You’ve decided to start drawing and painting, which is great since you can get so many benefits from these fun activities. You will finally be able to put on paper all those creative ideas you have in your mind that are constantly multiplying. Also, as you look for inspiration, you will be revisiting all those memories in your head, such as the breathtaking landscapes, interesting people and objects, which will eventually improve your memory.
Of course, in the beginning, everything might be overwhelming, and like every beginner, you might be wondering, “What are some tools painters need to get started?”. Well, you can find out the answer to that question if you continue reading.
Make Your Drawing and Painting Easier with Paint Easels
Many artists have used paint easels throughout the centuries. Some of the greatest masterpieces have been created using the support of this amazing art tool. But, aside from holding the canvas in place while painting, artists also used easels to display their work. Now, it’s your turn to take advantage of the benefits that each one offers, such as holding a good posture and helping you view your drawing or painting from the right angle.
This is important because when the drawing or painting sheet is flat on the table, your viewing angle changes and objects on the top that are farther away may appear smaller compared to the ones on the bottom that are closer to you. You may try to change this difference by making the objects on the top bigger, but if you put up the drawing or painting vertically in front of you, you’ll notice that they are the same size. Thus, having easels is going to make things easier for you.
But, when choosing a painting easel, you must consider factors such as the size of your artwork, your preferred painting style, and whether you would like to sit or stand while painting, among others. For example, if you plan on painting outside, it’s better to buy quality paint easels made from aluminium because they are lightweight and portable. That way, you’ll be able to take them into any field and paint. However, if you prefer to sit while painting, you can opt for bench easels or maybe get an easel stool.
After you’ve considered all of this, you should know that easels come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and materials. So, you have easels made of wood, steel, and aluminium. Also, there are different types, such as A-frame, H-frame, giant or oversized, compact tabletop, display, table, single mast, portable easels, and others. A-frames and H-frames are suitable for beginners, but they are sturdier than single mast easel. If you need something simple and easier to store, it’s better to opt for a single mast.
Choose Your Painting Surface
After you’ve chosen your painting stand, the painting surface should be next on your list. It all depends on your preferred mediums (watercolours, acrylic, oil pants, etc.). As a beginner, if you like to paint with watercolours, you can get a pre-stretched watercolour paper. This way, you will be able to paint right away instead of stretching it yourself.
However, if you like painting with acrylics more, you can opt for canvas panels, which can be more affordable especially since you’re a beginner. Typically, they are made of cotton that has been glued on top of a rigid board. They are a great way to practice your skills, giving you almost the same quality as the stretched canvas. Also, they are easy to carry and store. You can also opt for canvas pads.
Practise on a Sketching Pad
Preliminary drawings are an essential step before creating your one-of-a-kind and incredible artwork. Why? Because you can have millions of ideas, but when you actually start drawing, you may change your mind or think of something even better. That is why it’s important to make sketches first on something more affordable, such as a sketching pad. Pads are perfect for practising with lighter tooth surfaces while also being lightweight.
Some of the sketching pads have 25, 80 or more sheets. Since they come in different sizes, it all comes down to your preferences as an artist. You can even get a small pocket-size sketching pad and make rough sketches everywhere you go.
Sketch with Graphite Pencils and Rubber
Now that you’ve got a sketching pad, you’ll need some graphite pencils to begin making your first sketches. You may think you don’t need them since you will be painting, but it’s important to draw the objects first before you fill them in and paint them. But, since you are at the very beginning, you don’t need to get all of the graphite pencils; having just a few of them will be enough.
One of the essentials you’ll need is HB and 2B for making sketches and drawing, 4B or 6B for dark shading and 2H or 4H for light shading. So, if you want darker shading, instead of getting 8B as a beginner, you can add more pressure to your paper with your 6B pencil, and you will get even darker shading. Rubber is another essential tool that you will need as an artist. You can highlight some shaded areas on your drawing in addition to erasing pencil marks.
The best rubbers you will need as a beginner are kneaded rubber and a white one. Kneaded rubbers are great since you can mould and stretch them however you want. For example, if you need to highlight a small area, you can just shape your kneaded rubber into a long straight point. They are great for removing and highlighting your graphite, charcoal, and other dry media drawings. Once it picks up a lot of charcoal or graphite, you can knead it and use it again. Also, it doesn’t leave any traces behind, such as the white rubber.
Every artist needs the right brushes to create unique masterpieces. Whether you will paint with watercolours, acrylics or oils, there are some brush shapes you need to know, such as flat and angular flat, bright, flat and filbert, detail round, and others. Flat brushes are ideal for painting the background, whereas round brushes are better for adding details and textures. Also, if you want to blend and create softer edges, you will achieve that with filbert brushes, while detailed round brushes are essential when you need to make precise, tiny strokes.
Get Paint and a Palette
Finally, you will need to decide what type of artist paint you prefer. Acrylics dry very fast as opposed to oil paints. That’s important since it won’t allow you to go back and blend if you need to. Furthermore, acrylics are much easier for beginners because you can make mistakes and go over them with more paint.
But, whether you choose oils, watercolours or acrylics, opt for a limited colour palette at first with black, white, red, yellow, green, orange, brown and blue. Once you can afford it, you can add other essential colours, such as burnt umber, phthalo blue, and others. However, don’t forget to get a palette so you will be able to mix all of these colours and get the desired shade you need.
To sum up, since you’re a beginner it’s very important to experiment as much as you can with painting and drawing. Don’t be afraid to paint all those creative ideas that lived in your head for so long. Also, don’t be scared of making mistakes. As Bob Ross put it: “We don’t make mistakes—we just have happy accidents.”