How to Paint for BeginnersMany people who don’t consider themselves “artistically inclined” feel that learning to paint is a huge feat. Others assume that since they aren’t good at drawing, they must be even worse painters. The truth is quite the opposite!
Most beginners are surprised when they find painting comes to them much easier than drawing. At Pinot’s Palette, we see this revelation every day in our art and wine classes… but it never ceases to inspire us!
There’s an all-too-common misconception that to be an artist, one must be born with an inherent talent. Our painting classes repeatedly prove that this isn’t true! While art and painting certainly come easier to some than others, the most important prerequisites for learning how to paint are passion and drive.
PAINTING CLASSES FOR BEGINNERS
You can look for beginner painting classes in your community at places like the library and community colleges, but at Pinot’s Palette we think we’ve designed the most effective and fun way to learn how to paint. Our events are designed for beginners and seasoned painters alike, and are guided by a local artist. Enjoy a couples night painting, throw a kid’s birthday painting party, or book your own private event! Our painting classes can be enjoyed by anyone, but they’re also a fun way to celebrate nearly any event you can think of.
WHAT TYPE OF PAINT IS BEST FOR BEGINNERS?
Certain types of paint are easier to use than others, especially for beginners. Acrylic paint is pretty easy to work with, making it a great option for beginners. We use acrylic paint because it dries very quickly. For at-home painting, watercolor paint is also a beginner-friendly paint that is convenient and easy to clean up. A “high-maintenance” paint like oil requires additional solvents for cleanup, is more expensive, and may take some of the fun out learning.
Besides the paint itself, you’ll need some basic supplies to get started!
● Paintbrushes - Most beginners choose synthetic brushes because they're more affordable and easier to use. Try to get a small variety of synthetic brushes with different tip types (flat, round, etc.) Some paint brush tips are for more advanced painters; ask your local art store for advice.
● Canvas, Journal or Sketchbook - You can sketch and do basic paintings in a journal or sketchbook and then paint your vision on a canvas. Artists can choose from many different types of canvases. The type of fiber and weave used to make the canvas can make a huge difference. Ask your local art store for an affordable and ready-made canvas suited for beginners.
● Palette - There are also many types of paint palettes. The main difference usually comes down to the material used for the surface, whether safety glass, plexiglass, wood, plastic, or other materials. Again, you can ask your local art store to recommend an affordable beginner’s palette.
● Rinse Water Cup - To rinse your brushes, you can fill an old jar or cup with water. No biggie.
● Soap - Acrylic paint cleans up easy with a bit of soap and water! Keep some soap handy at all times for quick cleanups!
● Varnish - When you’ve finished your painting, you can add a varnish to seal the painting.
WHAT BEGINNERS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT PAINTING
We recommend acrylic paints for beginners because they’re affordable, easy to work with, and easy to clean up. Here’s what you should know before getting started with acrylic painting.
● Avoid Dry Paint and Dry Brushes - During a painting session when not actively using a particular paintbrush, keep it dipped in your water jar to avoid the paint drying out on your brush. Between paintings, clean your brushes well with soap and water. Store brushes in a manner that allows them to air out.
● Start with Large Shapes - Acrylic paint dries fairly quickly, so save the fine details and smaller figures for the end of the painting. It can be extremely frustrating to do smaller details at the beginning, as the paint may dry too quickly, requiring you to remix your paints to continue. It can also be easier to visualize your painting when the larger shapes are on the canvas already.
● Acrylic Paint Darkens as it Dries - You may notice that as your acrylic paints dry on your canvas, they become slightly darker. Account for this darkening by painting with slightly lighter colors than you envision on your finished painting.
● Layering - One of the best things about acrylic paints is that they dry super quickly, but also that once the paint dries on the canvas, it is easily layered over without having to worry about affecting the color underneath. Use this to your advantage to add texture and depth to your paintings.
BEGINNERS PAINTING TECHNIQUES
There is no “wrong” way to paint. Allowing yourself to be creative may lead to you to discover new painting techniques. Many innovative artists did unconventional things that people thought were silly at the time. A true artist is never confined by technique! Still, knowing some basic painting techniques is important to help beginners feel confident and ensure the process remains enjoyable.
Here are a few basic painting techniques:
● Dry Brush - Earlier we recommended avoiding the dry brush, but when used with purpose, a dry brush and undiluted paint can be used to enhance your painting's texture.
● Flicking - This is a technique in which the painter actually flicks paint from the brush to the surface. This results in a fun splatter effect that is rich in texture.
● Dabbing - This is about removing and dampening paint, not necessarily adding it. Beginners can use a paper towel or sponge to add texture, depth, and motion to paintings.
● Be Inventive - There are no official rules when it comes to painting. Look for new ways to get your paint on the canvas! Try using other household items instead of brushes. One technique that many think is reserved for advanced painters is using your palette knife as a brush. Give it a shot and you’ll see it’s fun and easy. Imagine you’re buttering a piece of bread and you’ll see the advantages of this technique.
LEARN TO PAINT AND SIP AT PINOT’S PALETTE!
We might be biased, but we truly feel the best way to learn how to paint is to take a class at Pinot’s Palette! Our wine and painting parties take place all across the country and are perfect for all skill levels. Come alone and meet other painters, or reconnect with a group of friends! Just make sure you come excited to learn how to paint, and we'll handle the rest!
Once you’ve found your nearest Pinot's Palette studio, you can sign up for one of our public paint and sip events or book your own private class! From bachelorette parties to corporate team building exercises, wine and painting classes from Pinot’s Palette are always fun and surprising.