Guest Author - Yvonne M. Templeton
Learning to paint can be an extremely rewarding experience and satisfying accomplishment. Painting can expand one's horizon's, and it allows creative juices to flow. Always remember that whether you are painting a wall, updating furniture with a new pattern, tackling a floor cloth for your foyer, or painting glassware or handmade ornaments to give to family and friends, the possibilities are endless.
There are a number of "how-to" books, as well as DVD's, and in-store and online classes available to teach you an array of techniques from decorative painting to faux finishing techniques. Your local craft store also offers a variety of stains and paints suitable for a number of projects, as well as surfaces to experiment with, such as wood, glass, tin, fabric, paper, and canvas.
The first step in getting started is to decide what type of painting project you are interested in trying. For example, if you decide you want to learn how to hand paint glassware, such as a juice glass, cup, bowl, or plate, you can go to your local craft store and find a variety of suitable surfaces to use with your first project. The second step is to find an instruction booklet and/or beginner DVD with a simple project that lists everything you will need to complete your project, such as brushes, paints, medium, tracing paper, appropriate sealer, etc. If you are unsure of anything on the list, don't hesitate to ask one of the store's associates for assistance.
Painting should always be fun! Once you begin a project, if you decide you don't like a color, all you have to do is paint over it, let it dry, and begin all over again. Both acrylic and oil paints come in a variety of colors to choose from for future projects.
In summary, with so many painting techniques available to artists today, the terminology can be quite overwhelming and a bit confusing when trying to determine which paints to use with certain projects. For instance, if you were painting on furniture, you could use techniques such as color washing/staining, crackling, distressing, decoupage, and/or stenciling. To create a finished project using one of these techniques would require a knowledge of that particular technique and the type of paint, etc. required. Therefore, to assist you with becoming a more skilled painter, it would be helpful to either purchase an art techniques book or check online to learn the definitions of the techniques you want to use with future projects.