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  • How to Get Started - Oil Painting For Beginners

    How to Get Started - Oil Painting For Beginners

    So are you a total beginner to painting or do you have some experience in painting with other mediums? Well either way there are some key facts that you will need to start you off on the right track. To a certain extent you can do whatever you like with acrylics, just keep piling the paint on until you get what you are looking for but with oils it is slightly different.

    So, to start with you will need some materials. The art shops have a huge selection of materials to choose from and this can be quite daunting if you don't really know what you are looking for. In addition to all the numerous paint colours you can chose from there are a wide variety of mediums, brushes, painting surfaces etc.


    Let's look at paint to start with. There are 2 main types of oil paint in terms of quality - student colours and artist's colours. Student oils paints are often cheaper than artists as they don't use the expensive pigments and are produced in larger quantities. The colour strength might be slightly lower than artists' quality oils but really these are good enough if you are starting out and are often used by professional artists in conjunction with the higher pigment colours of artists' oils or as base colours before using artists' oils for the top layer. So to start off with you need only have a basic selection of 10 or 12 tubes of paint. You can often buy the starter boxes which contain a lot of the colours that you might need.

    Painting Mediums

    In addition to the paint you will need to get some thinners and also a bottle of painting medium. There are so many options with regard to painting medium but to start off with you can just chose to use linseed oil and as you go on and experiment more try different types of medium and how they affect the paint and help or hinder with your style of painting.


    So, then you will need some brushes. These also come in so many different types and sizes. It may well depend on what style of painting you are planning to do as to what brushes you need. For example if you are going to paint realistically in fine detail you may want smaller round brushes but if you are going to paint big abstract blended paintings then go for big softer flat brushes. I may be contentious in advising this but when you are just starting out, especially if you are just going to be testing out various techniques I would advise getting some cheap brushes to see what kind of shape and size you prefer to use. The main problems with cheaper brushes in my opinion are that firstly, some of the hairs may come out whilst you are painting and secondly, the brushes may not retain their shape as well. Advantages are that you don't buy expensive brushes that you subsequently decide are not the right type for you. Once you have decided your painting style and which brushes are suitable for that you can then buy the more expensive ones. For me, as an abstract artist, I also prefer the much softer (and for some reason cheaper) big brushes that blend the paint really nicely and don't leave so many brush strokes. I will use the brush firstly on a test painting and that will generally get rid of any of the lose hairs so hardly any will come off on my actual painting.


    Then of course you need something to paint on! The main choice in art shops is between stretched canvas and canvas board. There are obviously a lot of alternatives but to start with choose either a board or a canvas that is primed and suitable for oils (just read the label or chose one of the more common makes like Daley-Rowney or Winsor & Newton). Maybe choose a small one to start with just to get to grips with the medium.

    Once you have your paint and your surface or support (canvas) you can start! You will also need a palette of some kind but you can use anything from disposable plates, to a piece of wood, a proper palette from the art shop or a book of disposable palettes (saves on messy palettes hanging around as you can just throw them away!). Plastic palettes are useful as they usually have little sections that you can pour your medium into and use whilst you are painting.

    What to Paint

    So, now you can start. But what do you paint? If you are really just starting out then you may want to get a book that gives you a step-by-step guide as to how to paint a particular scene or painting, then you can learn the methods used to bring the painting to life. Otherwise you may have a favourite photo or a picture from the internet or even an old master that you want to recreate. I really think that trying to copy something that someone has already done is a good way to learn about techniques as it pushes you to try and think about how to do something and in doing so you learn these new techniques that you might not have learnt otherwise.


    Whatever you are trying to paint, you should use a number of layers to build up the painting and not try to complete it all in one go! When I say this I mean the following: For the first layer, use the paint 'watered' down with thinners. This is starting the painting using the 'fat over lean' method. In basic terms when you apply paint, the most oily layer (fat) should be on top of the layer with least oil (lean i.e. containing thinners) underneath. If you don't use this method then your painting might subsequent have cracks in it where the different layers of paint dry at different speeds.

    There are many different schools of thought as to how to actually paint and what colours to use and this article is not going to be encompassing enough to go through those. Basically on the first layer apply it with thinners in a loose manner (i.e. the painting does not have to be precise at this stage). The main aim is to cover all of the canvas with some paint to provide a foundation. As you apply more and more layers - the number of layers is up to you - the paint should have more oil in it as you go on. So for example in the next layer you could use half linseed oil and half thinners as a medium and then the layer after linseed oil with no thinners.

    Cleaning Brushes

    The common school of thought is to clean brushes with turps or a specific brush cleaner. However, I find it better (I think on the environment as well as the smell and keeping the brushes for longer) to use soap and warm water. Soap can be just a simple soap or you can use washing up liquid. Make the brush wet then build up a lather with the soap. Rinse out the paint with warm water and repeat until the brush is clean.

    Oil paints do take a reasonable time to dry - particularly if you compare them to acrylics. Paint with more thinners in will dry quicker however and you can also buy mediums that will make the paint dry quicker (e.g. liquin). The first layer with thinners should dry reasonably quickly, particularly if you are using earthy colours. It is up to you if you wait for the layers to dry, quite often this depends on the type of painting you are doing, or if you add subsequent layers on top of the wet paint. If you do this then just be careful to work in definite strokes and to clean your brush often so that the paint does not 'muddy' and mix layers together more than you would like.


    So in summary, for the complete beginner in oils I would say this. Get yourself a box of student oil paints, some thinners, some linseed oil, a palette, 2 or 3 brushes in different sizes, and a canvas. Choose a subject or get a book that gives you step by step instructions. Paint in layers 'fat over lean'. Keep practising!

    There have been lots of books written on the subject and I would advise you if you are really serious about painting with oils to get hold of one that gives you all the detailed information but this article is just to give you a few hints and tips to start you off.

    The author has been a professional artist for 5 years and supplies paintings to individuals, interior designers and hotels in addition to having a passion for art spanning over 30 years!

    For more info on beginning oil painting and which supplies to get check out my other articles: How To Use Oil Paints and How To Make Oil Paint Dry Quicker.

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Marian_Lishman/541543

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  • How to Use Paint and Choose Paint Finishes For Your Home

    How to Use Paint and Choose Paint Finishes For Your Home

    Essential Guide to Paint

    Paint is your passport to colour and arguably the easiest, least costly and most immediate way to transform a home. It can be as simple as brilliant white, but that would exclude all the other drop-dead gorgeous colours. Paradoxically, it's the vast choice that often poses a problem - there are just so many brands, types and shades on the market.

    Choose from historical hues for period homes; sleek chalky finishes that stand up to the rigours of modern life; or new formulas designed to suit all surfaces. By understanding the product you can unleash all the design possibilities of paint that make it such a tempting medium.

    Types of Paint

    Water-based paints are usually referred to as emulsions and were traditionally used only for interior walls and ceilings. But recently tremendous advances in paint technology mean that water-based formulas, especially the high-performing acrylics, are available for all surfaces, from woodwork to metal, and for interior and exterior use. The advantages of these paints over oil-based ones is that they are cleaner, have less odour and are more environmentally sound. Brushes can be rinsed clean with water.

    Solvent or oil-based paints are used where a tough, durable finish is required for interior and exterior timber, masonry and furniture - although, as mentioned above, the new generation of acrylics and multi-surface paints offers viable alternatives. In general, brushes need to be cleaned with turpentine or white spirit.

