I'm Carrie, an English Fine Art student who loves to paint, and enjoys colour. I love to be creative, not just with painting, but also with crafts and creative writing. I also like to help out in whatever way I can. Here I am passing on some handy top tips for wannabe painters...
So you want to be a painter? Whether it is just for a hobby, or painting to sell, there are six tips which I'd give anybody willing to pick up the paintbrush. Of course you'll need to learn the basics such as observation, sketching out your image, and blocking out the sketch. Hopefully these will spur you on to do greater things.
1. Learn how your medium works
There are many painting mediums, from oils to gouache, but no matter what you choose, you need to learn how it works. Experiment. You may want to read up on some specialised tips, or just explore on your own. The more you paint, the better you'll get. Practice makes perfect, as the cliché goes. 2. Don't let anyone dictate how something works
Some people might try and say “you can only paint using this” or “you have to do it this way”. But my advice is, don't listen to them. There is no right or wrong in painting. How you affect your medium dictates how it emerges, and you may find a technique you love this way. Don't let somebody else tell you what you can and can't do, you are the artist, not them.
Don't be afraid to use different tools. You can paint without a paintbrush. Use your hands! There are many things to use instead, for example; palette knives, sponges, or simply create your own. Cardboard can easily be cut into a shape to make marks in thick paint, or to apply paint. Used debit cards can be used to do many effects. Try using anything around you, you'd be surprised what can come from it.
4. Anything is your canvas
Believe it or not, paintings don't have to be on canvas. Personally I have used many surfaces such as MDF, aluminium, and cardboard. I have even seen paintings on rocks. Some media will work better on others, and it is great to really experiment to see what you can achieve. Just because canvas is traditional, doesn't mean it's the only thing you can use.
5. Searching for good prices
Art materials can be very expensive. Especially when you have little money and cannot splash out on the right things. I have found that high street art shops can be more expensive than buying online, but it will all depend on what you are after. I know of a few places which sell at good prices, however it has taken a lot of searching to find these. The Works is a high street shop which do supply canvases at a good price. They aren't the best canvases you can get, but if you want to test and mess around, these are great. Two websites where I buy my supplies from are GreatArt and Artifolk. These offer a good range of items at reasonable prices. I would highly suggest GreatArt for named brand oil paints, as their prices are the cheapest online. And they have a rewards system when buying. Both of them are also very prompt at delivery and are reliable.
So, you have made something you are willing to let go of, and want to sell. What to do then? Well first you must price your item, and to do this can get complicated. You may choose many ways in how to work it out, but here is my way;
Materials cost + Time spent on the piece, and drying time + Size + margin of profit = price
My own paintings range so much also because of the range in sizes and media, so can be anywhere between £10-£130. Also please remember, if you haven't got the most experience, people may be unwilling to pay lots of money. It is a hard market to work because of the amount of canvases available in many shops. However your work is one of a kind, so remind them of it. When you finally do manage to sell something it can really inspire to paint more.
I wish good luck to all painters, and always remember to experiment. There is no right and wrong way to do anything.