Painting Creative Process (Part 1 of 2)

Below are some steps and suggestions for people that are starting out in the world of painting.    My first advice:  if you enjoy it, keep at it.  There is a great deal of research that shows 1) people aren’t really born with innate talent and 2) if you have passion for something, skills will come.

Buy some canvas, paint and brushes.   I am very happy to paint with acrylic because it dries quickly, the clean up is easy and it’s a bit more forgiving.  IMG_3456

Start with a place that has a good source of outdoor light and easy access to a sink.  You will likely rinse your brushes many times so having water, towels, sponges and those things that are common sense should be very handy.  I am not particularly fond of harsh cleaning fluids.  If your brushes needed a bit more cleaning you can consider soaking them in a bit of fabric softener.   If the brush is too stiff or doesn’t seem to clean up, it’s probably time to give it a burial at sea.

Notice that I have a blank canvas and I intend to paint a landscape.   When you start out, you should think of the background first.

Painting the sky is something that takes some practice.  You will probably start looking at the sky details far more intensely as you begin painting.   It’s amazing how clouds and sky lines will look different to you and you will begin to notice things that you didn’t before.


You may want to leave painting the sides until you are finished.  You may just skip the sides entirely and let a nice frame cover it up.   Try not to mix the grass and the sky.  Once green is mixed in a sky, it’s nearly impossible to cover up.


Tree trucks are fairly easy to do when they are far away.  If they are close up, it’s important toIMG_3460 start and stop with slightly different colors.  Also, as you progress you should consider where the light is coming from.  All images have a light source and that is going to produce some shadowing.  It makes a big difference for you to think ahead on this concept.

It’s best to let the painting dry between steps.  You will probably return the painting a few times while rinsing brushes between your enhancements.