    Make-up and quality All paints are made of four key ingredients: pigments, binders, liquids and additives. Generally speaking, the more pigment used to make the paint, the better the quality it will be: a ratio of 30 to 45 per cent binder and pigments by volume indicates a paint that will be durable and provide good coverage and lasting colour. Consider the following when you are faced with a wall of paint pots and are struggling with what to buy.

    Pick a brand you can trust Companies with their own high-street shops, such as Fired Earth and Farrow & Ball, and those that sell through the DIY giants are the most accessible. However, buying paint online is increasingly popular and can bring you a wider choice, especially if you live outside major towns and cities.

    Go for good coverage Look at the figures per litre not for the whole can; 12sq m per litre is average. Coverability varies between brands, making the difference between needing two or three coats. You will generally find more pigment in premium paints, giving a greater depth of colour.

    Select the right product. There is a dedicated paint for practically every surface, including tiles and appliances, such as fridges. For high-traffic areas consider scuff-resistant multi-surface paints that can be used on both wood and walls. Kitchens and bathrooms benefit from specialist formulas designed to cope with humidity without flaking.

    Try before you buy Colour cards are fine for making an initial selection but you will want to see a true paint sample in situ before committing. Tester pots vary in price from £1 to £4. Paint onto a sheet of paper that you can move around the room to enable you to see the colour in different light conditions. The effect varies greatly. The window wall can seem dark while the wall opposite will be flooded with light. And of course there is a dramatic difference between natural and artificial light. Finally paint a patch directly onto the wall to gauge the colour, coverage and the final finish.

    Specialist wall, floor and furniture paints

    These days, there are paints to decorate every surface in the home, from melamine to ceramic tiles. Many of these formulas require no specialist preparation - Crown's Cupboard Makeover Paint is available in 12 colours and does not need a primer.

    There are also multi-surface paints, such as B&Q Colours Everywhere for walls, ceilings, woodwork and radiators, and Bedec MSP Multi Surface Paint, which can be used on everything from plastic to masonry. Areas such as bathrooms and kitchens benefit from durable, mildew-resistant coverings, which are available in pre-mixed colours.

    However, for the more discerning, Dulux Kitchen & Bathroom paint can be mixed in any one of its 1,200 colours, and Farrow & Ball is launching Modern Emulsion. Designed to complement its original Estate Emulsion, the paint has a slightly higher sheen, is fully washable and available in the full colour range.

    Specialist paints also include some exciting new finishes, such as suede effects, metallics and high-sheen lacquers. Judy Smith, colour consultant at Crown, suggests an accent wall in one of these to lift a neutral scheme. Crown's Feature Wall range, which includes eight metallic finishes, nine bright colours and a highly reflective Pure Brilliant White, comes in convenient 1.25 litre tins.

    If you have a timber floor that's not particularly attractive or is made from a patchwork of old and new wood, paint makes the perfect disguise. There are plenty of choices - all the colours from Farrow & Ball are available as floor paint and Nordic Style offers an elegant selection, too.

    Alternatively, a timber floor in good condition can be treated to a natural or tinted stain, which allows the grain to show through. Eve Johnson's Scandinavian woodcare oils will take the yellow edge off pine.

    If you are grappling with the problem of choosing a woodwork colour to go with neutral walls, check out Architectural Colours by David Oliver, the founder of Paint & Paper Library. He arranged his off-whites for ceilings, cornices, walls and woodwork in chromatical groups and the concept has been so well received that chromatically arranged colours, such as soft greys, greens and pinks, have been introduced.

    Exterior Masony and Woodwork Paints

    Specialist masonry and exterior woodwork paints are now available in many of the sophisticated colours offered for interiors.For example, the new Weathershield range of satin and gloss exterior paints from Dulux features innovative shades such as Wild Berries and Wild Roses.

    When choosing colours for exterior surfaces, consider the style of the brickwork or masonry of your home along with the colours used on nearby buildings, so as to pick colours that are sympathetic to these surroundings. Colours for fences and sheds should be selected with the same criteria in mind.

    Technical advancements are constantly being made to improve the life span, durability, wear and performance of exterior paints. The Akrylatfarg range at Ray Munn, for example, is an environmentally sound water-based option.

    Masonry paints come in a wide variety of finishes, from textured to ultra-smooth. Opt for a texture if you need to disguise fine surface cracks. If you favour traditional finishes, then consider limewash, which is available from specialists such as Francesca's Lime Wash. The beauty of this paint is that it will mellow and weather with time. However, do check with the supplier first to ensure that the surface is suitable for this finish.

    Traditional Paints

    Available from specialists such as Farrow & Ball and The Real Paint & Varnish Company, lime wash and distemper paints can be useful for restoration projects, although some of the contents are potentially hazardous and can irritate eyes and skin. Use the modern equivalents where possible, as these are usually safer and more effective.

    Cutting Down on Paint Chemicals

    Everyone knows the nasty smell of paint drying - worse with oil-based paints, but also noticeable with vinyl emulsions. This is caused by paint solvents containing VOCs. They are proven health risks, and can cause allergies, headaches and breathing problems and irritate eyes, nose and throat. They are also an environmental hazard.

    Following a European directive, the British paint industry has reduced VOCs in two stages, the second of which came into force in January last year.

    Five categories are used to describe VOC content. For guidance, a minimal VOC content is up to 0.29 per cent, whereas a very high VOC content is above 50 per cent. All brands have, where necessary, reformulated their ranges to give minimal VOC content.

    There is still no standard labelling scheme for paint. The blue globe label, pioneered by B&Q, led to VOC reduction on the mass market and has been adopted by other brands, while the European Ecolabel, recognised in 15 EU member states, looks like a flower and appears on brands such as Earthborn. Germany also has a Blue Angel label and there is a green Nordic Swan as well. You will find more detailed information on most of the paint company's websites, as well as a wealth of practical and design advice.

    Ecological Paint

    The "organic" paint brands, such as Ecos, which emerged in the late 1980s, heralded a new era of odourless paints, free of solvents and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and paved the way for other companies' environmentally safe formulas. Following European legislation, the first stage in lowering the solvent content in paints and varnishes is set to come into force in 2007.

    Traditionally, the solvents or VOCs and other chemicals used to make paints easier to apply give off toxic fumes that seep into the atmosphere for years after application. Paints with reduced or no VOCs are healthier for decorators and the people whose homes are painted with them.

    The leading brands now flag up paints with lower VOCs and produce paints that are virtually odour-free - the Breatheasy range by Crown is one example. Most leading brands now produce high-quality water-based acrylic paints which outperform the older technologies of vinyl and oils.

    Today, it is increasingly easy to source ecologically sound paints, as most specialist ranges, such as Ecos, Earthborn, Georgina Barrow and Auro are available via mail order. There is a wealth of colour options in these pre-mixed ranges that include lush shades and muted palettes, reflecting their natural ingredients. Ecos continues to lead the field. It has recently developed Atmosphere Purifying Paint, which absorbs and neutralises volatile chemicals, solvents and VOCs from the atmosphere in a home.

    Get Expert Paint Colour Advice

    Thousands of shades may offer unparalleled choice, but of course it can be harder to pinpoint the right one for you. Dulux has responded with the Tailor Made range, which offers an easy-to-use colour-scheming chart that works with the 1,200 shades available to mix in-store.

    Paint & Paper Library arranges its colours in five shades from light to dark to help select coordinating colours for ceilings, cornices, walls, doors and woodwork. If you are decorating around bold furnishings, such as a sofa or curtains, look at paint colours from the same fabric house as they are most likely to be sympathetic.

