New painter seeking guidance. Please read! :)

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  1. #1
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    New painter seeking guidance. Please read! :)

    Hello, i suppose my situation is a bit rare, but...maybe not.
    I'm in high school, and i have never received any formal art training, but i draw all the time. I have sold quite a few graphite on paper works and i would consider myself in the low end of the advanced bracket for illustrating with pencil. All these years using only pencil, and now i would like to expand into the realm of painting and colored pencils. Since i think i can handle colored pencils for the most part with experimentation, i really need some help with painting, i am near clueless with technique and process. I have fooled around with some oil paints a while back, but since i had some bad experiences with painting as a child (hated the smell, too much clean up, couldn't handle the brush efficiently, etc.) just small things that frustrated me when i was younger that has pretty much turned me off of painting until now. I know there are numerous tutorials on these forums of different aspects of art, but i find most of the ones involving painting are generally digital painting, or they assume one has had experience with paint and brush (no offense to anyone who has made a tutorial on here). I just think I need some basic instructions or ground rules for painting, and classes aren't really an option for me right now due to schedule/cost. If some one could lay down some rules for beginners, the process of how you should start different kinds of paintings, anything that would help a beginner who is lost on where to begin. Also, i really like realism, surrealism, and some impressionist paintings. So which type of paint/canvas/ brushes would you recommend? I already have a set of brushes a relative gave me and some old tubes of oil paints.
    Thanks a lot, any and all information is much appreciated.

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  3. #2
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    Hi Dubji,

    Here are a few tips that might help you out: When using any paint medium the key is to build up layers slowly. If you use acrylics water them down. If you go for oils add turpentine. Wait for them to dry before you add more paint (unless you are doing wet on wet, but start with thin layers first). Acrylics dry really fast (sometimes while you are painting other layers.) Oils have a slower drying time, and you'll have (or should) to wait days in between layers.

    Be sure to paint with your entire arm, and not just your hand. For paintbrushes there are lots of options. A cheap set will help you learn the techniques. Go for softer brushes for watercolor (red sable when you have the money), harder brushes for oils (Although you can use softer brushes but they will become damaged faster), and both kinds for acrylics. Don't mix your water based (acrylics and watercolors) brushes with your oil based brushes.

    Canvases are expensive. Start out with a small canvas (or paper for practice). I would use paper instead of the canvas pages (I personally don't care for canvas pages because you basically have to gesso them anyways) for acrylics. Oils will decay paper, so either practice on a canvas (you can wipe it all out with turpentine later), or on a gessoed sheet of paper.

    The cheapest canvases are the ones you build and stretch yourself. I wouldn't recommend them for beginners. They are a pain, and often don't turn out well your first 20 times you do them. Buy already gessoed canvases, cheap canvas (I don't know what it's called but it's basically gessoed canvas stretched over cardboard), or go to your local building center (like Lowes) and have them cut up a big piece of hardboard or plywood for you. You will need to gesso these, but they are really cheap.

    The cheapest medium to start with is probably watercolours. They are a pain to work with, but if they dry out you still can use them from your palette. Watercolour paper is more expensive, but you can start on cheap drawing paper (it will warp but you can learn from it.) Even cheap watercolours are pretty decent and you can mix use them easily with pen and ink or your coloured pencils.

    Acrylics generally don't cost a lot more than Watercolours, but they also will help you to learn certain techniques you will use with oils.

    Oils are the most expensive, but I think they look the nicest when you are done.

    Most people would laugh, but watching Bob Ross on PBS is a great way to learn about oils. Remember what he teaches is basically for technique. The most professional artists mostly draw from real life and not just there mind (although that is something that is up for debate).

    You should also look at this website for help on techniques: http://www.how-to-draw-and-paint.com/index.html

    Feel free to send me a private message if have any questions or need help!

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  4. #3
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    Wow! Thanks a ton Dani!
    I think I am going to gather some supplies this weekend and get cracking on some new art!
    You definitely cleared up a lot of things for me and i really appreciate it
    I will for sure send you some messages if i need to know something more, and thanks for offering.

    Thank you!

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