When it comes to starting out with anything, practice makes perfect. And with practice comes trial and error.A wise person once said, “You must learn from your mistakes.” But, lucky for you, we have put together a list of eight common beginner painting mishaps — so you can learn what not to do, without actually having to find out the hard way.
Category How to Start
Pen Drawing in Art JournalsSo many of us keep sketchbooks to make quick drawings, work through compositional possibilities, and just practice mark-making. You can do all that with an art journal too. In fact, now that I think about it, the pen drawings in my sketchbook are a little more like a slice of my life.
The Power of Human Figure DrawingI bring you your very own mini-encyclopedia of figure drawing! There is so much to know and love…and sometimes be overwhelmed by (?!) if you are just starting out with human figure drawing. The figure is truly the keystone of art and you deserve your share of it!So enjoy these in-depth “chapters” on the body–from poses that are emotive for different reasons to how true are the proportions of Leonardo’s Vitruvian man.
Proven Steps of Watercolor Painting MasteryOne of the best things about being at Artist Daily is seeing incredible artwork on a daily basis. This is especially true in the area of watercolor painting.I wasn’t too familiar with many contemporary artists working in the medium before I started working here.
How Painting Quick Studies Lead You to Becoming a Better ArtistIt’s all fun and games to joke about being a procrastinator, but overthinking some things, such as how to paint a subject, can be a serious roadblock. Sometimes it’s best to just jump in and see what happens when you begin sketching your composition or start putting paint onto the canvas.
This five-minute drawing of a turpentine potcould benefit from a larger range of values.All work from students of Sigmund Abeles.You know how life can sometimes speed by and at other times crawl along at a snail’s pace? Well, drawing is that way too. There are pencil drawing techniques that are incredibly labor intensive and deliberate, then there are others that are quick and unplanned.
I feel like every time I pick up a pencil to attempt portrait drawing, I am back in elementary school learning the basics of how to draw a face all over again. You know that art argument about whether you need natural talent to learn how to draw? Well, I’m here to tell you it isn’t true because I’ve got zero natural ability, and yet I know that my skills have improved tremendously over the years.
Pencil drawingPencil drawing is arguably the most common yet most versatile of artistic pursuits. Learning how to draw with a pencil is easiest when you understand that a graphite pencil allows you to make lines and linear marks that can turn into hatching and crosshatching, as well as gradations of tone and shading when you blend the lead.
ShadingCreating a convincing representational image of an object or figure in a drawing or painting is usually a matter of shading the form, using gradations of light and shadow to give the illusion of volume and dimensionality. In painting, visual depth is most often created by changing the color tone of the depicted object or form.
The Red Rigi by JMW Turner, watercolor painting, 1842, 30.5 x 45.8 cm.Watercolor painting is the process of painting with pigments that are mixed with water. Oftentimes the white of the painting surface will gleam through and lend itself to the luminosity of the painting.When artists first learn how to paint watercolor art, the fluidity of the medium is often a stumbling block because it makes the paint less predictable.
Learn How to Paint: It’s Easier Than You ThinkPainting is a skill that many of us would like to have, but few ever master, let alone try out. But why not? It’s a wonderful skill to have, it improves and complements other creative abilities you may already have learnt, and there’s no need to be intimidated by it when it’s broken down into easy steps the way that our free painting lessons do.
Avoid This Beginner Painting MistakeSince the mid-1800s, numerous artists (and beginner painting students) have stressed color over other elements in painting. They mistake color choice as the root of all success or failure in painting. And, they cite the Impressionists as examples.However Claude Monet, for instance, explored how to paint light and its effects on the colorful scenes he saw in his mind’s eye.
Medium Madness: How to Pick the Right OneNew to painting, or wanting to test the waters with a new medium? Well, you’re in luck! Below is a sneak peek excerpt pulled from Create Perfect Paintings: An Artist’s Guide to Visual Thinking by Nancy Reyner. This roundup includes lists of pros and cons for the most comment painting mediums.
Beginner Drawings Start with a Simple LineThe blind contour drawing exercise is a fundamental tool that can help beginning artists create their first drawings, as well as help experienced artists become reacquainted with the power of observation.Popularized by Kimon Nicolaïdes in his 1941 book The Natural Way to Draw: A Working Plan for Art Study, the blind contour method involves carefully observing the outline and shapes of a subject while slowly drawing its contours in a continuous line without looking at the paper.
Drawing for BeginnersI went through most of my adulthood thinking I couldn’t learn how to draw. I wanted to, but I didn’t know what the first steps of drawing for beginners actually were. Artists who are more advanced take for granted how they hold their pencil, how they position their paper and how they move their drawing hand and shoulder.
An Artist Needs It All—From Drawing Techniques to Drawing IdeasMastering the art of drawing can take a lifetime because there are just so many drawing lessons to be learned. From foundational step-by-step drawing knowledge to all the different kinds of drawings to be explored—line drawing, contour drawing, gesture drawing, figure drawing, and more—a life of drawing is one that can be busy and incredibly varied.
Learn to Draw and You Will Never Be the SameGreat artists know that they can never afford to leave behind their drawing techniques if they hope to keep growing and refining their work. This goes for illustrators, architects, painters, sculptors, designers, even tattoo artists! Drawing is the backbone of art, allowing artists to not just see but record what they see in line and shading, contour and gesture.
Ramonaby Tony Ryder, 1995, graphite,24 x 18. Private collection.My father has been in the construction industry for nearly 40 years. It was during those trips that I learned the importance of building a strong foundation, a lesson that I’ve applied to multiple aspects of my life—none of which require me to wear a hard-hat.
Want to encourage the budding artist in your life? Here are some suggestions for gifts to stoke their creative sparks.1. Keys to Drawing, by Bert Dodson.One of the most popular drawing books of all-time: Keys to Drawing, by Bert Dodson. Bert Dodson’s easy-to-follow instruction makes it easy for “anyone who can hold a pencil” to learn how to draw in no time.
Create a Face Drawing That Speaks VolumesFeatures and body position can be used and contorted to tell us all kinds of things in a face drawing. But you don’t always have to think up dramatic scenarios when drawing a person or a character.You can be subtle, too. Like using the mere tilt of the head to say something about the figure you are drawing.
I am usually heartened when I hear disagreements about matters of art and technique. Maybe I’m just combative that way. But, more likely, I think I take such debates as a sign there are more artists coming to the table.And, that the field is growing and evolving, with no end in sight. This can only mean good things for someone like me, who spends her whole day looking at art.