    Malabar and Designers Guild offer some striking brights while the new Shades of Sanderson comprises 120 colours tailored to Sanderson's collections. If you are aiming for a more subtle backdrop that will flow through several rooms, it's wise to stick to neutral shades. Kevin McCloud's Elements of Colour for Fired Earth works especially well with our cool, northern light.

    Paint Glossary

    Distemper - A traditional water-based paint made from animal and natural resins, which dries to a velvety matt finish. Primarily used on ceilings and plaster mouldings, and to give furniture an aged effect, but not suitable for areas of high wear. Available to order from specialist companies.

    Eggshell - Traditionally refers to an oil-based paint with a silky finish, suitable for interior walls and woodwork. Water-based alternatives are now available.

    Flat or Dead-Flat Oil - Provides a completely flat, oil-based finish. Generally used on walls but not suitable for areas of high wear.

    Gloss - These paints have a high sheen level and are usually used on woodwork.

    Limewash - Made from slaked lime and water, this paint is good for porous surfaces such as brickwork, render and plaster and gives a chalky finish. It is available from specialist companies.

    Matt - Describes paints that give a flat, non-reflective finish. It is ideal for walls and ceilings that are not perfectly smooth. Satin or silk - Water-based vinyl or acrylic paint for walls in high-wear areas, such as hallways and kitchens. A satin finish will be slightly shinier than silk.

    Satinwood or semi-gloss - These paints are commonly used on woodwork, such as skirting boards. This sheen level is between eggshell and gloss. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3833727

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  • Exterior Painting Shortcuts to Avoid

    Exterior Painting Shortcuts to Avoid

    Exterior paint has gone up in price almost twice as much since 1995, however the R&D (research and development) has followed, making most exterior paints lasting much longer as well. Knowing the expense of high quality 100% Acrylic paints now available, coupled with other various materials, time and labor, most who have an exterior painting job performed, do not wish repeating this any time in the immediate future.

    Now, most exterior painting jobs are lasting any where from 12-25 years, depending on the quality of exterior paint. However, even using the very best products and materials will not insure paint warranty listed on the can. The following are key shortcuts to avoid when painting an exterior, insuring lasting beauty and protection from weathers harsh elements.

    1) Never apply and painting materials the same day of power washing: This applies to caulk and primer. Allowing the substrate to completely dry out from cracks and crevices, normally 24-48 hours after power washing has taken place will ensure a dry surface for these products to adhere and bond to. Many times unscrupulous painting contractors who are in a hurry to start and finish an exterior painting job will start caulking and priming the same day of power washing, which is a big no-no.

    2) Do not think power washing takes the place of scraping: After power washing is completed, and completely dried back out, hand scraping is necessary. Power washing only removes dirt and grime, and large chunks of paint that has lifted up, curling. High pressure washing will damage the wood surface, washing too close to surface, so using a hand scraper is the order of business, just like a dentist uses a tool to check for cavities.

    3) Caulking over old caulk: Aged caulk will many times separate from at least one surface substrate, if not both, at 90 degree angles, say where trim meets siding. Never caulk over old caulk, as this separation has already taken place with old caulk, and new caulk will follow the same lines of separation if old caulk is not removed. A little more time is involved, but well worth the efforts, before any exterior paint is applied.

    4) Do not paint over bare wood areas with finish coat paint: Bare wood will receive primer much better than trim or body paint in your choice of colors will. Exterior primers are designed having better bonding materials within the paint than finish coats, thereby allowing the finish coats to bond to exterior primers much better than bare wood. Once all loose flaking paint has been removed, apply a thick uniform coat of exterior primer on all bare wood surfaces.

    5) Do not think 1 coat is adequate: Every paint manufacture has recommended mill thicknesses for the paint warranty. Knowing more paint is needed, this recommendation is not designed to line the pocketbooks of the painting companies, but how the particular paint was tested before rolling out to the public, spending countless dollars on R&D. Yes, paint manufactures will benefit with more paint purchased, however you will benefit as well following directions listed on the paint can, for a sound uniform and quality finish. Exterior painting normally requires 13-16 mills wet. This can be achieved by applying 2 separate coats wet on dry method of 6-10 mills of wet paint each.

    Top quality painting contractors follow these suggestions without question. It is a good idea to ask questions, and observe any work taking place when hiring this out, knowing none of these debilitating shortcuts will eventually impede the quality for years to come. Also when picking out a top quality painting contractor, see other painting services offered, from interior painting, to deck cleaning, deck staining, siding repairs and siding replacements.

    Eco Paint Specialist's or it's affiliates do not take any responsibility of any outcomes of this article. Denver's House Painting Authority, Cal Phillips & Eco Paint Specialist's Inc.

    Denver Painting Contractor, Eco Paint Specialist's of Denver Colorado Springs and Colorado's Front Range. Leading Painting Contractor having over 32 years experience, providing complete and professional painting of homes and businesses with 10's of 1000's of satisfied customers. Eco Paint Specialist's IE. Eco Paint was the first to coin the phrase Eco Paint within it's company name back in 1993, long before Green Earth Friendly Eco Paint became available to the retail sector, by 1999-2000. Eco Paint offers Free in Home Color Consultation for the perfect up to date color combination, adding value, beauty, and protection for interior painting and exterior painting.

    Eco Paint always thinking of the customer, adding security and convenience, leading the Painting Industry once again, the first company of it's kind providing painting customers the ability to pay online through an SSL secure encrypted Online Payment Form on it's Flagship Web Site, in text links listed above.

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Cal_Phillips/511185

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  • Painting a Room

    Painting a Room

    Paint Preparation

    This is the most time-consuming part of painting. That blue tape or masking tape in the hardware store is a necessity in keeping clean lines and paint off the windows or doors. Tape the part that is not to be painted. The tape will stop the paint from leaking through if the line is not exactly perfect. Unfortunately, taping everything will take some time.

    Move heavy furniture to the middle of the room. Move smaller furniture completely out of the room. Cover the furniture to protect against the occasional paint splatter. Accidents do happen. But hopefully, not on the furniture.

    Cover the floor with plastic or a canvas. Plastic is better to prevent paint seepage into the floor when the paint can gets knocked over. Canvas will absorb the paint but it might seep through for large amounts.

    Prepare the wall for paint by ensuring all the holes are patched up and the walls are clean. Painting over holes will not make them disappear. The end result will look weird if the holes merely have paint covering them. Follow the directions of the patch kit. Allow time for the patching to dry.


    Patch kit Blue tape or masking tape Plastic or canvas tarp Furniture coverings Ladder or extensions for high places Wet towels for easy clean-up Old clothes Wall Paint Pry bar, usually comes with the paint can Paint brushes Paint rollers Roller pans Straight Edge that can be painted Types of Paint Primer paint is good to use if the wall color is particularly dark or a lot of patching was needed on the walls. It hides the flaws and less coats of paint are needed when using a primer. The primer can be tinted if necessary for darker color choices.

    There are two bases for paint. Latex and oil based paints. Latex paints have a few advantages over oil-based paint. They are more durable, have less fumes and clean-up easily with water. Interior house paint is best for indoor use.

    There are three classifications for paint, flat, semi-gloss, and high gloss. This just explains the type of shine the walls will have when the painting is done. Flat will have no shine. Semi-gloss is not as shiny as high gloss. Semi-gloss is a happy medium.


    Painting can begin either with the cutting in or the wall itself. Cutting in means painting all the edges that a roller can not reach. A straight edge can come in handy when dealing with ceilings, floors, or window edges. This will keep the unwanted surface from being painted and will help with keeping lines straight. Too much paint on the paint brush can cause drips, so wipe off some of the excess before painting.

