OK, let's get started. Step one...supplies. You need a flat brush, a fan, a small detail brush and a couple of Filberts. A filbert is a rounded edge brush that lets you maneuver the paint easily without going outside the edges. Ultimately buy brushes that you like though, and make them work. Fans allow you to blend, for example. I use fans a lot and it's how I graduate color throughout my images. Everything I paint is by hand....no airbrushing or assistants. I want it to be an expression of me and nobody else. You also need an oil painting medium to mix with the oil paint to make it more fluid, and to speed or slow the drying process. Whichever you prefer. Go to the art store and don't be afraid to ask for help....they'll love helping you! A medium is merely an additive liquid which increases gloss, makes it flow easily, preserves the finish over time, keeps it from yellowing. I personally love Galkyd and Galkyd Lite. If that isn't available, buy a medium that looks like liquid amber and is kind of thick. Don't buy watery looking mediums....too hard to work with. By licensing these names, paint companies and retailers are taking advantage of the popularity of these well-known brands to attract you to these paints; that way they don't have to use obnoxious colors to bring your attention to their color wheel. If you look at the colors in these displays you will notice that they are generally missing those bright, saturated tones. Instead, most of the colors are more neutralized. Naturally, these colors are much more attractive to paint on a wall in your home. Today, it is increasingly easy to source ecologically sound paints, as most specialist ranges, such as Ecos, Earthborn, Georgina Barrow and Auro are available via mail order. There is a wealth of colour options in these pre-mixed ranges that include lush shades and muted palettes, reflecting their natural ingredients. Ecos continues to lead the field. It has recently developed Atmosphere Purifying Paint, which absorbs and neutralises volatile chemicals, solvents and VOCs from the atmosphere in a home.
The purpose of this article is to take the mystery out of the process of painting. This article is only written to get you started. I'll write more detailed techniques later. But this article will set you on your way to experimenting and having fun with paint. Ultimately it's like anything in this world. Before you have the knowledge, it's complicated. But once you have it, it's easy! Knowledge is power, and this phenomenon definitely applies to painting. The technical aspects are the easy part. Anyone can do it. You ultimately could be as capable as Monet with practice. We humans can do whatever we decide to do! Deciding WHAT to paint is the hard part. It takes discipline and a singularly focused desire to create one painting after another. For whatever reason, I loved it the minute I started. And I never looked back. I love it today as much as I did over 16 years ago. I never have "writer's block" either as to what to paint. I just paint from my experiences in life. So don't think too hard on it. Paint that apple sitting on the table, or paint the tree in your own back yard, paint your girlfriend in an unusual way. But paint something that means something to you, that's all that matters. Make it funky, make it interesting. If it's abstract, remember that abstract art has long been the most desirable. It's an expression of the individual, make it unique. For those who want realism, take a picture. What's amazing is that once you do it, you realize it's the ultimate escape into happiness. Suddenly you forget your problems for that period of time. You have control, and no one can take it away from you once you are skilled at painting. The process is addicting. But like anything, you must START! And once you do, look out....you'll be hooked. In symbolism you do need to look for the hidden meaning, and it's absolutely pointless in pop art, op art, art nouveau or hyperrealism. Each style and genre sets forth its requirements, so brush up on the movement the artist belongs to before you proceed. The perspective. Do you feel the distance between you and the painting? Are you an observer or a participant? The way you feel is dictated by the artistic choice - it's never a coincidence. An artist thoroughly selected the angle: you may look upwards, or downwards, or be at the same level with the objects depicted. If the horizon is at your eye level, the impression you will get is calm, stable. The high horizon will reveal more space, in landscapes it provides a majestic view. Paintings with the low horizon, so common with Dali, are monumental, highlighting the size of the objects and figures. The unusual views of Paris by Pissarro appeared as he painted from the hotel rooms. Your average paint company knows that their most important advertising is done inside the paint retail location. A brand's paint color display (or color wheel) is its best tool to attract you to their paint. How can a paint company use its own color wheel to lure you to their brand? The answer is easy... color. For centuries, advertisers have used bright, bold colors to focus the attention of customers on their brand. The power of bright colors is evident in signs, logos, and almost every form of commercial marketing. This fact is common knowledge, and yet it still comes as a surprise to many people that paint companies use these same tactics to draw your attention to their line of paint colors inside every home improvement store.