you can learn painting

the basics of successful painting

create beautiful paintings using the basics

  • These are the basics to learn painting.
  • Oil, watercolor and acrylic paintings all use the same painting basics.
  • They will soon become second nature to you.
  • You will confidently enjoy your painting adventure!
Learn Painting basic techniques of art with tutorials by the painting artist Carol MayYou can paint, too!

The art in junior high and college were fun. As a matter of fact I actually minored in art in college.

When my mother retired she took up painting. She and I enjoyed going to various hands-on painting classes together. That is when I actually began to learn painting.

My mother said if you teach yourself painting, it is like walking across the United States. If you learn painting with a good teacher, it is like flying across the United States.

what helped me to learn painting?

paint regularly

If someone is learning to play the piano, they practice every day.

Many professional artists paint every day. I am not saying you should paint every day.

But do paint regularly. Whether you paint daily, weekly or monthly, paint regularly.

When you do a small painting often will put your learning into overdrive!

share your paintings

Share your paintings with your family and art-oriented people.

Join a local art association. Paint with other artists. Go to classes. Go to art shows. Get feedback.

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

paint familiar things

One of the first things I learned was that you can't do a good job of painting subjects you don't understand.

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

My parents had a wholesale tropical fish business. We had numerous outdoor ponds for the fish.

When we fed the fish, they would all swarm around the food. So "Koi Feeding" was a natural for me to paint.

get your idea

Ask yourself - Why do I want to paint? What is the purpose of the painting? What do I want to portray?

Your painting will go more smoothly when you get the idea firmly fixed in your mind.


It is not necessary to become proficient in drawing before you start painting.

However, your drawing skills will improve the more you draw.

When you start a new painting, you need to get your ideas down on paper.

It is a good idea to do a thumbnail sketch of what you are going to paint.

the basics of successful painting


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

There are some easy concepts you can follow.

Learn how to make paintings that draw the viewer in.

focal point

What is the main subject of your painting? 

The main subject will be your focal point of your painting.

The focal point is what attracts the viewer to the painting.


Learn to see and use values in your paintings.

My first painting lesson from my mother was to do a painting with only one color.

It taught me to use values, instead of color.


You are probably anxious to start with color. I absolutely love color. I think that is one reason I am an artist.

When you have the values in the painting correct, your painting will sing.

My Palette Colors are based on the Color Wheel.

choose colors

The method I have been using for 20 years to choose my painting colors.

mix colors

Mixing paint colors is made easy when you use the color wheel for reference.

color schemes

You can use the same painting colors schemes I often use for my paintings.

paint often to speed your learning

As you learn painting, you are going to want to do some of the how-to-paintings.

I snap pictures when I am doing a painting. I carefully document all the steps I do. I fully explain the why and how of each step. Follow the steps to practice your painting basics.

Then use the methods with your own subjects to create your individual paintings.

Daisy Painting

Follow me step-by-step as I paint some daisies with oils.

wC flowers

Painting three different watercolor flowers.

paint a wave

Five easy steps for painting a wave with oil paints.

Most importantly - Have fun learning to paint!

  1. Home
  2. Learn Painting

Recent Articles

  1. Mastering Watercolor for Beginners - answers to beginners questions

    Oct 08, 18 06:05 PM

    The Tyrannosaurus jumped from the firehouse to the gate - What? How is this mastering watercolor for beginners?

    Read More

  2. Painting Watercolor Flowers with artist Carol May

    Oct 05, 18 05:57 PM

    The single most important thing you need to know about painting watercolor flowers is watercolor is fun! I never tire of the beauty and suspense of the watercolors flowing and moving. It is fun to let…

    Read More

  3. Confidently Paint A Butterfly with watercolors

    Oct 02, 18 03:36 AM

    How you can paint a butterfly from start to finish with five easy steps. Confidently begin painting your own watercolor butterfly paintings with this easy to follow tutorial.

    Read More