    When painting the main wall, use the roller and paint in a w shape. Overlap the paint until all surfaces are covered. Refill the roller as needed and do not allow it to get to dry. Painting with a roller will proceed quickly. Immediate progress will be seen. This will take the shortest amount of time to complete.

    Textured paint and wall paint designs can add a different look to the regularly painted wall. Texture paint can hid flaws and have a variety of rollers that create a wide variety of looks. Wall paint designs are usually stencils but can be homemade. Painting a large sequence of stencils is very tedious and time-consuming so keep that in mind before making a decision.

    Painting is a good project for a do-it-yourself beginner. Painting makes a visual impact and brings a sense of accomplishment. It can inspire bigger and better projects for the homeowner.

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Parth_Mudgal/695194

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  • So You Want to Know How to Paint in Oil Like Van Gogh and Picasso? Here's Oil Painting 101!

    So You Want to Know How to Paint in Oil Like Van Gogh and Picasso? Here's Oil Painting 101!

    Painting in oil has long been a mysterious process the public has believed was relegated to the few and the eccentric. Artists and their lives have always been an unusual breed, but painting a large body of original oil paintings has also been a sure-fire way to drive oneself into immortality. The paintings will always be there, traveling through history, with your name on it! So by this definition it's definitely a noble profession. Think Dali, van Gogh, Picasso, Rembrandt and da Vinci. Each enjoys a lofty reputation for what others might consider crafts. And their reputations only grow bigger over time. What other profession offers that possibility? So who got the last laugh? Well, van Gogh did, of course. He's forever immortalized as one of the greatest humans to have ever lived. Not bad for someone who never made a dime in his own lifetime. But in the age of the Internet and the worldwide marketplace, artists don't have to starve anymore. I'm not starving, and I'm making money doing what I love. I can also work anywhere, whether I'm on vacation or traveling to exotic locales. I love that the most about it. I can do whatever I want and wherever I want, and post a painting for sale from Ibiza, Paris, London.... or Omaha. I wouldn't trade with anyone. And you won't either if you work at it and treat as a way to offer beauty to the world and get paid for it!

    The purpose of this article is to take the mystery out of the process of painting. This article is only written to get you started. I'll write more detailed techniques later. But this article will set you on your way to experimenting and having fun with paint. Ultimately it's like anything in this world. Before you have the knowledge, it's complicated. But once you have it, it's easy! Knowledge is power, and this phenomenon definitely applies to painting. The technical aspects are the easy part. Anyone can do it. You ultimately could be as capable as Monet with practice. We humans can do whatever we decide to do! Deciding WHAT to paint is the hard part. It takes discipline and a singularly focused desire to create one painting after another. For whatever reason, I loved it the minute I started. And I never looked back. I love it today as much as I did over 16 years ago. I never have "writer's block" either as to what to paint. I just paint from my experiences in life. So don't think too hard on it. Paint that apple sitting on the table, or paint the tree in your own back yard, paint your girlfriend in an unusual way. But paint something that means something to you, that's all that matters. Make it funky, make it interesting. If it's abstract, remember that abstract art has long been the most desirable. It's an expression of the individual, make it unique. For those who want realism, take a picture. What's amazing is that once you do it, you realize it's the ultimate escape into happiness. Suddenly you forget your problems for that period of time. You have control, and no one can take it away from you once you are skilled at painting. The process is addicting. But like anything, you must START! And once you do, look out....you'll be hooked.

    OK, let's get started. Step one...supplies. You need a flat brush, a fan, a small detail brush and a couple of Filberts. A filbert is a rounded edge brush that lets you maneuver the paint easily without going outside the edges. Ultimately buy brushes that you like though, and make them work. Fans allow you to blend, for example. I use fans a lot and it's how I graduate color throughout my images. Everything I paint is by hand....no airbrushing or assistants. I want it to be an expression of me and nobody else. You also need an oil painting medium to mix with the oil paint to make it more fluid, and to speed or slow the drying process. Whichever you prefer. Go to the art store and don't be afraid to ask for help....they'll love helping you! A medium is merely an additive liquid which increases gloss, makes it flow easily, preserves the finish over time, keeps it from yellowing. I personally love Galkyd and Galkyd Lite. If that isn't available, buy a medium that looks like liquid amber and is kind of thick. Don't buy watery looking mediums....too hard to work with.

    The lite version of Galkyd is simply thinner. I use it more than the other. I love it. Paintings I did 16 years ago using Galkyds look as pristine as the day I painted them. You'll also need a canvas and some paint. I buy a tube of red, green, blue, purple, yellow, brown, white and black. I prefer what's called Ivory Black and a soft mixing white as you'll add white to a lot of different colors to make lighter versions. From these basic colors you can make any exotic color by mixing them in combination's. Be creative and experiment. And don't be afraid of color, because color is the most popular in museums! The bright paintings are historically the crowd favorites. As for color variety from these basic colors, mix red and white to make pink, mix yellow with green to make lime green, white with blue to make light blue, white with black to make gray, etc. Use your common sense and play with it! You'll also need pencils, an eraser and some Turpentine or Turpentine substitute. Keep your brushes soaking in it in a plastic cup to keep them clean and ready for your next color choice.... and to keep them from drying out.

    Now, decide WHAT you want to paint. Very important...you do NOT need to know how to draw. That's the great thing about painting, you can create even if you've never had a lesson. Don't get me wrong, art school is great. But don't let the lack thereof deter you from creating. You do not have to have a teacher to tell you how to create. You do need to know a few basic techniques, but from there let your imagination fly! When deciding what to paint, go to some websites about artists or Google famous artists to get inspired. Again, do not let a lack of training deter you from painting! Many of the great artists of the past had no training either. Many can't draw stick figures, but they can paint because the colors give you amazing options of expression! You may also go to my websites mentioned below or Google me to see all the crazy work I've created. My personal preference has been to create a large variety of work to keep it interesting and versatile. I did not want to be that artist who only painted one thing over and over. To me that's boring, and it should be boring to you too. Any known artist of the past has a vast variety of work. You'll also find that it makes it more interesting to you while you're doing it, because you won't ever get bored, you'll always be wondering how it'll turn out.

    Step two: Now roughly draw onto the canvas what you want to create in paint. Don't worry, it does not have to be perfect. Your cool application of paint from your innermost imagination will make it look good. If you mess up with the pencil, simply erase it off and start over. Warning: resist the urge to simply copy some artist's painting from the past. That's career suicide, and so boring. You're smart, make your own art. It's much more interesting and unique. A copy of a painting from the past has the sole purpose of making you look like a copycat, and who needs that on their resume? Remember, deciding WHAT to paint is the hardest part. But once you get into the flow it will come to you, I promise. Paint from your own life is the best career advice as a painter. Truth is more bizarre than fiction anyway. And I believe people like to kind of know what they're looking at, as opposed to simply painting a solid layer of red and calling it art. Be creative, go with the flow, don't over think it. Paint what you want to paint and the world will ultimately find it interesting. After all, it's YOUR art. Painting nature is always a good idea, as nature never goes out of style.

    Step three: go online and study the basics of shadow and light. It's a visual thing, and too complicated to talk about here. But once you see it, it'll come to you quickly. Simply Google "shadow and light in painting" and the basics will come up. Once you know these rules, you can apply it to any shape, any form, any painting. And it'll make you keenly aware of shadow and light on virtually any object on earth. It's what makes a painting three- dimensional and expensive looking. You can also buy art books on shadow and light at any bookstore. But make sure you sit down for a couple of hours and study it. It will come quickly to you, I promise.

