Taken from Artist’s Network Online Magazine 5th April 2013
By Courtney Jordan, Online Editor of Artist’s Daily
Painting for beginners and painting for more advanced artists do not involve totally different processes. Only the familiarity with basic painting
instruction and the ease of executing those technical steps is what separates a beginner painter from an advanced one.
To learn how to paint–right here and right now–start with three easy steps that will allow you to grow in confidence and skill as an artist.
1. Learn What Your Materials Are All About
All oil painting lessons start with the fundamentals of materials because knowing how your paints respond allows you to fully understand how to exploit them to their fullest potential, and how to avoid any big mistakes.
Traditional oil paints consist of ground pigments combined with a drying oil, such as linseed, walnut, or poppyseed oil. A “drying oil” is one that absorbs oxygen from the air, which causes it to dry and harden over time, forming a flexible and resistant surface. Each pigment requires a different amount of oil to reach the consistency needed for painting. The amount of oil absorbed by a pigment directly affects its
drying time, which can be useful for an artist to know as he or she works in the studio to learn painting.
2. The Basics of Color
You can learn how to paint nearly every color with just three pigments. Exact hues vary from one manufacturer to the next, but you could go far with any company’s Indian yellow, naphthol red, and ultramarine blue.
Secondary colors, such as orange, green and purple, are made by mixing primary colors. Tertiary colors are those made by mixing a secondary color with a primary color. Other colors are made by adding a bit of white pigment (a process called tinting) or
adding a bit of black (a process called shading).
3. Learn to Paint
with Dimension: Layering with Acrylics
Acrylic painting lessons will usually include the basic techniques of manipulating washes to develop detailed paintings of landscapes, figures, still lifes and the like. This process sounds
more complicated than it truly is, as there are just three essential steps to learning how to use acrylic paint to give objects depth and dimension.
First, Apply a Thin Wash: Use either a wash or glaze of red oxide combined with a small amount of titanium white and diarylide yellow. Apply one thin wash to your surface to create a few shapes.
Second, Apply a Second Coat: Using the same color as in step one, mix a wash or glaze using slightly less water or gel. This value will be darker because there is more pigment. When the first coat is dry, apply a second coat to the areas to give the initial shapes more dimension. For example, the second coat could be applied to the front and side of a cube.
Third, Apply Shadows: After the second coat is dry, apply a third one of the same color to the areas where shadows from other objects could be. You may need another coat after this one dries to further delineate shadowed areas. All of this was done with the same color and shows how successive layers of a single color can easily add dimension to a basic painting sketch. –Hugh Greer