Facing the Blank Canvas

Facing the Blank Canvas
Painting can be a frustrating experience for the beginner. One walk through the aisles of any craft, art, home improvement or hardware store is likely to result in a serious case of overwhelm. Therefore, it is important to understand what your goals are before you shop.

First, ask yourself what you want to paint on. Surfaces often dictate what is needed. Of course, cost is always a factor. Just because a product is expensive does not mean that it is the best one to choose. Several items needed in order to paint. Brushes, primer, paint, and cleaning supplies are dependent on what project you have in mind.

A good place to find instruction is your local public library's children's room. Children's books are at the beginner level and are easy to follow. They also tend to require the low-cost supplies, making them budget friendly. As your skills increase, you can move up to more complex instruction or perhaps just follow where your creativity leads you.
The important thing is to start. Everyone is a beginner when they try something new. it is helpful to have an art journal so you can see your progress. I prefer a spiral-bound mixed media notebook. It lies flat and the paper holds wet medium very well.

Create a painting chart. When starting with a new set of paints, create a color chart by making a stroke of each color on the page so you will not be surprised at the color when you start to create. Painting on walls will be easier if you place a 3 inch by 3 inch spot of color in different places with different lighting. If you are feeling ambitious, you can create versions of the color by adding white to create a lighter color, black or gray to creates a darker one.

Know that it is likely for the true beginner that ideas for personal artwork will not be popping out of your head immediately. Make painting a habit. Do it every day for at least five or ten minutes. At the end of a week with a ten minute habit you will have over an hour of painting time. Even if the painting is swirls and daubs, building your creative muscle is a step towards a habit.

Ultimately the goal is to enjoy the process, the materials, and the meditative process of creating. There is no judgement, just creative expression. Who knows, perhaps you will create a gallery-worthy work of art. But if you don't, you will have learned a habit that will bring you much joy for years to come.


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