Today I thought I would have a chat about some tips and tricks I’ve picked up on over the years for painting, and ways to make painting much easier for you as you start out as an artist or a hobbyist.
Basic colour theory shows us that the colour wheel revolves around the three primary colours: red, yellow and blue. In theory, with these three colours you are able to make any other colour in the rainbow. It is important to take a bit of time on mixing colours to really understand how they interact and work together, and this will help your painting technique so much.
Mix together different colours and see what you can get, and you can also do a fun exercise where you try to recreate colours you see in the real world. The next time you are in a DIY store grab a few paint sample pages and try to copy these colours at home. It will take some time and thinking but it will help you understand colour and become a better artist.
Use good paintbrushes
When you start out painting there are a lot things you can scrimp on. The paint you use can largely be cheap as you get used to using it, and even professional artists use cheap paints and pencils for their work. One thing you have to get right though is your brushes. A good set of paintbrushes can change you artwork and make it so much better, and investing in a set with a rage of sizes and styles can improve your art massively!
Make a travel palette
This has be to my favourite little art hack of all time and it comes in the form of using watercolour pencils to make a watercolour palette which you can take with you when you travel. Art supplies can take up a lot of room so having this handy little paper palette can save you space in your rucksack and it allows you to paint watercolours directly in nature. You will simply need to fill squares of each colour, pack a small sketchbook and paintbrush and a bottle of water, and you have an instant watercolour set to take anywhere.
Sketching underneath or not?
Generally I think it depends on how confident you are with your image and also what type of painting you want to create when it comes to deciding on an undersketch or not. For me, I will always sketch animals in pencil before painting and then I will go over at the end with a fine liner to get those clean lines. But when it comes to landscapes it sometimes feels better to simply put brush to paper and let the colour flow. For the painting below for example, this was a sunset which I painted and I just got down a base layer of paint before going over and over with new layers to get the effect I wanted.
Just go for what works for you, and if you think you need a guide for your paintings there is nothing wrong with adding a pencil layer underneath.