“Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot. Others transform a yellow spot into the sun.” — Pablo Picasso (Spanish painter)

Painting allows you to transform something small into something expressive.  Painting is a form of therapy because through painting, you can express your deepest emotions. Do you paint as a form of therapy or are you a disciplined painter?

All artists work hard. You may not need to think of the different painting techniques when you just start off your journey as a painter, but you do need to keep working hard to be a better painter. With time and hard work, you will be able to perfect your painting technique. In fact, you will create art that is aesthetically pleasing.

Have you read Oscar Wilde’s novel, “The Picture of Dorian Gray?” If you have, you would be wondering what type of painting technique artist Basil Hallward used to create a painting of the protagonist, Dorian Gray. He must have used similar painting techniques as artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci and Pablo Picasso. He created a portrait so aesthetically pleasing that the protagonist made a wish that he can remain as beautiful as his painting forever (in turn the protagonist sold his soul to the devil because of the glorious painting).

Will you create such a powerful painting too?

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Techniques in Art

Oil Painting Techniques

Oil painting is a traditional painting style used by well-renowned painters.

When it comes to working with oil paints, you can play around with your painting technique. With this thick paste, you can achieve almost any technique. Impasto was a technique used by artists such as Van Gogh. With this painting technique, every brush stroke is visible and the paint looks thicker. To achieve this style on your own, all you need to do is use lots of paint and paint in thicker layers. The key rule to achieve the perfect Impasto style painting is to mix paint on your canvas rather than on your painting palette.

Do you have the right art materials that you need? Find out more about art supplies.

The thing about oil paint is that you can play around with it. Remember if you are painting with this type of paint, the thicker consistency means far more drying time.

Aside from extra drying time, oil paint further needs to be painted in layers. Painting in layers is considered glazing.  You will need to start by diluting the oil paint. Using turpentine oil in the paint makes the thick oily paint thinner so that you can paint a semi-transparent first layer of paint. Allow the paint to dry before adding another layer. The glazing technique allows the different paint hues to be seen clearly.

While the technique seems manageable just by reading the details of the technique, seeing someone show you how to achieve this technique or having someone who can assist you with the technique will be even better.

Opt for online painting lessons if you would like to learn how to paint from the comfort of your home.

artist creating watercolour painting of woman
Painting is a soothing hobby for creative people! Source: Pexels

A painting class can awaken your artistic mind so that you can learn to perfect techniques and paint with your own unique style.

An art instructor can teach you how to master the fading technique by ensuring that the sharper lines of your painting are nicely blended with your smoother lines. Your painting instructor may even get you to use a knife on your painting to ensure you make a statement. It is important to ensure that you consider the different painting techniques so that you can try all and possibly stick to and adapt the techniques that work for you.

There are several other oil painting techniques that have not been mentioned but are still worthwhile.

You might see even more benefits when taking face-to-face painting classes.

Acrylic Painting Technique

Even though renowned painters preferred painting with oil based paints, watercolor paints are also quite popular. Watercolor paint or acrylic paints is a fast-drying paint type.

Acrylic paint has become popular over the years simply due to its creamy texture and the fact that it produces a finish in much the same way as the artistic finish produced by oil paint.

Since acrylic paint is easier to use than oil paint, many art instructors start off by teaching you techniques that make use of acrylic paints.

When using acrylic paints, the fast-drying nature of the paint means that you need to decide upon the subject of your painting before you even begin painting.

With acrylic paints, techniques vary:

  • Follow the dry brush technique: the dry brush technique is when you use dry bristles and you move the brush in a direction so as to create a wavy pattern.
  • Palette mixing: If you squeeze two paints out on a palette and mix them together until they are fully blended, you can use that paint on any canvas to produce a delightful blended colour.
  • Canvas mixing: If you are the type of artist who is not interested in getting a paint palette, you can very well squeeze two colours of acrylic paint on a canvas. Use a dry bristle brush to mix the two paint colours but do not allow them to blend completely. Leave the paint with a grainy texture for maximum artistic effect and to adhere to technique.
  • Creating texture: When working with acrylic paints, you can create texture by dabbing the rough side of the sponge on your painting. Remember to move away after every dab to achieve the perfect type of texture.
  • A wet sponge: Make use of a wet sponge and dip the sponge in paint. Be gentle during the application of this wet paint on the canvas.
  • Making a colour opaque: To make a colour more opaque, add some white paint to the colour.

Oil Painting for Beginners

woman creating artwork on outdoor wall
The artist's imagination knows no limits! Source: Pexels

When painting on a canvas, you could start by going down the acrylic paint route, however, as you advance you may need to perfect your oil painting technique. When it comes to oil painting for beginners, a painting teacher is your best bet. A painting teacher can help you get to grips with ins and outs of oil painting.

You can even reach out to a Superprof painting tutor for oil painting classes.

While taking oil painting classes for beginners, your painting teacher will also teach you how to paint on a canvas.

Learning How to Paint on a Canvas

As opposed to painting on a page, painting on a canvas entails painting on a stretched-out piece of fabric. Canvas painting is a traditional method of painting and canvas is still the most commonly used painting material today.

Cotton or linen fabric makes up the common canvas. When it comes to the type of fabric used for a canvas, a waterproof canvas is always your best pick. When working on a waterproof canvas ensures that colours on a canvas are well blended.

For most beginners, you need to prepare your ideal canvas. You prepare your canvas to accept the paint that will be painted on the canvas. When learning to paint on a canvas, you learn that glue makes the canvas waterproof. For certain canvas fabrics, glue can also tighten the fabric. When applying glue to the canvas, paint both the front and backside of the canvas.

Another essential technique is to apply gesso. Spreading a light layer of gesso on the canvas ensures that you create a smoother surface to paint on. Once the gesso has dried, sand the canvas.

Beginners often require the help when it comes to preparing a canvas. An art teacher will initially show you how to prepare a canvas. Thereafter, you will know how to prepare the canvas yourself.

Once your canvas is all set, look to established artists for inspiration. You will see that most artists paint freely and do not necessarily stick to painting within the box.

Always remember to start by drawing a sketch of what you would like to paint on your canvas. This will be a guide to assist you when you actually start to paint.

Contrary to popular belief, painting is not a constant back and forth movement of the paintbrush on your canvas.

So important is the role of the canvas that even in an episode of Peppa Pig, Peppa’s dad focuses on teaching her all about a canvas and what the canvas is to be used for. What will you paint on your canvas? Will you make a dot and allow it to represent the sun or will you change your yellow dot into a sun?

Colour your world, one brushstroke at a time. If you need more inspiration as to why  you became interested in painting in the first place, take a look at some of Pablo Picasso's work.

Remember:

“Every canvas is a journey all its own.” Helen Frankenthaler

Now learn everything you need to know to become a painter!

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Laila

Laila is an enthusiastic English educator and a fun-filled freelance writer. She has accomplished her dream of getting her first book published and has managed to write over 1 000 000 words since beginning her freelance career. In her free time, she is a travel blogger who explores all South Africa has to offer.