If speaking art seems like a discipline in itself to you, here I provide you with the top terms of art movements and styles, from Classicism to Futurism, from Baroque to Avant-garde.
I used to be intimidated by portrait painting. I could never get the colors right and I always felt like I ended up drawing with my paint rather than painting.
I decided to tackle portrait painting head on, and and after a lot of practice, I now feel very comfortable painting portraits. Here are the steps I’ve developed to paint a successful portrait from a photo.
There are two words that give many novice painters a shudder: skin tones. That's because painting flesh in acrylic can be a daunting task, especially if you're hoping to render skin lifelike and dimensional rather than dull and flat. (And unless you're painting, say, LEGO characters, you probably are!)
This tutorial will teach you to mix skin tones using different ratios of the primary colors. Real talk: This method takes a little work to refine, but with some practice, you'll be creating skin tones with confidence.
The most commonly used paints are acrylics, oils, watercolors, and pastels. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Which you select will depend on your personality and, to some extent, where you're going to paint.
Besides the characteristics of the different types of paint, there are also a few other considerations:
- Cost: Top-quality paint and canvas is expensive but dirt-cheap paint won't give you good results when mixing colors. You need to find a balance between paint that's of a quality to give good colors but cheap enough that you don't worry too much about using it up (or wasting it).
- Poison hazards: If you've small children, you may not want to have the solvents used in oil painting lying around. Some people are also allergic to the solvents, in which case you might investigate low-odor versions or are water-based oil paints. Soft pastels can product a lot of dust; be careful to minimize the amount you inhale. For example, don't blow on your work to remove loose pastel. Poisonous pigments, such as cadmium red, are usually available as a non-toxic hue. Not that any paint is made to be eaten! Personally I think acrylics are the best choice for beginners as they're easy to learn to use, dilute and clean up with water, and there are brands available that are a good balance between quality and price.
I love acrylic mediums because they make acrylic paints so versatile! In this article I'll introduce you to acrylic paint mediums - liquids or gels that you mix into the paint - and explain how they can help you create different effects and finishes by making the paint thicker, thinner, glossy, matte, textured, slow-drying and more.
Acrylic mediums are another reason why I prefer acrylics over oils. There are mediums for oil paints, but they're generally smelly, toxic, and you have to be careful about how you use them or you risk the paint cracking. There are no such worries with acrylic mediums because they are made with the same emulsion base as acrylic paint, so they dry at the same rate. But you do need to be a bit careful with additives.