Art in the Afternoon (DIY Painting Tips)

Eiffel Tower PaintingFinding a painting that matches your décor and personal taste can be a daunting task, especially if you are on a tight budget.

You might look  for pictures, paintings and prints on websites like eBay and Craiglist but still, it is highly likely that you won’t find that breathtaking piece you have pictured in your mind.

Even if you are unable to paint like the masters, it is simple to create a masterpiece of your own to specifically tie in with you décor. If you simply choose the right materials, apply a little colour theory and one or two tricks and set yourself an afternoon to paint, you will create a masterpiece and have a whole lot of fun along the way.

Painting Equipment

Unless you are a serious artist, you do not want to spend a fortune on equipment. You will need at least one paint brush of medium size; an artist’s canvas, already prepared; a couple of cups of water (Don’t use your best china) and a plate to mix colours on (Again, not your best china).

Painting Colours

The easiest medium for a beginner is acrylic and you really only need the primary three colours – Red, Blue and Yellow. You may also want to get black and white, if you feel you will use them. The beauty of using primary colours is that you can mix any other colours from them. Using varying quantities of each allows you to get all sorts of tonal variations. For example, Yellow and blue make green – add more blue and the green becomes darker and cooler – add more yellow and the green is brighter and warmer.

Acrylics are great for beginners because they are water-soluble and dry very quickly. You can get the texture of oils by using them straight out of the tube or the texture of water colours by thinning them with water. For this project, you are going to use them straight out of the tube.

Painting Canvas

Start by regarding your canvas. Do you want it to stand as a landscape or as a portrait? Once this is decided, decide on a basic pattern. If you have little artistic ability, cheat. Using a pencil, draw geometric shapes onto the canvas (Use a ruler if need be) or repeating patterns. Draw a bunch of circles or boxes. Trace everyday objects, apply masking tape even use a stencil – this is your masterpiece.

Now, choose your colours. It is important to choose colours that do work together. For your initial project, only mix two of the primary colours and use various intensities of this mixture to create your pattern. Practise on some scrap until you have the colours you want. Do not add black or white into this mix as the opacity of these paints can dull your picture. When you start painting, paint in clear, firm strokes. Let the section of paint dry before you paint over it or your colours will muddy. Once you are satisfied with the result, allow it to dry. Once dry, add highlights of white or outlines of black (some prefer using a black marking pen before instead of paint.) Leave to dry and hang.

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