you can learn painting

basic concepts for all types of painting

  • How did I learn painting?

I took art classes in junior high school and college and it was 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.

  • What did I learn that helped me along the way?
Learning Painting Basics with tutorials by the artist Carol May

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.

  • Painting regularly will put your learning into overdrive!

share your paintings

Share your paintings with your family and art-oriented people. Join a local art association. Go to classes.

Go to art shows. Get feedback. Sharing and seeing other artwork will 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.

learn painting 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!


When you learn painting you will want to do a bit of drawing. It is not necessary to become proficient in drawing before you start painting.

But you need to get your general ideas down on paper. Your drawing skills will improve the more you draw.

When you start a new painting, it is a good idea to do a thumbnail sketch of what you are going to paint.

what do you want to paint?

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.

  • After you get your idea, concentrate on the three basics of a successful painting.


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

There are some easy composition concepts you can follow.

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 or the focal area of the painting is what will draw the viewer into 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 am the same way.

I absolutely love color. I think that is one reason I am an artist. I selected My Palette Colors on the basis of the Color Wheel.

choose colors

A simple method I have been using for 20 years to choose colors for paintings.

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.


The more you paint - the faster you will learn!

how to start

What do you need to get started on a painting?

Daisy Painting

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

paint a wave

Five easy steps for painting a wave with oil paints.

the how-To-Paintings

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 why and how I do each step.

Follow the steps to practice your painting basics.

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

Most importantly - Have fun learning to paint!

paint often to speed your learning

Subscribe to the
What's New Page to be notified when new pages publish. (No email is required.)