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How to Start Painting with Acrylics

Updated: Jun 5, 2022

Whether you want to learn a new skill, save money by making your own art or you need something else to do besides watching television, people are grabbing paint brushes and learning to paint. So how do you start?

  1. Purchase Affordable Supplies. When you're just starting out, there's no need to spend a ton of money on the most expensive acrylic paints and canvases or a fancy easel. Find a table you can dedicate to getting dirty and buy some acrylic paints (these tend to be cheaper and easier to work with than oils). If you get water colors, they are easier to apply to paper. If you get acrylic paint, they're more fun to apply to canvas (I would recommend canvas panels since they're cheaper). The idea is to introduce yourself to the materials and get to know how they work without spending a ton of money on them in the beginning. Later on, as you develop your style and skills you'll want to invest in some better tools and supplies, but it's not necessary at the start.

2. Get Inspired. I can't speak for everyone, but I can tell you where I glean some inspiration. Driving around the city and looking at the buildings, lights and advertisements tend to set off a spark of inspiration in my mind. Have your phone handy to capture images that strike you like interesting textures, color combinations and patterns. I also get inspired by appreciating other people's art and the techniques they employ. I love to watch John Beckley on YouTube making his colorful creations (I'll include a link to one of his videos here cuz he's just so freaking awesome to watch). I stumbled onto his work early on and fell in love with the tools he used for his paintings, in particular a rubber scraper. Explore your surroundings, go to a museum and watch other artists.

3. Share your work. There's a certain validation that comes by putting your artwork out into the world, and let's be honest, the world needs more beauty in it. Your first pieces will not be your best and they shouldn't be your best because your skills will only get better with time. But don't let that stop you from showing others what you've created. There has never been a better time for artists to be alive. We have dozens of social media platforms at our fingertips, where we can showcase our art. Later on down the road, I would encourage you to graduate into the physical world and show your art in shows, fairs, local galleries and maybe some restaurants (many restaurants do this by the way).

Alright, I hope this was helpful. Now stop reading and go make some art!

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