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Easy painting techniques that can help you express yourself

Want to get better with a paint brush? If you do, then look no further! In this entry, you are going to learn about several techniques that will take your painting skills to the next level. 


Blocking-in is one of the simplest painting techniques – it’s similar to painting by numbers.  To start, work up the canvas with a sketch of your composition and establish where the darkest colors will be. Next, fill in each “block” from darkest to lightest until your canvas is covered. Finally, refine the images and colors to come up with a truly inspired painting. 
The best thing about blocking-in is not needing to focus on tedious details. You just select a color and go with it. That means you can start with a broad idea and slowly refine it without ever having to change your painting. Blocking-in can also give you the peace of mind from making mistakes. With this technique, you’re not making any adjustments you cannot undo. 

One Grid at a Time

Most people like to approach oil painting in an orderly fashion. If you prefer to paint one section at a time, then this is the perfect technique for you. Concentrating on one section has the advantage of making it easy to merge the foreground with the background. However, it’s just as easy to get caught up in perfecting each section, so be sure to step back and check how your composition looks as a whole. 

Student Artwork - The Art Studio NY

Draw, Then Paint

Some artists like to have a fully developed drawing before painting. That means they have to perfectly translate their sketching techniques into a painting. The best thing about drawing is that you can do it on a piece of paper or a piece of canvas. However, not everyone enjoys this particular technique. You must be meticulous with your drawing/sketching if you want it to look exactly the same on a canvas. This can be found stressful and aggravating which is something art should never be! Remember that a paintbrush is not just a tool used to simply color in shapes, how a brush’s shape, size and motion can also determine how your completed painting looks.

Underpainting: Delayed Color 

If you are not in a hurry to complete a final work of art, then this painting technique this might be your best option. Underpainting is essentially creating a monochromatic version of your painting. It acts as a foundation for your painting and is a great way to start your painting off with some built-in contrast and tonal values. After this, you then start glazing colors over the monochromatic version until you get your final painting. The only thing to be mindful of is where you place opaque colors, since you can’t always lighten the dark tones. 

While not every technique may work for each painter, they all require a bit of practice, even for the experienced hand! We encourage you to choose one technique and work on it every chance you get to paint. In a few short months, you’ll not have only added a new skill set to your impressive resume, but you’ll have gained a new tool to conquer your artistic ambitions!

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