how to start a painting: Use five easy steps to start any art painting

Learn how to start a painting with these steps to get ready for the actual process of painting.

Painting is exciting! We are enthused about the things we see around us and we're anxious to get them into a painting.

Use these five steps to start the step-by-step practice painting tutorials. Also, you can confidently start your own beautiful creations with the same steps. The process is the same.

Learn how to start a painting with five easy steps.Get ready to paint

how to start a painting

Painting adds joy and accomplishment to our lives. You can learn how to paint!

But where do we start?

#1 set the time and place for painting

Start-a-paintingPainting is fun!
  • Set aside time to paint.

Painters progress rapidly when they paint regularly. Dedicated artists have painted daily for generations.

  • Have a special place for painting your art.

If it's possible, have an area where you can leave your paintings things out.

Make a place for your own home art studio. You will be more likely to paint often.

After you learn how to start a painting, practice by painting regularly.

The more we practice, the better we paint!

#2 what are you going to paint

Choose your subject

Paint from your own photos.Paint from your own photos.

A good place to start painting is to paint something you see around you. We are familiar with our surroundings. 

So, we do a better job of painting the things we know.

You may have photos you took on your vacation, a photo of your pets or flowers, etc.

Please Note: Photos from a postcard, calendar or a magazine are under copyright laws.

Do not copy them directly without giving credit to the photographer.

Artist's paintings are also copyrighted.

The best bet is to use your own photos.

We may go on line and use free images that have no copyright restrictions.

#3 get your painting materials ready

It's a good idea for artists to keep a stock of supplies. Then we can paint anytime.

what paint will you use?

Choose your favorite painting medium.

What's the best painting medium? Get the brushes and supports suitable for your medium.

Student paints are less expensive. Professional artist paints cost more; they are usually labeled artist paint. Artist paints actually saves money in the long-run. They cover better so; we use less paint to get good coverage and color.

If you want to stick with student paints, Winsor and Newton 'Cotman' paints in all the mediums have very good coverage.

Find answers to painters' frequent questions.

what will you paint on?

Choose a painting support suitable for your media.

Watercolors are usually painted on paper. Oil and acrylics are painted on canvas or panels.

what size will your painting be?

Get your materials ready to start a painting.Painting is Joy!

When you are thinking about how to start a painting, decide how much time you are going to spend painting.

If your time is limited, smaller paintings are a better choice.

Painting smaller will give us the satisfaction of completing a painting.

Large paintings will often take several sessions before the painting is complete.

Small things like hummingbirds or butterflies normally go into a small format. Landscape and seascape paintings are usually painted larger.


#4 draw your subject

Drawing is a part of learning how to start a painting.

  • Do some sketches the size of a postcard. Sketch the large shapes and values of the painting.

Then lay out the composition on your painting surface by doing a line drawing of the large portions of the painting. Pay close attention to the values. Create stunning paintings with values.

  • If your painting includes a lot of detail, draw the subject to scale.

When you are satisfied with the drawing, transfer the detailed drawing to your painting surface.

drawings for watercolors

Learning to draw is part of learning to paint.This drawing was done on paper first.

Do watercolor drawings on a separate piece of paper.

Then transfer the drawing to your selected painting surface with graphite paper.

Alternately, if you are good at drawing, you may lightly sketch the drawing on the watercolor painting surface.

Do the drawing without erasures, so you don't damage the painting surface.

Use a graphite pencil. A hard pencil is better to use, so there will not be extra graphite to show thru in the finished painting.

drawings for oil paintings

God's Lighthouse oil painting by artist Carol MayThis drawing was done on the canvas.

Do an outline sketch with thinned yellow paint directly on the canvas.

If you don't like a line, rub it out with a rag or a paper towel and paint it again.

Pale yellow lines are easy to paint over. The yellow will not show in the final painting.

If there is a lot of detail in the painting, do the drawing on paper first. Then transfer the drawing to the canvas.

Do not use carbon paper for the transfer. Graphite paper is best.

#5 select your colors

Select a painting color scheme.Choose a painting color scheme.

Select a painting color scheme that will give cohesiveness and punch to your paintings.

It's good when we are painting to not use all the colors from our paint box.

There are so many beautiful colors, but two to five colors will create a harmonious painting.

A painting with too many colors is disconcerting. The viewer's eye doesn't know where to go.

Many additional colors can be mixed from the selected two to five colors.

how to start a painting with 5 easy steps

  1. 1. Pick a time and place to paint
  2. 2. Select your subject
  3. 3. Get the materials for your media
  4. 4. Draw your subject
  5. 5. Select your color scheme

Enjoy painting with good light and ventilation in your painting area.

get started painting - it's fun!

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