful sights. Simply pack a pick sketchbook, an easel and some paints and set yourself up before a gorgeous view. Portraits are also a lot of fun and if you can’t persuade friends and family members to sit for you, working from a photograph can be fun. It takes a lot of trial and error to find which subjects you prefer painting, but that’s normal. The Guardian has an inspiring article about the difficulty of choosing a subject matter that’s well worth a read. Give painting a go and you’ll soon find your creative powers growing.