If you want to learn how to paint, here are the tools and tutorials that helped me get started painting.
My most asked question lately is not regarding my health, but rather how I started painting. My painting supplies were an impulse buy influenced by a few bloggers sharing their quarantine paintings. After being sick for so long painting looked like a refreshing, calm, safe activity to try during my recovery. It’s just that – a perfect hobby to begin while I’m healing – so perfect it’s hard to not pick up the paint brush every day.
I must state the obvious: I am not a trained artist. I’ve always been able to doodle though, and my first grade students were impressed with my drawings. I love the Arts as the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination. Whether it’s dance, music, or painting, I enjoy doing something to express my emotions.
How to Learn to Paint
Painting requires focus, practice, and patience. The first time I picked up the paint brush I spent an hour following a video on how to paint an easy night sky. The feeling of both serenity and pride upon completion was so amazing I immediately knew I wanted to learn how to paint more things.
I am learning how to paint everything from flowers to lighthouses by watching tutorials. There are so many brush techniques and tricks to be done, especially when it comes to watercolor flower petals.
Here is my first attempt at flowers (before watching a tutorial):
Here is my most recent attempt at flowers (after watching multiple tutorials):
My favorite flower painting tutorials are with Shayda Campbell. I watched this video to paint the flowers above. Many of her videos are done in quicktime so it can be soothing to watch. However, if you want to learn how to paint flowers, be prepared to pause and rewind a bunch.
I also enjoyed watching a tutorial called: How to Paint a Lavender Plant in Ten Minutes. Some of my followers on Instagram sent me their attempts at the Lavender as well – it’s so fun to see how everyone interprets a tutorial differently.
Another way I’m painting is by trying my own hand to paint what I see in a piece I admire. One of my favorite artists, Meredith Hanson, says one of the best ways to learn to paint is to try to replicate a painting you love. One should never copy a painting, but try to make it your own with personal details and colors.
Paints – I am experimenting with two types of paint: watercolor and gouache. The primary difference between the paints is gouache is more opaque than watercolor. Look at my lighthouses below for a clear difference!
You don’t need a TON of paints since they’re easy to lighten, darken, and combine. However, sometimes you just want a particular shade, so it’s fun to have a variety of paints. I just ordered this set becuase .
Brushes – There is a lot to learn about paintbrushes and I’m still trying to figure them out. I started with this paintbrush set, but love this one more. I find the paintbrush makes a world of a difference when painting different things. It’s hard to paint a fine flower stem with a wide paintbrush!
Pencil – If you decide to sketch before you paint, a technical pencil is a must have.