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Elaine Carey

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Painting for Beginners
By Elaine Carey
Monday, August 05, 2013

Rated "G" by the Author.

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Fear not. What do you have to lose but your inhibitions?

I hadn't painted since high school.  Then a couple of friends asked me to go to "Painting with a Twist."  It was a very freeing experience.  The artist in charge kept saying, "If it doesn't look so great, take another sip of wine. Relax!  Just have fun." So I sipped my tea and continued dabbing paint. 

     The next event was Pinot's Palette. This time, the project was a copy of Van Gogh's Starry Night. Again, I had a good time with my paint buddy, Rachel.  Then I realized, I could invest in some acrylics, buy canvas, and have this much fun all the time! I began to paint after teaching all day.  I would feel the knots in my neck from computer work and grading loosen as I painted.

     Therefor, I recommend this little escape. If you are artsy or not, painting is a great outlet for creative energy.  You may also be more talented than you think.  After a little while, friends began to ask me to paint for their homes or offices.  You never know where creativity will lead!

     So, get supplies and pick a subject. Choose something simple to start with.  Try a set of trees or flowers.  If this seems daunting on your own, go to a painting class with a friend, maybe.  Watch a Youtube about painting.  There are hundreds of videos available.  Search Pinterest for a photo you'd like to copy.

     There is no need to buy fancy, expensive paints, either.  Try a starter set at Hobby Lobby or  I enjoyed a Daler Rowneu set purchased by a friend for me that included all different shades, as I found mixing up colors to be difficult at first.  Get a set of brushes that has various widths, including some very small round brushes. 

   The same principal holds true with canvas.  The nicer the canvas, the pricier it will be.  It's ok to start with basic, flat student canvases.  As you get better, buy some from Dick Blick or Texas Art Supply that have dimension and are smoothly pre-primed.

     As you improve, you might experiment with Liquitex.  They have a cool heavy body acrylic that adds interesting texture to paintings.  You may want to finish pictures with a matte or gloss glaze to protect the paint. 

     But the main agenda should be: get started.  Don't expect perfection.  Expect every canvas to be a learning experience. 




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Reviewed by Budd Nelson 8/8/2013
they should all be an enjoyable journey

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