you can learn how to paint: use these five easy tips and start painting

Millions of people are painting and you can learn how to paint, too!

Let me share a few simple things to jump start your painting journey.

#1 choose your subject

  • Paint familiar things. You will do the best job of painting subjects you understand. Start painting the things you see around you.

You may want to paint your children, your pets, a tree in the backyard or your favorite fishing hole.

Paint things that are familiar to you.

My parents had a tropical fish business with outdoor ponds. When we fed the fish, they would all swarm around the food.

So "Koi Feeding" was a natural for me to paint.

If you want to learn how to paint, paint things that are familiar to you.Paint what you know.

#2 get what you need for painting

  • You need paint, a couple of brushes and something to paint on.

One type of paint is not better than the others. You may actually try different types of painting mediums to decide which one you prefer.

What kind of paint appeals to you?

  • Watercolor is an easy paint to use. All it takes is paint, water, paper and two or three bushes. Watercolors on paper require a mat and they are framed under glass for protection.
  • Oil paints are also, easy to use. They take a bit longer to dry. You may start oil painting with a couple of brushes, mineral spirits and a canvas. A dried oil painting is easy to frame and it will last for centuries.
  • Acrylic paints dry very fast and just like oil paintings, they are simple to frame. The down side is they dry so fast that it's hard to blend the colors. However a dried acrylic painting is very durable.

Student paints are less expensive for starting out. Artist paints (professional paints) are actually a better buy. They cost more than student paints because they contain more pigment. So they cover better and produce more intense colors.

what colors do you need to learn painting?

Start out simple. Begin with the primary colors.

  • Red - Cadmium Red Medium
  • Yellow - Cadmium Yellow Light
  • Blue - Ultramarine Blue

You will also need large tube of white for oil and acrylic painting.

Start painting with these colors. Later you may add other colors to your palette, if you desire. Mixing other colors from these three primary colors is easy with a little practice


  • Watercolor brushes; a round #7 and a 1" flat
  • Oil brushes; #8 and #12 flat bristle brushes
  • Acrylic brushes; synthetic #6 round and a 3/4" flat

Watercolors and acrylic paintings use water. Oil paintings require mineral spirits.

what will you paint on?

Learn how to paint watercolors on watercolor paper. Later you may use aquaboard or canvas. More answers about using watercolor.

Oil and acrylic painting are normally painted on canvas or panels. Beginner's questions about how to oil paint.

You will also need a palette to lay out your colors for painting. When you start out, a Styrofoam plate or an old kitchen plate will work just fine.

Learn to paint with the basics of artYou can learn how to paint!

#3 start painting

Learning how to paint takes practice. We learn by doing.

The step-by-step paintings have the instructions of the painting process. Each step has photos and details of how to do the painting.

Choose some that peak your interest and get started painting.

painting watercolor

Learn how to use watercolor while painting a Rufous hummingbird visiting a yellow flower.

A step-be-step tutorial to begin painting watercolorHow to Paint Watercolor

Follow the easy steps and learn while you paint.

In this beginners' tutorial you will learn what colors to use, the suggested brushes, what you can paint watercolor on, how to keep your colors clean and more.

Watercolor is a good place to learn how to paint.

do you want to start oil painting?

You can paint a colorful Oriole with the beginning oil painting tutorial.

Step-by-step Tutorial to begin oil painting by the artist Carol MayHow to Oil Paint tutorial

The tutorial includes the color scheme with the suggested brushes and colors. What is the best paint and the recommended solvent to use in the studio?

Photographs and full explanations of the painting steps are included.

How to Oil Paint gives additional detailed answers to frequently asked questions about how to use oil paints.

learn the principles of good paintings

All art paintings use the same design elements of art. These elements are indispensable to the painting artist.

They are easy to learn and essential while you learn how to paint. Take the time to learn the basic elements and use them in all your paintings. These elements are the foundation of all successful paintings.

use values

Use light and dark values. They are the backbone of good paintings.

focal point

Create a focal point or focal area to draw people into your paintings.


Composition is easy. Learn the rule of thirds and how to use it your artwork.

#4 learn how to paint by painting regularly

  • Painting on a regular basis will put your art learning into overdrive!

Paint regularly, no matter whether you paint daily, weekly or monthly - paint regularly.

If you are learning how to play the piano, you most likely practice daily. The same goes for painting. The more you paint, the faster you learn.

Many professional artists paint daily.

#5 share your paintings with others

  • Share your art with your family and other art-oriented people. Get feedback from your friends and family and other artists.

Join your local art association. Paint with other artists. Go to painting classes and art shows.

Seeing other's artwork and sharing your art will encourage you and stimulate you with new ideas. Plus, it's just fun to share.

popular painting tutorials

  • While you are learning to paint, you will want to do the how-to-painting tutorials.

There are pictures throughout the process of each painting. Each step is fully explained. You can learn how to paint by doing the tutorials.

Paint and learn the tutorials. Then use the same methods with other subjects to create your own individual paintings.

painting daisies

paint a giraffe

paint a wave

have fun while you are learning to paint!