Acrylic painting for beginners
Be An Acrylic Artist In 3 Steps
Step 1: Paint with only one color per week
Choose One Color
There is no specific, magic color to worry about. Choose whatever color you like. I’d suggest starting with ultramarine blue & white — That’s it. It is better to create one good image with one single color, and all its tints, than 100 incomplete paintings with 10 colors.
Creative people seem to be brilliant starters, but are often not great finishers. I’m sure you have 100’s of amazing ideas for paintings you’d love to do, if only you had the time, right?
Start with one color and work your way up … One well-thought-out painting is more rewarding than many hurried ones. If you’re spending less than three hours on one painting, you’re probably going too fast.
It is best to focus on quality rather than quantity to boost your confidence and your skill as a painter. You can create a wide range of tones with ultramarine blue by adding white … from very dark blue to very light blue, with every tone in between. It is a particularly useful color and it doesn’t cost much.
Many of us assume that successful paintings are created in a moment of inspiration — A moment of creative genius that has the paint flying and your brushes waving. But it isn’t so. By giving yourself permission to achieve one small step at a time towards your finished painting, you begin to experience the joy of painting, making it easier for yourself to stay at painting.
Step 2: Find one painting per month to copy
There are hundreds of techniques available for becoming a better painter. Wouldn’t it be ideal to live in Italy, studying classical painting techniques as you absorb the Renaissance atmosphere with a gelato in your hand?
Too bad we don’t live in an ideal world. Suppose you were painting full-time and had an army of assistants to help you … you still couldn’t do everything — So don’t try. Focus on one strategy until you get really good at it.
Copy A Painting
Your best strategy will be to copy from the masters because every painting technique you need to learn has been done before. You can learn from the best by picking a painting, and picking a section from it. No need to paint the whole picture, just a small section to start with. Try to copy it.
You never really completely see a painting until you have to draw it, and you never really know the subject until you have to paint it, Work slowly and carefully and engage in long periods of concentration.
When you’re a beginner you don’t have many of the skills you need. Try to understand how great paintings work, and then use those painting principles to create your own painting. Study the painting closely … understand how muted some colors actually are, even if at first glance they seemed bright … look for harmony in the colors. Mentally divide the masterpiece into individual sections, either of which you might re-create in your own painting.
With one painting a week, or even one painting a month, you would soon have a quit a collection of paintings.
Step 3: Slowly start adding more colors
Once you get comfortable with painting, you’ll find it’s a lot easier to start experimenting with more colors. Adding burnt umber to the ultramarine blue to create a black, and learning about warm and cool colors will get you on your way.
Good results will encourage you further. You’ll notice that time flies when you get in the zone. Instead of dreaming of learning how to paint, you’ll actually be able to do it.
“What to paint next” can be daunting … does painting your cat or dog, husband, wife or children seem like a huge leap?