    Step four: the key to a finished looking painting is to build it just like a house...and by that I mean layers. Paint it in the reverse order in which the eye sees it to make it three-dimensional. By this I mean paint what's farthest from the eye first, and build layer upon layer towards the eye. In other words, do the background first because it should be the farthest from the eye, then add the objects on top of that, and then add the shadows to complete the look. Ultimately it's common sense. If you paint a bowl of fruit, the bowl and fruit need to sit on top of that background, much as it would in real life.

    Step five: pick your colors and start applying them to your penciled outlined images...make sure to mix the paints with a little Galkyd. Painting right out the tube is probably a bad idea, and it'll take forever to dry. Mix the Galkyd pretty evenly with the paint until you reach your desired thickness of paint. Less Galkyd keeps the paint thick. More makes it thinner. A safe start for a painting subject is a still life, like a bowl of fruit. No matter what you do...within reason...it'll look cool. You do not have to make a twig brown or an apple red just because nature says so. Use your imagination. Do something different. Collectors over time like to watch you evolve painting by painting anyway. So don't worry if your first painting stinks in your mind. It'll be interesting later once you're great. And by the way, most famous paintings have an under drawing, so they've used this layout technique I mention above. Sorry to tell you, most inspired paintings were planned out with pencil first. They did not happen spontaneously. They were built logically and in a defined order so that the end result looks right.

    OK, now let it dry overnight. The next day....or whenever you get around to it....mix a lot of Galkyd with just a little bit of color and glaze it over the first layer. Layer upon layer....allowing each layer to dry... is what makes paintings look finished and interesting and expensive in my view. Certainly you can paint wet on wet, as van Gogh did. But that's a much harder proposition we'll talk about later. You can put as many layers as you wish until you get your desired look. A thin glaze of Galkyd with just a little black works great on top of any dried color underneath. It give it an antique and finished look. But be careful not to add too much black. Don't worry, if you put too much just wipe it off and start over. That's the great thing about oil is it dries slower and you can tweak, correct, start over before it dries. Tip: a thin layer of yellow glaze looks good on top of almost any color too. A thin glaze of green looks good over blue, a thin glaze of blue looks good over purple. But ultimately you can pick and choose and experiment with which color to add to your glazes. There are no rules. Invent ones of your own. A thin glaze of yellow on top of a dried layer of red looks awesome. A thin layer of yellow on boring brown make it look like expensive and not-boring brown. You get the idea. But make the process your own and have fun with it. No one will ever do it quite the way you do, and that's what's interesting about the process.

    Step six: once you get all the layers just like you like, let it dry thoroughly for several days. Now take black and apply the shadows with your clean brush in keeping with the laws of shadow and light like you've learned earlier. If you put too much, wipe it back with a Q-tip or a rag until it looks like a shadow. Make sure you're putting shadows on top of only dry under layers. Always clean your brushes in between colors to keep the colors isolated and pure too. You don't want blue in your shadows, for example. Study my paintings if you wish because I do a lot of distinct shadows and I light things like vases, leaves, birds, fruit, etc. in ways that I think will stand out to you. Like if I paint a vase the bottom of the vase is darker than the top. Just like in real life. This applies to any shape whether it be a face or an apple or a vase. Also look at my backgrounds, as I've done a lot of them. Notice how each background is a multitude of layers to give it a finished and complicated look. Glazes allow me to reach this end. When I started out I didn't know what I was doing and friends and family thought I was crazy. And the very same people act like they knew I'd make it now that I have. Oh well, it's the way of the world. But stick with it and you'll be enlightened and inspired over time!

    In conclusion, this article has really just been a "Painting 101" exercise. I'll be adding more articles on the subject once you get more advanced. It's so rewarding to those who stick with it. My work now sells around the world online. So I'm glad I'm glad I stuck with it. It's been infinitely good to me, I've met the most interesting people....including Madonna! And I am so glad I get to do what I want And ultimately it's so gratifying to leave expressions of myself behind forever. And if the owners then turn around and sell my paintings for a fortune later, then that's the cherry on top for me. I feel lucky to have found my calling. And I hope you find it too. And I hope that every single time you view one of my paintings it brings you a little bit of the amazing joy it brought me when I was creating it.

    Feel free to email me if you have questions at the email addresses below. But most important, you'll find that with each painting you'll get better and better. Carry forward everything you learn from each work and eventually you'll have real talent! But only if you keep at it. And don't worry about people telling you you're crazy. They told that to van Gogh too! Sweet justice Vincent, sweet justice. He's certainly getting the last laugh, isn't he? And the world will know who Vincent van Gogh was for the rest of time. Not a bad gig.

    Steve McElroy is an author and collected artist who works in oil. His ever-growing body of work, now numbering over 1,000 oil paintings, now hangs around the world. His work is in the collections of Mercedes-Benz, Mattel, Absolut Vodka, Madonna and private collectors around the world. You may view his work, accomplishments and websites by Googling Steve McElroy Artist. He is one of a few living artists listed with da Vinci, Cezanne, van Gogh, Dali, Rembrandt and other know artists at http://www.ARTmm.com in their Portfolio section. His new original work can be found for sale at http://www.eBid.net by entering Steve McElroy in the search window.

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Steve_Mcelroy/775230

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  • Minimize How Much Paint You Need by Maximizing Your Paint Color Coverage

    Minimize How Much Paint You Need by Maximizing Your Paint Color Coverage

    How Much Paint You Really Need

    How much paint you will need to satisfactorily complete a paint project is determined by 2 factors. The first, paint coverage, is a familiar concept to most people. It simply concerns the square footage of surface area to be painted, and "paint coverage calculators" abound on the web. However, the second concept, paint color coverage, has a much more pronounced effect on how much paint will be needed and the cost of paint projects. Unfortunately, paint color coverage is a novel concept to many painters and, in fact, is poorly understood even by many professionals. Knowing the secrets of paint color coverage will allow you to reduce the number coats you have to apply and minimize how much paint you have to buy.

    Paint color coverage refers to the fact that new coats of paint are always affected by the pre-existing colors on the surface before the fresh coats are applied. This fact is unavoidable, but there are a few tricks that will help you overcome this problem and may save you hundreds on your next paint project. These money-saving secrets relate to how you use your primer.

    Reasons to Use Primer with Paint

    Primer plays 2 important roles in painting projects. Firstly, if you are painting a wall that has never been painted (with water-based paint) before, primer will allow your new paint to stick (or "mechanically bond") to the surface. Since primer is typically not necessary if the wall has previously been painted, many people skip this step. Unfortunately, doing so negates its 2nd (often, more valuable) role in color coverage.

    There are 2 methods for using primer to aid in color coverage. In the first case, when applying light color paint to a darker wall color, you can maximize your color coverage by applying a white primer coat before applying your new paint. In the second case, when painting dark color paint onto a lighter wall color, maximize your color coverage by having your primer "tinted" the same color as your new paint. Many people are surprised to learn that this is possible. But the fact is, your local paint retailer will happily add any color they carry to any primer you want (thereby "tinting" it) for free!

    Use Plain White Primer for Light Paint Colors

    In our first case, if you decide to paint a wall in your house with a light yellow color, but the wall is currently a deep dark brown, you will go through bucket after bucket of paint trying to cover that brown, easily doing 4 - 6 coats or more. But if you put down a coat of white primer first, you could be done after 2 coats of paint.

    The reasoning here is simple. Every color in the visible spectrum can be assigned a number based on a luminosity scale (a scale from light to dark) from 0 to 9 where white is 0 and black is 9. Now suppose that the brown you are trying to cover has a score of 8, and the yellow paint you want to apply has a 4.

