you can learn how to paint; use these easy tips and get started painting

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

You can learn how to paint! Millions of people are painting and you can too!

What kind of paint appeals to you?

One type of paint is not better than the others. You may actually try different types of paint to decide which one you prefer.

  • Watercolor is an easy paint to use. All it takes is paint, water, paper and two or three bushes. Watercolors on paper require a mat and they are framed under glass for protection.
  • Oil paints are also, easy to use. They take a bit longer to dry. You may start oil painting with a couple of brushes, mineral spirits and a canvas. A dried oil painting is easy to frame and it will last for centuries.
  • Acrylic paints dry very fast and just like oil paintings, they are simple to frame. The down side is they dry so fast that it's hard to blend the colors. However a dried acrylic painting is very durable.
Learn how to paint with the basics of art by the painting artist Carol MayYou can learn to paint!

get your supplies to start painting

  • You need paint, a couple of brushes and something to paint on.

Student paints are less expensive for starting out. Artist paints (professional paints) are a better buy than student paints because they contain more pigment and produce more intensive colors.

  • Watercolor brushes; a round #7 and a 1" flat
  • Oil brushes; #8 and #12 flat bristle brushes
  • Acrylic brushes; synthetic #6 round and a 3/4" flat

Watercolors and acrylic paintings use water. Oil paintings require mineral spirits.

what will you paint on?

Learn how to paint watercolors on watercolor paper. Later you may use aquaboard or canvas. Learn more about using watercolor.

Oil and acrylic painting are normally painted on canvas or panels. Frequently asked questions about oils and how to use them.

You will also need a palette to lay out your colors for painting. When you start out, a Styrofoam plate or an old kitchen plate will work just fine.

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what colors do you need to start painting?

Start out simple. Begin with the primary colors.

  • Red, Cadmium Red Medium
  • Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Light
  • Blue, Ultramarine Blue

You will also need large tube of white for oil and acrylic painting.

Learn to how to paint with these colors and how to mix more colors. Later you may add other colors to your palette, if you desire.

what helped me learn how to paint?

A few simple habits will jump start you painting journey.

choose your subject

  • Paint familiar things. You will do the best job of painting subjects you understand. Start painting the things you see around you.

You may want to paint your children, your pets, the tree in the backyard or your favorite fishing hole.

When you are learning to paint, paint things that are familiar to you.Paint what you know.

Paint things that are familiar to 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.

You can begin oil painting with a how-to tutorial.

paint regularly

  • Painting on a regular basis will 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 most likely practice daily. The same goes for painting. The more you paint, the faster you will learn.

Many professional artists paint daily.

share your paintings with others

  • Share your art with your family and other art-oriented people. Get feedback from your friends and family and other artists.

Join your local art association. Paint with other artists. Go to painting classes and art shows.

Seeing other's artwork and sharing your art will encourage you and stimulate you with new ideas. Plus, it's just fun to share.

learn the basic principles of art

Art paintings all use the same design elements of art. These elements are indispensable to the painting artist.

They are easy to learn and essential while you learn how to paint. Take the time to learn the basic elements and use them in all your paintings. These basic elements are the foundation of all successful paintings.

use values

Use light and dark values. They are the backbone of good paintings.

focal point

Create a focal point or focal area to draw people into your paintings.


Composition is easy. Learn the rule of thirds and how to use it your artwork.

Color is the fourth important element of art

Learn painting with the primary colors.Start with the primaries

Color is what makes your paintings sing!

Red, yellow and blue are the primary colors. Keep it simple and start learning how to paint with just these three colors.

Learn how to mix other colors from the three primary colors.

paint often to speed your paint journey

  • While you are learning to paint, you are will want to do the how-to-painting tutorials.

There are pictures throughout the process of each painting. Each step is fully explained. You can learn how to paint by practicing the tutorials.

some popular painting tutorials

painting daisies

glazing watercolor

paint a hummingbird

Learn how to paint using the steps in the tutorials. Then use the same methods with your subjects to create your own individual paintings.

have fun and learn how to paint!