A Beginner’s Guide to Painting 

Author : Namita Unnmuktaa 

Rather than shooting blind with colors on a canvas and holding a brush, imagining yourself an artist for centennial, it’s better to once know the ‘art of beginning’ for painting right. Painting is just not colors and canvas and set of brushes laid beside an easel with a pallet hungry for plethora of hues of Indian red, ivory black, sap green, turquoise blue or ochre etc. With an art like painting where everything blank or black, abstract or traditional, colored or monochrome multiplied to the attribute of idea and divided by right application, equals every piece to ‘masterpiece’; to create your chef d’oeuvre you need the rightly- required guidance. Here we are spilling shades of selected short and simple directions towards the right actions for prompting painting–


1. Choose your medium wisely

Before stepping into the battle ground you need to select your arms that help you sustain all the while you fight. So while you portray the picture of what you wish to create, make sure you choose wisely the best suited medium. Generally we start with colors that we are familiar to, like water or acrylic. But straight away jumping to Oils has no harm too. Remember, there are no fixed rules in art. It’s all about inclination. What you wish to do, do it. Just ensure that it suits the picture and you have enough knowledge of correct usage. Acrylics are durable, versatile and forgiving and off course easy to play with as compared to oils. Oils are a little fussy to use as they demand repeated application of color and take long time in drying. Watercolors are also suitable for beginners as they require less investment and efforts.


2. Accumulate your Ammunition


Before you set onto burning the surface, gather all the required materials beforehand. To make your painting experience enjoyable and easy remember having the basic set of paint brushes of all sizes depending on the need of your picture, may it be round, flat or fan bristles. Also check the quality of the bristle. If you want strong strokes then take up tight bristled brush otherwise go with the usual, which is generally soft. Synthetic brushes are made of soft, fine bristle while natural hair brushes are a bit rougher hence use accordingly. Other essentials are palette knife for blending paints, a painting palette, canvas board or stretched canvas, and some old rags and jars for cleaning your brushes and keeping water/ lubricant, an easel or drafting desk, an apron, a drop cloth, and a specialized box for carrying all your supplies (optional).

3. Start rough and go sassy- create a rough sketch of what you are going to make. 


Use the pencil very lightly so as to leave no marks. These pencil lines are hard to erase especially from canvas cloth and leave ugly marks on it (sometimes hiding them with paint doesn’t also help) if you are a beginner then you can start by tracing the design on the canvas or paper otherwise try drawing directly, even if the proportion doesn’t come the desired way, do the adjustments later. Give specific attention to your subject of composition, its form and position and use of space in the picture. Don’t let the subject of composition seek all attention alone. Keep it massive so that on seeing, the whole picture attracts attention, not alone a single spot highlighting making the rest of painting lackluster. Where ever you work, ensure the place is away from foot traffic and sufficient sunlight is available. For a realistic painting have mandatory patches of light and dark and brush strokes that create movement, or a lack thereof. Consider the subject, angle, direction of light, composition and use of positive and negative space.


Leonardo Da Vinci said “Painting is concerned with all the 10 attributes of sight; which are: Darkness, Light, Solidity and Colour, Form and Position, Distance and Propinquity, Motion and Rest.” 

Now when you know your harbor, set on the voyage to paint sea full of colors congregated on one canvas.


Paint your passion! 



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