    When you apply a coat of paint to a wall, it doesn't fully cover the surface, so the new paint color essentially mixes with the color of the wall. Suppose that mixing these 2 colors produces a new color that is essentially the average of the first 2, so the first coat of yellow over the brown will give you a color with a luminosity score of 6 (8+4=12, 12/2=6). After that dries, adding another coat of yellow (score of 4) brings the color on the wall to a score of 5.

    Like this, it will actually take quite a while to reach a number that is close enough to the yellow color you've chosen that you can't tell any difference (and mathematically, you will never actually reach an average of 4!)

    However, if you put a coat of pure white primer (which has a score of 0) on top of the brown color wall first, this immediately brings your luminosity score down to 4 (8 + 0 = 8/2 = 4, the average). This means you may only need one coat of yellow paint to give you the right hue and saturation. In reality of course, you will always want to do at least 2 coats. But even with a total of 3 coats (primer and paint) you are way ahead of the paint-only option.

    Use Tinted Primer for Dark Paint Colors

    In our second case, suppose you want to apply a deep, dark blue to a beige wall. The good news is that it will be easier to darken a light color than it was to lighten a dark color. In fact, it may only take 2 - 4 coats to get total color coverage in this scenario. The bad news is that if you start out with a white primer you are already moving in the wrong direction. Doing so could increase the number of paint coats you need to 3 - 6... plus the coat of primer! That's a lot of painting!

    Fortunately, you can always get your primer tinted for free. Getting your primer colored the same as your paint will save you a coat of paint. Of course, I always recommend doing a minimum of 2 coats of paint so that your finish sheen looks consistent.

    Even if you don't need to apply a coat of primer before your new coats of paint, doing so will always save you money. Whether you use white or tinted primer, a coat of primer is always more cost effective for one simple reason: It is cheaper! In fact, primer may cost as little as half as much as standard paint. If you get it tinted the same as your paint, then it is cheaper by the coat. If you use white, as in the first scenario above, it will also minimize the number of coats of paint you have to apply. Either way it reduces how much paint you have to buy.

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/E._W._Ennis/998688

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  • You Don't Have to Waste Money on Premium Paint and Primer in One!

    You Don't Have to Waste Money on Premium Paint and Primer in One!

    The "Paint and Primer in One" Buzz

    You've seen it on TV, you've heard about it at the home improvement stores... high-end "paint and primer in one" products are available from many of the major paint companies. They cost 20% to 60% more than the primary paint line and offer better coverage with less hassle - but are they worth the money, or is it just a clever way to get you, the consumer, to shell out a little more dough for a can of paint?

    The most popular commercial is a Lowe's advertisement where a young couple with a new house is desperately trying to paint over the bold green and white stripes left on the walls of their den by the previous resident. This poor couple can't understand why their new red paint won't cover up those terrible stripes! Luckily, the Lowe's Paint-Counter Employee in the commercial is there to help... She happily reassures the desperate couple that all they need to do is buy this slightly higher (priced) quality paint - which is available right there in the store - and all their problems will be solved... whew!

    Behr and Valspar

    That commercial is for Valspar's Signature line of paint which is a "paint and primer in one" product just like Behr's Premium Plus Ultra paint line. These paints retail for $32 to $33 a gallon and claim to offer better coverage than standard paints. But the standard paint lines only cost $21 to $23 per gallon. That means the ultra paint line costs 45% to 55% more money. So do the signature/ultra paint and primer in one lines really offer 50% better coverage? And more important, is the amount of enhanced coverage worth the increased cost of paint?

    Optimizing Your Primer

    For starters, it may not always be necessary to use primer. Applying a new coat of latex paint (water-based, most common today) over an existing coat of latex paint does not require primer. At least, it's not a physical requirement - in order to make the paint stick to the wall. However, using a primer is a good idea in order to help with coverage issues. In other words, putting down a coat of primer can help you cover the colors that are currently on a wall. The trick is that you have to know how to "optimize" your primer.

    The secret here is something most professional painters don't even realize, and paint retailers won't tell you (especially now, with these high-priced premium paint lines on the market). That secret is this... you can tint your standard primer to whatever color you are painting with! That's right, the common Kilz, Zinsser, or whatever off-the-shelf primer you want to use can be tinted to any color that your paint retailer sells... for free! Plus, not only is primer cheaper than signature/ultra paint - it is cheaper than the standard paint lines! A gallon of primer is typically $14 to $16 compared to $22 for standard paint and $33 for ultra. Wherever you get your paint mixed, just ask the employee behind the counter to add your paint color to your can of primer and they will happily oblige; and it doesn't cost a dime.

    Of course, there is a little bit more to it than that. This is where optimizing your primer comes in. It's not always a good idea to tint your primer - for color coverage reasons. It may actually be more effective to use a plain white primer to get the best paint color coverage. It all depends on what color your wall is currently and what color you want to paint it.

    Knowing exactly when to tint your primer and when to use plain white is another matter. If you'd like to read more about it click here. But for the purposes of this article, if you are using a lighter paint color than is on the wall, use white primer. If you are painting with a darker color than is currently on the wall, get your primer tinted. More often than not, it should be fairly obvious which option to choose for your situation.

    Saving on the Cost of Paint

    As long as you make this decision correctly, thereby optimizing your primer, you will definitely save money by using a standard quality paint line. If you begin by assuming that 2 coats of signature/ultra quality paint covers exactly as well as 3 coats of standard quality paint, then the price will be equivalent using either method. However, since your 3 standard coats can include 1 coat of primer, and primer is significantly cheaper, you will definitely save money taking the traditional route.

    Plus, staying away from the paint and primer in one signature/ultra paint lines can save you a lot more money on bigger projects. While primer by the gallon is about 35% cheaper than standard paint by the gallon, when you buy it by the 5-gallon bucket primer is about 50% the price of standard paint. Furthermore, if you do get your primer tinted, you can apply 2 coats of tinted primer before your finish coats of paint. This would save you substantially over the signature/ultra cost of paint.

    As it turns out, there are very few situations where you should opt to pay 50% more for paint and primer in one, when you can get regular primer tinted to your paint color for 50% less instead!

    By the way, do you want to know more about how to paint and primer most effectively

    If so, check out these blog posts.

    Do you want to know how to save $1000s on paint and remodeling projects, pick perfect paint colors, design beautiful interiors, and increase your home's value by 23% or more!?

    If so, this article is exactly what you've been looking for: Paint Color Miracle [http://www.americanmastercraftsmen.org] ™

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  • How a Paint Company Lures You in With Their Color Wheel Display

    How a Paint Company Lures You in With Their Color Wheel Display

    Your average paint company knows that their most important advertising is done inside the paint retail location. A brand's paint color display (or color wheel) is its best tool to attract you to their paint. How can a paint company use its own color wheel to lure you to their brand? The answer is easy... color. For centuries, advertisers have used bright, bold colors to focus the attention of customers on their brand. The power of bright colors is evident in signs, logos, and almost every form of commercial marketing. This fact is common knowledge, and yet it still comes as a surprise to many people that paint companies use these same tactics to draw your attention to their line of paint colors inside every home improvement store.

    Using the Sample Card to Sell the Color Wheel

    Of course, paint companies are a little sneakier than traditional marketers. Paint brands know that when you are faced with an array of paint displays (such as in your local hardware/home improvement store), you are most likely to focus your attention on the color wheel display that most attracts your eye. Since the marketers of paint brands understand the human (or perhaps, "animal") attraction to bright colors, they know how important it is to include bright, bold colors in their paint lines and place them front and center in their displays. This is the best way to attract your attention to a paint company's color wheel.

