how to paint good art

Beginning artists can learn how to paint good art.

  • What is good art?

Good art attracts the viewers. Normally good art is pleasing to look at. Bad art may also attract some viewers, but they won't hang around to look at the painting in depth.

Good art speaks to people. It evokes emotions in the viewers. It may spark a memory or other emotions. It draws the viewers in for a deeper look and appreciation of the painting.

Good art displays the heart of the artist.

what makes a good painting?

All good paintings share the same three things.

  1. An inviting composition that directs the viewers to the focal point.
  2. A variety of light and dark values that are correctly painted.
  3. There is a good use of color.

This may all sound like a foreign language to the beginning artist. But, they are essential and easy to master.

Learn how to paint good art for beginners.You can learn how to paint good art!

how to paint good art

Let's learn how to paint good art by thinking in threes. When we first start painting there is a lot to think about. Three is easy to remember.

We will focus on the 3 things that create good art. Then we will do each of those items in threes. That makes learning easy.

what to do before we start painting

1. Get your materials ready. Watercolor, acrylic and oil paints are all make good paintings. Any of the three are suitable for the beginning artist.

Select your a painting medium

2. Choose a subject. Why do you want to paint this subject? What drew you to the subject? What is the purpose of the painting and what do you intend to portray?

Believe it or not, how you feel about the subject will show thru in the finished painting. Decide the reason for the painting and keep it in mind while you are painting.

3. Do some sketches. Small sketches about the size of a post card just are fine. Think of the objects and parts the painting, as shapes.

Sketch out the large shapes, choose their values and their placement. See how the shapes relate to each other. Choose the painting's focal point.

Do several sketches until you get one that looks good to you. We all have an innate knowing of what looks good. Tune in and listen to that inner voice.

It's easier to change things around on paper before we start painting. Don't start painting without a satisfactory sketch.

create an inviting composition

  • Good composition invites the viewers into the painting. An inviting composition is an important aspect of how to paint good art

A common way to invite the viewers into a landscape painting is to paint a road, a path, a stream or river running up into the painting. Start the entrance at the bottom edge of the painting.

We read from left to right, so the left side is good. Don't start the path directly at the corner. Make it either above the left corner or a bit to the right of the corner.

Still life paintings may have a tool, a flower or other objects pointing up into the painting from the bottom.

Don't place any object directly across the bottom of the painting, such as a fence, rock wall or a fallen tree trunk. It will make the viewers feel uncomfortable and keep them from entering the painting.

painting ezine

Signup for the monthly Painting Art Ezine and stay up to date with the latest news, tips and techniques.

Receive a free download of "Painting a Wave" when you sign up.

SIGN UP

what is the focal point?

  • The focal point is the main subject and the reason for the painting.

The composition will guide the viewers to the focal point. Then they will spend time looking around the rest of the painting.

The focal point should be placed away from the edges of the painting. A focal point too close to the edge of the painting will draw the viewers out of the painting.

Generally, we don't place the focal point in center of the canvas. Place it above or below the horizon line and a bit to one side. Many paintings place the focal point using "The Rule of Thirds". We are thinking of and using threes, that's how to paint good art.

If we have people or animals in the painting, give them space in front of their face. Don't have them right up close to the edge looking out of the painting. Their view will carry the viewer right out of the painting.

three parts of the composition

Paint the composition with three parts. Each part of the composition will be a different size.

Good composition has variety.Each area is a different size.
  • One will cover the largest area of the painting. The horse subject is the largest.

  • The second is smaller. It will cover a medium part of the painting. The middle sized background is smaller than the horse.

  • The third part, the foreground covers the smallest part of the painting.

It doesn't matter which part of the painting is what size. The subject could be the smallest area or the background, etc. It doesn't matter.

All we are looking for is a variety. We want three different sizes.

paint three basic values

  • Paint light, middle and dark values. Values are the most important thing about learning how to paint good art.

Good paintings have variety in their values.  Poor paintings are basically be all the same boring middle values.

A good painting will have dark, light and medium values.Paint the values different sizes.

Paintings should have three values, light, dark and middle values.

  • Make one value predominate and cover the largest area of the painting. In this painting the light flowers and vase are the largest and the lightest value.

  • The second value would be middle sized. The background is middle values and middle sized.

  •  The third value covers the smallest area of the painting. The table is also, the darkest value.

Think three values in three different sizes. It doesn't matter which value takes up how much of the painting. The point is to have three values and make each value a different size.

Variety is the spice of life and that goes for paintings, also. Good values are how to paint good art.

Read more about painting values.

how to paint good art with color

A painting color scheme of three or four colors will create a harmonious painting.

Many additional color can be mixed from the three or four colors. The mixed colors will all harmonize because they are based on the original colors.

How to paint interesting, harmonious colors.Paint each color area a different size.

Variety is good in life and it is how to paint good art. Think in threes again. Use the different colors in different amounts.

  • The highlight color yellow is used in the smallest amount.
  • The horse is variations of orange. He takes up the middle amount of space.
  • The blue background takes up the largest area of the painting.

Again, it doesn't matter which color takes up what amount of space. Just paint each color in a different amount.

When each color is a different size, it creates a good painting with interest and variety.

Select a painting color scheme

how to paint good art with the "threes"

  1. Composition - Compose the painting with three main parts. Each part is a different size; a large, medium and small.
  1. Values - Paint three values; light, medium and dark. Each value will cover a different amount of space in the painting.
  1. Color - Generally we use three colors in a color scheme. (Sometimes it may be two or four colors.) Paint each color covering a different sized area.

variety is the best way to paint good art!



You might enjoy these

  • Animal Paintings of all the critters

    Animal paintings are lots of fun! Oil and watercolor paintings of all the intriguing critters God created; dolphins, koi, giraffes, sea turtles, birds and more…

  • How to Paint Watercolor

    Paint a butterfly and learn how to paint watercolor with the technique of preserving the white paper. We use paper because there is no white watercolor paint.

  • Paintings of Flowers: roses, daisies and more

    Enjoy the flowers all year long with oil paintings of flowers. Paintings of roses, daisies and more by Carol May, Flower paintings are both fun and challenging!

  • Artist Paintings by Carol May

    Artist paintings come out of the heart. Artists paint to share, record history, practice, experiment, but most of all we paint for the sheer joy of painting!

  • How to Paint Ocean

    You can learn how to paint ocean with a step-by-step tutorial. Just follow the simple steps to create your own seascape paintings. Then you can enjoy the ocean at home anytime.

  • Watercolor Flower Paintings

    Enjoy the peace and color of watercolor flower paintings. Invite the beauty of your garden flowers into your home with watercolor paintings by artist Carol May.

  • Butterfly Paintings

    What a joy doing Butterfly Paintings! Butterflies are so awesome! When I see these gorgeous creatures in my yard, I snap photos for more paintings by Carol May

  • Types of Butterflies in the United States

    What types of butterflies do you see around your house? Identify thirty common butterfly types seen in the United States with their photos and information.

  • About the artist Carol May

    Feel the joy and passion of the artwork by the award winning artist Carol May. Purchase originals or prints and learn how to paint with the how-to lessons.