A few months back, someone reached out to me via e-mail and enquired about painting lessons. Because I’m not formerly qualified, I shared the whole process of how I started painting! Figured that it would make a great addition to the blog, so this is the e-mail:
Firstly, find an art movement that you’re drawn too. I recommend starting off by exploring more about Impressionism. One very famous artist from that movement is Claude Monet. Naturally, the whole movement has the focus on landscapes.
Referencing other paintings and studying the techniques used will be of immense help in your painting journey.
Secondly, don’t be afraid to experiment with different mediums. What works for others, may not work for you. It also depends on the painting style you’re going for. There’s MANY mediums when it comes to paints, but the general few are:
You’ve probably been exposed to watercolour before! It’s a nice medium and colours come out very soft. Gentle to the eyes. However, it’s not really beginner friendly.
Otherwise known as ‘opaque watercolour’. The way it behaves is kinda like a hybrid between water colour and acrylic paints.
Oil is one of the highest regarded mediums for painting. The paintings hung from museums usually are painted using oil paints. However, these are very expensive and takes long to dry. The results are extremely worth it though.
Thirdly, it’s about preparing materials. This part was probably the most confusing for me when I started out. What kind of canvas is needed? What kind of brushes do I buy? Do I need a big easel? Do I need to invest a lot into my materials?
Flat brushes are a great go-to to start covering the canvas with paint.
Fan brushes are great for painting leaves! Don’t use too much strength with this brush. Glazing a bit of yellow over some trees help to give the illusion of sunlight shining through them.
3) Fine detail brush
Any brushes that are thin with small bristles are good. These brushes really work wonders, and adding a bit of detail can help to add dimensions and depth to your painting.
4) Filbert brush
Filbert brushes are my favourite. They’re great when it comes to clouds, and also anything that requires smooth edges like rocks or pebbles.
I have palette knives like these. They’re extremely, extremely handy. You can use them to mix colours on a palette and create a lot of textures. One painting technique you can explore is Impasto.
You can also paint in a sketchbook! It’s much cheaper. However, there’s a certain way of prepping a sketchbook. Pages are usually too thin to hold a lot of paint. You’d need to purchase Gesso for that though.
Practise, Tutorials and Reference Images
Also, unlike what many may say, it’s totally OK to use reference images. It’s the fastest way to teach yourself how to layer landscapes. Eventually, with more practise, you can paint landscapes from your imagination.
Certain things like clouds and trees were hard for me to paint at first. These are several tutorials I’ve referenced before:
I hope that this has helped you out in some way to kickstart your painting journey. If you have any questions, I’ll do my best to answer from experience. There’s lots of information and tutorials out there to get started with too 🙂
Best of luck!