Tips for Becoming a Better Painter

You’ve got that creative itch and a blank space on the wall, but you don’t know what to do. The home décor stores are fine, but nothing is speaking to you. Instead of buying a painting, you can make one! Do something personal to add a little life to the room. Anyone can paint. Once you begin, you’ll find that you have a new favorite hobby.

  1.  First, you’ll need supplies. Go to any local craft supply store and buy a canvas, paints, and brushes. These don’t have to be professional grade; keep it low cost with the discount packs for students. These are perfect for those who are just beginning their creative journey.
  2. Before you buy your canvas, think about the space where you are going to hang the artwork. Measure it out to make sure it will fit. Most start out with a canvas size of 12×12, but if you’re feeling extra adventurous, go with a 16×20.
  3. Paint generally comes in a starter kit with all of the basic colors that you’ll need. Look for craft paint or acrylic paint, as these are non-toxic and dry quickly. Plus, they’re water-soluble so it’s an easy clean up! The five essential colors that you must have in your kit are black, white, yellow, blue, and red. You can make any color you can dream of by mixing those five together.
  4. Brushes also come in convenient starter packs. They usually will have an assortment of large and small brushes. Make sure that you choose synthetic bristles. These come in different colors. The bristle color doesn’t really matter, as long as it’s shiny and smooth. The soft flexible brushes will help you glide the paint over the canvas without leaving streaky brush strokes behind. You’ll be able to see and feel the difference between synthetic and hair bristles. The other hairstyle is ideal for oil painting, which is why they’re more firm and coarse.
  5.  Now that you’ve got the perfect supplies, the next hurdle is to decide what to paint! The Internet is fantastic for inspiration. Search on Google Images or Pinterest for some of your favorite things. Maybe you want to go the traditional route of landscapes and flowers, or maybe you want to try something iconic like the Eiffel Tower. Search around until you find what you’re looking for, and save the image or print it out so you can keep referring back to it while you are painting.
  6.  Plot out the basic lines with a pencil, a piece of colored chalk, or watered down paint. Before you jump in with both feet, take a moment to plan out where everything is going to go.
  7.  Get out some paper towels, a paper plate to put your paints on and then go to town! Don’t stress about making a mistake. Artists make mistakes all the time. Paint is great because you can always paint over it!

Pro Tip: If you’re having a hard time making the paint look opaque on the canvas, add a little white to it. It’ll cover the area better and the paint won’t look as thin.

Clean-up is a breeze! Wash your brushes in the sink with water, and throw out the paper plate you used, along with any dirty paper towels. Wipe down your table with a soapy old rag and the paint should come right off. If it’s being stubborn, a gentle brillo pad will do the trick.

Wait about an hour to make sure the painting is completely dry, and then hang your beautiful masterpiece! You now have a beautiful, personalized conversation starter to spice up any room in your home!

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