Let’s Look at Painting
You have read my previous posts and feel like you just may want to take that next step. It isn’t a leap, just a step. Intuitive painting is unlike any other art form. It comes from your heart and soul. What you see may not be what others see. It is always interesting when others look at your work and begin to tell you what images they see. It is heart-warming when others tell you that they see a message that speaks to them. How do we begin?
There are several supplies you need to begin your artful journey. Just click on any highlighted word for the most recent sales. These supplies are:
I recommend using the above for several reasons. The canvas will be your substrate and the paint is your medium. You can paint on anything, but many canvases have an archival or long lasting quality to them. An easel is a preference. I go from using an easel to painting directly on a flat surface. Brushes (and sponges) help to create patterns. A palette can be store bought or any surface you will squeeze your paint on. Finally the varnish helps to keep your art lasting for years. Just hover over the highlighted words and it will take you right where the best deal can be found. Have fun!
Canvas – Board or Wrap (stretched canvas)?
Canvases can be purchased in stores or online. Personally, I shop around to get the best bang for my buck. I recommend a cotton canvas due to its durability and economics. I have sold most of my pieces using cotton canvas. Many are already primed and ready to go, which helps your paint stick to the surface and remain there for years. The question ultimately is “Should I use canvas board or canvas wrap?” A canvas board is a flat cotton surface already mounted to a board. The canvas wrap is wrapped around a wood frame. Canvas board is easier to ship and may actually be cheaper if you are mailing your art. Otherwise, it is a preference.
Paint comes in a variety of grades or qualities. What you may want to use for practice would be the student quality of paint. Once you are more confident and take your art to the next level, you may want to upgrade to artist quality. The main difference is the water and paint content. Student quality paints tend to have less pigment and more water. I still use those, on occasion, to lay a foundation layer of paint. I know that may be a less expensive route, leaving my better quality paints for visual effect. When you hover over the words in each paragraph’s title, you will see my recommendations for your first works of art. If you are an artist reading this post for inspiration, you will see my recommendation as well. Everyone will have their favorites to work with. So don’t leave yourself underexposed. Use several companies to see what works for you.
Easel – Should You Use One?
Using an easel is an artist’s preference. Easels come in many sizes from table top to free standing. I use a table top when I am in motion, while painting. It is difficult to feel the energy and stay motionless! I paint in my office a lot and sometimes the overhead light shines right where I do not prefer…so I lay the canvas flat on the table. For instructional purposes and classes, a free standing easel comes in handy so that an entire room of people can see the art develop.
Brushes – How Many Are Enough?
Believe me when I say I have 2 full plastic containers full of brushes! And I probably use no more than 5. So after years of experimenting with my style, the best advice I can offer is to get a package with several types of brushes. Once you develop a style you are comfortable with, you can purchase more quality brushes in styles you use more often. Again, hover over the word Brushes in the heading and you will see my recommendation.
A palette is a surface to squeeze your paint on to. This surface allows for mixing bits of white to use one color and have different hues to paint with. This surface helps you to plan your artwork and visualize your colors to see if they work for you. I began with the palettes that have circular holes in them. As I gained more experience I found myself mixing much more than the holes allotted. So whether it be with or without holes, the choice is yours.
Varnish – The End.
When I say The End, I mean this is your final step. When you want to safeguard your art from moisture, spills, sun-light, or sticky fingers, you may want to use a varnish top coat. I have tried several and my favorite is Krylon spray. I accidentally left a piece outside (because you do spray outside) and it began to rain. Thank goodness the spray is as good as it boasts. The water ran right off and no one knew anything. The Krylon Fixatif will allow you to work over your previous day’s work. Use the fixatif to safeguard you from you. When you like something, a lot, spray it with fixatif because when you come back and decide to change something and oops that wasn’t my best next step, the fixatif will save your previous work. You can rework your colors. Awesome! As with the varnish it is acid free and archival meaning your art will last for years. A pour varnish also works with acrylic or mixed media projects. I recommend Liquitex basics.