Want to Try Painting? Here are 4 Types of Painting Styles You Can Try

set it down - painting


Having spent so much time at home, many of us have been trying to find some new hobbies to help pass the time. Painting is considered creating art, and creating art is always an option. But going to a supplies store like Michaels can be overwhelming. There’s so many different types of paper, paints, and even brushes! Which do you choose?

Well, I’m here to help!


Set it Down - Painting
Drowning Girl, Roy Lichtenstein, 1963

Have you ever painted a birdhouse or on a t-shirt before? Yes? Then you may be familiar with acrylic paint! Acrylic paint is very versatile and can be used on many different surfaces such as wood, metal, fabrics, and ceramics. The paint, which is made up of pigment suspended in an acrylic polymer, is water-soluble (dissolves in water), but when it dries is water-durable (can withstand water)! 

Acrylic paint does not require water to activate, is quick to dry, and can be found for relatively cheap prices, making it one of the better choices for beginners! 


set it down - painting

Clare Hall and King’s College Chapel, JMW Turner, 1793

Watercolor is a type of paint that is made up of dry pigment that has been mixed together with gum arabic and is activated by water. The more water used with watercolor, the more transparent the paint will be. For best results, you should only use paper that’s advertised as watercolor friendly!

Watercolor can be tricky to worth it, but it can be a fun option to try!  


set it down - painting
Young girl with hat, Josep Maria Tamburini, 1909

Similarly to watercolor, gouache paint (pronounced like squash) is used with water. There are a few differences between the two though. Unlike watercolor, gouache dries very quickly and has an opaque/matte finish. Gouache does tend to be more expensive than watercolor, so it may be a good idea to start with watercolor before moving on to gouache (I, unfortunately, speak from experience … a very expensive experience). 


set it down - painting
The Starry Night, Vincent van Gogh, 1889

Finally, we have oil paints which are made up of particles of pigment that have been dispersed into a drying oil (usually linseed). They have a very slow drying time and can be manipulated by the artist either by adding multiple layers of paint and/or scraping the paint off or around the canvas with a palette knife. Oil paints have been around for quite a long time and have been dated back to the 13th century! They are great for an artist who likes to work with paper, cardboard, or canvas! 

Paint is an amazing medium. It’s so interesting to see how different ingredients added to the pigment can create different types of texture and opacity!

It can be a little nerve-wracking to begin a new hobby. Sometimes you can’t help but worry ‘what if I’m not good at it’ especially when you’ve spent money on supplies! It’s important to remember that skills take time to develop and that no one is able to paint ‘The Starry Night’ their first time picking up a brush, not even Vincent van Gogh, himself! Trial and error is part of the process! In order to flourish, you can’t just make good art, you just have to try!

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