you can learn how to paint; successful paintings all use the same art basics

If you learn how to paint by yourself, it's like walking across the United States.

When you learn painting from a good teacher, it is like flying across the United States.

Let me share how i learned to paint....

Learn how to paint, the basics of art and tutorials by the painting artist Carol MayYou can learn to paint!

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what helped me learn painting?

These are a few basic things I did to learn painting. These simple habits plus learning four basics of art made me a painter.

  • If I can do you can too!

paint regularly

  • When you paint on a regular basis, you put your art learning into overdrive!

Paint regularly, no matter whether you paint daily, weekly or monthly - paint regularly.

If you are learning how to play the piano, you probably practice daily. The same goes for painting. The more you paint, the faster you learn.

Many professional artists paint daily.

a great book

share your paintings

  • Share with your family and art-oriented people.

Join your local art association. Paint with other artists. Go to classes and art shows. Get feedback from your friends and family.

Sharing and seeing artwork will encourage you and stimulate you with new ideas.

paint familiar things

When you are learning to paint, paint things that are familiar to you.Paint what you know.
  • You do the best job of painting subjects you understand.

The best place the start painting is to paint the things you see around you.

My parents had a tropical fish business with outdoor ponds. When we fed the fish, they would all swarm around the food.

So "Koi Feeding" was a natural for me to paint.

what makes successful paintings?

Successful paintings contain the art elements of line, form, space, shape, texture, value, color.

Freedom, a prophetic painting of a horse by Carol MayThe basic elements create beautiful paintings.

learn how to paint with the basics of good art

Shift your art journey into warp speed with the art elements. Use the four most important basic elements of art.

  • Composition
  • Focal Point
  • Values
  • Color


Composition is easy with the rule of thirdsEasy Composition

Good composition makes the viewers feel comfortable in your paintings.

Composition comes naturally to some people, but it can also be learned.

It's easy to compose good paintings when you know how to use the rule of thirds.

Place your main subject on one of four intersections of the lines of thirds.

If you have a living subject such as a bird or people, always have them looking into the painting.

Don't place them near the edge of the painting looking out. Their gaze will carry the viewer's eye right out of the painting onto someone else's painting.

Use these and other easy composition guidelines when you compose your paintings.

focal point

Learn to create a focal pointThe boat is the focal point.

The focal point is the main subject of your painting.

It is what made you want to paint the subject.

Correctly painted focal points draw the viewer into your paintings.

The painting's focal point or focal areas will have the highest value contrast in the painting.

We can also emphasize the focal areas by using warm vs. cool colors. We use soft and hard edges.

Learn more about how to paint the focal point of your painting.


Use values for stunning paintingsUse Values

Learn to see and use values in your paintings.

Values are the backbone of good paintings. Value is the lightness and darkness of colors.

The dark Bluebird shows up well against the light background.

This painting also uses warm colors against cool colors. There are soft edges played against hard edges.

Understand the basic elements and then use them when you paint the how-to tutorials. All this is part of learning how to paint.

color is the icing on the cake

Color WheelColor Wheel

You are probably anxious to start using color.

Color is one of the reasons I'm an artist because I absolutely love color.

Understanding of the color wheel makes it easy to use and manipulate the colors in your paintings.

Learn the primary and secondary colors. And what tertiary colors are. What are complimentary colors?

When we mix our dark colors from complimentary colors for a painting, it maintains color harmony in the painting.

after you have a grasp of the color wheel, then -

Stock your Palette

My Favorite ColorsChoosing Colors

Choose either watercolor or oil paints are based on the color wheel.

learn to mix colors

Mix Paint ColorsMix Paint Colors

We don't have to buy all the beautiful colors from the paint store.

select paint colors

Color SchemesColor Schemes

A limited number of colors will make a harmonious painting.

paint often to speed your paint journey

  • While you learn how to paint, you are going to want to do the how-to-paintings.

I snap pictures when I am doing the painting and carefully document all the steps. Each step is fully explained. You can learn how to paint by following the tutorials.

Then you can use the methods with your subjects and create your own individual paintings.

most importantly - have fun learning to paint!

concrete tools for learning how to paint

  • Painting Daily by Carol May

    Can painting daily really make you a better artist? You don’t have to paint perfect. Just paint more often. Regular painting will put your art into overdrive!

  • How to Paint a Painting

    You will amaze your friends when you learn how to paint a painting! Use the basic steps of painting a picture plus, get tips on painting watercolors and oils.

  • How to Start A Painting

    Learn how to start a painting with five easy steps. Use these steps to start your own individual painting creations and to practice the how-to tutorials.

  • Gorgeous 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

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