Have you always wanted to learn how to paint, but life got in the way? Well, it is time to wrest back control of your life and your dreams with the now abundant availability of online painting classes and tutorials, some of them for free!.
These painting classes for beginners will help you get comfortable with both basic and advanced techniques of painting - whether you are interested in acrylic or oil painting or want to learn the use of watercolours.
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How can I teach myself to paint?
A self-taught artist is one who does not have any formal education in the arts. Many people are blessed with natural, artistic abilities. They may doodle, draw, paint, or create paintings, perhaps, even developing their talent to a pretty high level without having taken a single art class! There are many reasons why people decide not to register for a formal art degree course, such as:
- Art School may be too expensive or too risky an investment
- There may not be an Art School or Art Program where you live and shifting base is not on your agenda
- You are too busy with work, another school program, family, and friends
- You are unsure if art is your calling
- You just don’t know how to proceed
- You probably feel you have missed your chance, and now it’s too late.
However, it’s never too late to pick up the paintbrush. In fact, now there are much better options available to you right now, for education, guidance and career advice. Online courses and information sites will give you everything you need to be a successful, self-taught artist.
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Can I Learn to Paint at Any Age?
Yes, you can! In fact, it has been shown to be beneficial if you cultivate a creative hobby or interest later in life. Those who engage in art live longer as art enhances both mental and physical health. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself to make ‘mistakes’ there are really no mistakes in art, only learning. Many older learners tend to have more time and patience than the younger ones. Older learners seem to be more prepared to do the work for the sake of enjoyment rather than for ‘results’.
How can I learn to Paint at home for beginners?
Beginner painters often feel overwhelmed by the vast selection of brushes, paints, and media. They tend to doubt if painting is too complicated for them to grasp on their own. Yet, all you need to start learning to paint are a few materials, targeted practice, and the right frame of mind.
Using a limited number of pigments will allow you to focus on paint application, rather than continually hunting for the perfect tube of colour as you paint.
To begin with, get yourself a primary colour palette—red, yellow, and blue paint tubes. Add a tube of white if you’re working in an opaque medium, such as oil, acrylic, or gouache. With these colours, you can learn to mix a version of every other colour that you need: greens, purples, oranges, browns, greys, and blacks.
In terms of brushes, a small selection of four or five options in various shapes and sizes will be enough to begin painting. You’ll quickly learn which brushes you prefer, and you can stock up on those in the future. For beginners, try to focus on experimenting and discovering the marks that each type of brush can make.
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Popular Painting Techniques for Beginners
There is no “wrong” or "right" way/technique to paint. Allow yourself to be creative and discover new painting techniques. However, to ease your entry into the world of painting, here are a few basic painting techniques for beginners to feel confident and ensure the process of learning to paint remains enjoyable.
Dry Brush Painting
Dry brush painting is exactly how it sounds. Dip a dry brush into a blob of paint, then apply it to a dry canvas. Before the paint dries, try applying different colours. The colours will mix somewhat on the canvas, but elements of pure colour will remain. To mix colours better, use a dry brush to blend.
Wet Brush, Dry Canvas
Dip your paintbrush in water. Then, apply the wet paintbrush to the palette, mixing the water and paint together. When the water and paint are mixed and transparent, apply the wet brush to the dry canvas. The watery paint may run or soak into the canvas, depending on how watery the paint is.
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Wet Brush, Wet Canvas
This technique is most similar to watercolour. Dip a clean, dry brush in water and drag it across the canvas to wet it down. Next, dip a wet brush in the paint and thin the paint with water. Finally, apply the wet, thinned paint to the wet canvas. Use a wet or dry brush to drag the paint around the canvas. If your canvas is upright, the paint may run down.
Use a palette knife to lift paint off the palette, then spread the paint on the canvas. The palette knife will leave some areas thick with paint, and in some areas, it scrapes the canvas to create a thin layer. This thick and thin application of paint creates texture on your palette. Some artists only use a palette knife and never paint with brushes at all.
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Sponge Painting, Wet or Dry
Dip a dry sponge in a blob of paint, then dab the sponge on the canvas. The first application of paint on the canvas will be thick, but the paint will thin with repeated applications. As the paint thins, you’ll see the texture of the sponge on the canvas. For a different look, try wetting the sponge before dabbing paint on the canvas. The paint will soften at the edges when applied to the canvas.
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Dry Brush Layering
This is a common technique to use with acrylic paint because acrylic can dry in minutes. Apply a layer of paint to the canvas and allow it to dry. Then, apply a second coat of paint in a different colour over the first coat. Allow some of the first coat of paint to shine through in thin places. Water down the second coat of paint or apply the second coat of paint with a palette knife. This is a great way to show texture and depth.
Dip a thin, pointed paintbrush in paint. Then, dab the colour onto the canvas in a series of dots. To switch colours, dip your paintbrush into a new colour. Allow the dots from each colour to mix. This will create a gradient on the canvas.
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Paint the canvas with a layer of paint and allow the paint to dry on the canvas. Next, apply a new colour over the paint with a dry brush, allowing the brush marks and brush strokes to show the layer of colour underneath.
Dip your paintbrush in paint, picking up quite a bit of paint with your paintbrush. Apply the paint to the canvas thickly, so that it mounds on the canvas. Then, apply paint of another colour onto the canvas. You can also apply the paint with a palette knife. Allow the canvas to form peaks and valleys, and enjoy the texture.
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Learn From Painting Classes online
Technology is changing the way we learn. This is true for the world of art as well. Online classes for painting and drawing are redefining the way we perceive the very notion of art. The internet has made it easier to both hone your artistic skills and learn a new ones. Online learning of painting can streamline an artistic process or even inspire a new creative direction. This adds another dimension to your painting.
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My Modern Met Academy
My Modern Met Academy has always been at the forefront of creative art promotion. Recently, it has partnered with some celebrated artists to curate a fantastic selection of online courses. These courses cover the domains of painting, illustration, crafting, and photography. Each course introduces a project that is brought to life by the student artist, in collaboration with a professional artist. Classes range from one to three hours and allow you to learn at your own pace.
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Simply select a course that matches your interest, such as learning abstract acrylic painting with Nitika Alé. Each class takes you step-by-step through new techniques. Artists are provided with downloadable lists of materials and extra goodies. Get on to My Modern Met Academy and browse the full selection of online classes. The offerings do not tie you to membership or recurring subscriptions.
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Skillshare is a learning community where anyone can take or teach a class, with a specific focus on “creators and makers.” Painting is taught by professionals at the top of their field. Apart from its extensive catalog of online painting classes, Skillshare also offers painting workshops, which differ from the usual classes. The courses are designed to suit your learning pace, although the workshops are on a schedule with a group of other students who share feedback and learn together.
As premium members, the student artists can access a catalog of 15,000 classes on an unlimited basis. Sign up for the niche painting courses and learn the nitty-gritty of a new technique. Browse the classes based on the subjects you want to learn. You can “Save” classes for later, so if something looks interesting, add it to the “Your Classes” queue.
As the name suggests, Masterclass is a place where you can learn to paint and draw from the very best! Anna Wintour, Dr. Jane Goodall, Frank Gehry, and Misty Copeland are among the famous names on their roster. Each course has an average of 20 lessons with about 10 minutes of teaching time per lesson.
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Masterclass has over 80 courses taught by world-class experts in their field. You can either sign up á la carte for an individual Masterclass or purchase an All-Access Pass, which gives you entry into any course. Individually purchased classes have unlimited access in perpetuity. Classes can be viewed via TV streaming services, computer, or tablet with Masterclasses available for offline download on their iOS app.
The platform that connects tutors and students