No Pain in Painting


Do you want to start a new hobby or need something to get the creative juices flowing? Or, do you look at paintings and think “Pfft, I could do that”? 


Well, why don’t you give it a shot?


Here I have listed some of the basics of painting and tips on getting started as a beginner.


The Basics



There are several kinds: oils, acrylics, gouache, watercolours and water-mixable oils.


Acrylics are a good choice for a beginner because they do not need to be mixed with anything (You can always add water for thinning), and dry very quickly. It enables you to paint over layers. You can increase the drying time by adding a retardant, or give the paint an oil like consistency by adding gel.


Oils are widely used among professionals. You can manage the drying time and paint consistency by adding paint thinners or solvents.


Watercolours, due to the heavy water content, get easily absorbed by the paper and re-working errors becomes tedious.


Gouache are opaque watercolours.



Canvases are good for acrylics and oils, paper for watercolours. You can start with small canvases that don’t need to be held on an easel.



A palette is needed for mixing different colours and managing colour consistency by adding water or thinner. Use glass or thick plastic palettes as these would wash off easily.



An easel is needed to hold canvases of bigger size. You can often lay it down and work on it, but an easel provides ease of access. Start with small canvases.



There are different kinds of brushes based on the material of the bristles: Synthetic, Sable, Hog, Squirrel.

Synthetic brushes are versatile and are often mixed with animal hair. They are the most economical of all the types.

Sable brushes are extremely dune and can hold a lot of water, making them perfect for fine painting- especially using water colours.

Hog brushes are durable and stiff. They are great for heavier work and painting, and lifting heavy mediums like oils.

Squirrel brushes are extremely fine and hold no resistance. It is good for watercolour painting.


How to Get Started


Pick your medium 

Like I explained in the previous sections, there are many mediums to choose from. Just pick to begin with to see how you feel working with. You can always experiment with different mediums.


Pick your brush

Choose type of brush that works with your medium, pick shapes and sizes depending on what you want to paint.


Round brushes have a long tapered end and can be used for bold, long strokes and details.

Flat brushes have a flat tip and can be used to make thick strokes and thin lines.

Filbert brushes are versatile as they have the best of both worlds;  they are somewhere between a flat and a round brush.


Large brushes are good for meaningful strokes that will quickly cover the board while smaller brushes are good for detailed work. The brushes are available in  sizes ranging from 0000 to 24.


To Prime or Not to Prime

Canvases need to be primed as colours may sink into the cloth. Priming provides an even surface for painting. This can be avoided with acrylic paints as they dry too quickly. You can always purchase pre-primed canvases.




Here is a list of blogs that will give you tips and help you understand the basics of painting.


  1. Draw Paint Academy
  2. The Spruce Crafts
  3. Felt Magnet
  4. Pinots Palette
  5. My Blu Print
  6. Creative Blog
  7. Artist Network