    So how does a paint company accomplish this color hypnosis of potential customers? Well, it starts with the sample card. Have you ever noticed how the brightest, most saturated color sample cards are always the first row you see in a paint display? Well you guessed it... paint companies are playing with a loaded deck (of sample cards, that is)!

    But a Bogus Sample Card Equals Bogus Paint Colors

    Of course, there's nothing wrong with stacking sample cards in the color wheel display so that the most attractive colors are the most visible. The problem occurs because so many of those bold, dramatic, "attractive" colors are basically useless as paint colors in your home!

    It's funny, but many of the colors that a paint company puts in its line would never look good painted on any wall. The colors are 100% used to grab your attention when you are perusing paint displays. People are helplessly attracted to bright colors; they are much more eye-catching and far more interesting to our brains.

    Sadly, not only are people more attracted to the paint color wheels because of these colors, but beginners are more likely to find one of these bright, saturated colors most attractive and end up choosing one as their new paint color. Unfortunately, for most of the reasons discussed above, those colors look ridiculous painted on walls.

    To be fair, when brighter colors are painted on smaller surfaces, such as in an accent color, on trim, on a partial wall, etc, they are far less offensive than when they cover a room. But the brightest colors in the display - with the least amount of white, black, or gray mixed in - will rarely even work in these applications.

    Obviously, when mistakes like this occur paint companies have nothing to lose. Whenever people pick paint colors that they are unhappy with, the paint company does not have to refund the customers' money. In fact, no paint brand in the country will allow you to return paint once you have purchased it. Even better (for the paint company), since the customer is unhappy with the paint color they chose, they are probably just going to buy a whole new batch of paints!

    Designer Paint Color Wheels

    Of course, there are a multitude of distorting factors making it difficult to pick paint colors that will end up looking attractive on your wall. So, rather than filling the world with disgruntled customers, paint companies have offered the marketplace a basic solution to their problem of conflicting interests. That solution is the designer, or "signature" brands that most paint companies now offer to accompany their primary brand.

    Valspar Paint, for instance, also produces paint branded as Laura Ashley, Eddie Bauer, Waverly, and more. These separate lines, or collections, have their own color wheel displays and are usually available wherever the primary brand, Valspar in this case, are sold. Other examples are Disney Paints, currently produced by Behr, and Ralph Lauren and Martha Stewart, formerly produced by Sherwin Williams.

    By licensing these names, paint companies and retailers are taking advantage of the popularity of these well-known brands to attract you to these paints; that way they don't have to use obnoxious colors to bring your attention to their color wheel. If you look at the colors in these displays you will notice that they are generally missing those bright, saturated tones. Instead, most of the colors are more neutralized. Naturally, these colors are much more attractive to paint on a wall in your home.

    Paying for a Brand Name Paint Color?

    If you are worried about ending up with an ugly paint color, you may be somewhat safer utilizing one of these designer collections. However, the color range offered by any one of these alternative brands is very limited and typically the whole line of hues is all neutralized to about the same tone. This gives the smaller brand a nice consistent look, but it doesn't allow for much variety. Also, these signature paints are typically more expensive (often 50% more) despite the fact that you can get very similar colors from the primary "mother" brand for considerably less money.

    By the way, do you need to know exactly how to adjust for the problems that overly bright/saturated paint colors cause?

    If so, this blog post will give you everything you need to know: "Paint Companies Make 40% of Their Profits from Your Paint Color Mistakes!"

    Do you want to know how to save $1000s on paint and remodeling projects, pick perfect paint colors, design beautiful interiors, and increase your home value 23% or more!?

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  • How to Paint a Room Quickly and Problem-Free

    How to Paint a Room Quickly and Problem-Free

    In most cases painting a room is a fairly simple task, even for the most inexperienced people. Depending on the size of the room, painting the whole room can take only a few hours, a full day, or even days on end. However there are some techniques and methods you must learn before beginning to paint which will greatly speed up the process. Furthermore, you will need to learn how to make the job as problem free as possible, and learn how to avoid any 'painting disasters'.

    To begin, let's go through the tools and items you will need before you begin the paint job.

    Essential Tools and Items For Painting

    The most obvious tool you are going to need for a paint job, is a paint brush - of course. Paint brushes come in many different forms and sizes, but as in this case you are painting a room, a large paintbrush should do fine. Although having a smaller one for some of the corners and more precise parts of the wall would be beneficial.

    The next most essential tool you will need is a paint roller. If you have never used or seen one of these before, it is a large roll with a handle which you dip into paint, and then roll across the wall back and forth. A paint roller makes painting one hundred times easier and quicker, and unless you want to spend ages painting the wall, you are going to need a paint roller. When you buy a paint roller you should also get a tray as well where you would pour some of the paint into.

    The correct clothing is also very important. It goes without saying that you wouldn't wear any of your best clothes while painting. Actually, you shouldn't be wearing any normal types of clothing at all as the first layer. What you need is a full set of overalls that you could wear while painting. It's almost impossible to complete any paint job without getting a whole lot of paint over yourself, no matter how careful you may believe yourself to be. Overalls are extremely cheap, and the chances are you, a relative, or a friend will already have a pair they can lend you anyway. In the worst case of scenario you should wear the worst, and cheapest clothes you own!

    The last item you will need is the cheapest, and easiest to find - scrap paper, tissues, or newspapers. Before beginning to paint you will need to make sure that you cover the floor, especially the edges with scrap paper. It's very likely that you are going to spill and drip paint on the floor, and the last thing you want to do is spill in on your floor. So have scrap paper on the floor, and at your floor will be protected at least a little.

    Steps for a Perfect* Paint Job

    Read over these steps before beginning the painting, as its very important that you understand each and every stage of painting a wall.

    Stage 1 - laying out the correct tools and materials. Make sure that you lay all the scrap paper or covers you can across the floor, and make sure no area of the real floor can be seen where you will be painting. Next, pour the paint you will be using into the paint roller tray, and place it on the floor or work area where you will be painting. And of course, make sure you are wearing all the correct clothes.

    Stage 2 - make sure wall is as smooth as possible, and grit free. Any tiny lumps, or any grit at all you can see on the wall you will be painting should be removed before any painting is done at all. The last thing you want to be doing is painting over physical dirt or grit on the walls, as then it will be there for good. I strongly suggest you give the wall a good sand before beginning the painting.

    Stage 3 - Paint main surface of the wall with roller. Excluding the corners, or turning points in the room, you should paint the wall by rolling the paint roller in the paint tray, and then rolling the paint over all of the main surfaces of the room. This is the most time consuming part of the paint job, but it's pretty simple and easy to do. Make sure you don't go near the corners of the room using the paint roller.

    Stage 4 - Paint the corners of the room. Now instead of using the paint roller, you are going to need to use a paint brush to paint the corners of the room. Using your brush, simply dip the brush into the paint and smoothly begin brushing over the corner and sides of the wall. Make sure you are very careful when approaching a skirting or floor. This is more difficult that using the paint roller, but it's the only way possible to paint those corners of the room.

    Stage 5 - Leave the paint to dry.. Depending on how thick you have painted the walls, it will generally take a few hours to dry. After you are complete the painting, leave the room and do something else for a few hours before returning.

    Stage 6 - The cleanup. Only after the paint is completely dry, should you re-enter the room and begin to clean up your painting tools. Make sure you pour any remaining paint in the paint tray back into the bucket. Furthermore, make sure you clean the paint brush under a tap as soon as possible as you don't want the bristles of the brush going rock solid. And lastly, collect all of the scrap paper or cover over the floor.

    You have now successfully painted a room! (Hopefully to perfection..)

    To conclude, what you have learned in this article is essential to making sure you paint a room to a good standard. Without knowing what you are doing, it can be very easy to make a complete mess off a paint job. So learning what you need to know before beginning I'd very important. If you followed the instructions I have explained here, then you are headed in the right direction. However becoming a good painter is a skill, you may be surprised to here, and the chances are you are always going to make mistakes on your first try, and learn from them.

    If you would like to learn more about topics such as this, then be sure to check out our website Make Home Design Easy [http://www.makehomedesigneasy.com/]. We write daily articles and advice about general home improvement tasks, and provide interesting and innovative design ideas.

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Kieran_J_Robertson/1093643

  • How to Teach Yourself to Paint

    How to Teach Yourself to Paint


    When white light, coming from the sun or another light source, strikes an object it is then reflected back to our eyes by that object. Different surfaces absorb, reflect and mix light differently due to their structures and this is why we see different colours. So in painting, different pigments on the surface of the canvas are able to do the same. There are 3 different properties in colour:

    1. Hue: or the colour itself e.g. Blue, red, yellow

    2. Value: or else the darkness or lightness of colour and this is what creates contrasts

    3. Intensity or tone: pure colour comes from the tube but it is rarely used as pure and so it has to be mixed.


    There are 3 primary colours from which all the other colours can be mixed... Yellow, red, blue

    Tertiary colours are those mixed from two of the primaries e.g.: blue + yellow = green

    Colours are said to be either warm or cool. Red is warm while blue is cool.

    However there are warm blues (e.g.: ultramarine blue) and even cool reds (alizarin red).

    Using cool colours for early morning scenes as well as for winter scenes while warm colours are used for afternoon or summer/Autumn scenes.

    Appropriate use of warm and cool colours in a painting will give you depth and perspective, that is using blues for distant objects such as distant mountains and warm colours for foreground objects.


    The darkness and lightness of colour will give contrast and hence also useful for perspective. White is the lightest colours while black is the darkest... however black is rarely used in a painting as it is too strong (use Payne's grey instead). The addition of white to a colour will create a tint. Always keep an abundant amount of white available to use. Colours are usually darkened with a grey to create a tone. The addition of white or greys will affect the intensity of the colour. Adding black will create shade.

    Suggestions applicable for oil painting

    Always use artist quality oil paints (these contain more pigment and so do not fade when mixing). Also it will be easier to create texture when using knife for painting. You cannot work well with runny colours.

    If oil colours are too thick then thin them with turpentine or linseed oil, only to a creamy consistency. The more oil you add the more time it takes for the painting to dry. Turpentine is usually added to colours used for the underpainting to encourage fast drying.

    Add more oil to the top layers of a painting as these has to dry the last, known as FAT over LEAN. The painting can crack if the upper paint dries before the lower one. Always paint in adequate ventilation as oil colours are toxic even if they do not smell. When starting painting, start from very dark (usually monochrome) underpainting, just indicating the basic shapes and structures and light/dark areas. Always keep in mind that there is no light if there is no darkness and so you have to create contrast by putting highlights over darker areas. I will give more details how to use colours when talking about landscape painting.

    Painting Tools


    You can paint on any type of surface as support such as paper, wood panels, metal etc. For oil painting the most commonly used is canvas, either stretched or unstretched. You can buy canvas either in roll or ready stretched, however buying a roll will turn out to be a cheaper alternative. You can buy this canvas either already primed or unprimed. The primer acts as a base for the oil (or acrylic) paint to adhere to without cracking, peeling, wrinkling or shrinking. The most commonly used primer is gesso and it can be applied either as a single layer or double layer.

    There are different types of canvas of which cotton is the most commonly used. The other type is linen that is very expensive. It is important to use good quality canvas and this usually has to be of a minimum of 10oz and 12oz for big paintings. Ready-made canvases found in stores are barely 8oz and even less. If you buy canvas by roll you can have a better quality canvas with the same price that you buy a similar size but of an inferior one from a store.

    Brushes, Knives and Palettes

    For oil and acrylic painting it is very important that you buy good quality brushes. Inferior brushes will start losing hair while painting and it is really annoying to stop every minute to remove hair from the surface of your painting. Do not buy synthetic ones but only buy those having natural hair such as hogs hair. Brushes come in various shapes and sizes. You must have a selection of round, flat, filbert, fan and liners (for fine and delicate work). You must also have a selection of sizes usually numbered from 0 to 12 (12 being the largest). Different brushes are used for various techniques. A good brush must maintain its shape when being used. You must also have a 2 inches brush for background coloring (and underpainting), that you can buy from an ironmonger (also used for house painting). The most important is to clean the brushes while using them and after you finish as if you do not do so then you will end up wasting money. While painting you have to clean the brush before picking up color and this is done using tissues. Do not clean the brush with turpentine while painting. When you finish first remove excess colors using a tissue and then clean the brush in turpentine followed by rinsing it in water with a dish washing detergent. Do not throw away old brushes as you might find them useful to create certain effects.

    Painting knives are used to mix paints on the palette as well as to paint, usually very useful to lay thick layers of paint onto the canvas and to create structures like tree trunks and rocks. You can also use them to create fine but straight lines, snow caps on a mountain top or to create small waves on a water surface. Same as brushes, painting knives come in different sizes and shapes. Always clean your knife before picking up color from the palette.

    Use a flat palette for oils and acrylics as it will be very difficult to pick up paint from palettes used for watercolor. You can have a wooden or a Perspex palette, or even simply a disposable plate. Alternatively you can use a tear off palette, which is very useful and you do not need to clean it afterwards.

    Paints and diluents

    Always use artist quality paints for both oils and acrylics. Artist quality paints have more pigments rather than binders. Artist quality paints do not fade away when mixing and also they will last longer. Artist quality oil and acrylics are usually heavy bodied and thus easier to paint using painting knives.

    When painting with acrylics, paints are usually diluted to a creamy consistency with water. To increase drying time you can use one of the many retarders that are commercially available.

    Turpentine is usually used to dilute oil paints for under painting to decrease drying time. Try to use odor free turpentine especially when working indoors. Oil colors can be diluted with linseed oil for upper layers of a painting, thus increasing drying time. Poppy oil is another diluent that can be used to dilute oil paints. The more oil you add the more you increase the drying time. The consistency of the paint should be creamy and should be in a way that the paint is easily released from the brush onto the previous layer. Liquin is another excellent medium that decrease the drying time of oils and is very good for glazes.


    Varnishes are used to protect the painting and colours from deteriorating with time besides making it easier to clean. There are two types, matt and gloss. Matt varnish does not reflect light and hence will give uniformity to the painting, since oil paints have different glare when dry.

    Allow the painting to dry well ideally about 6 months. You can apply varnish either using a brush or using aerosol spray. To apply the varnish lay the painting horizontal on a clean surface (dust free) and apply onto the surface in a uniform manner. Apply in a well-ventilated place or outside, and beware of any flying insects that can rest on it accidentally. Matt varnish can sometimes form a cloudy appearance after drying sometimes affected by humidity.

    This is the first from a series of articles "How to Teach Yourself to Paint". In my next article we will talk about basic techniques of landscape painting in colour which will include composition, perspective and how to use colour. For more information you can visit my website http://www.christopher-vidal.net

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Christopher_Vidal/1466902

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