Painting as a hobby can be very therapeutic, allowing you to express yourself freely and artistically. Here are some tips on painting a picture for beginning artists:
Find an arts supply store to get the materials you need to paint. Get a wide variety of sable paintbrushes (flat, round, fan, course, and fine). You will also need a palette, palette knife, an easel, drop cloth, and a canvas or canvas paper. Also decide on the paint you want to work with (acrylic, oil, watercolor). Acrylic paint tends to be less expensive than oil paint and easier to clean up. The advantage to oil paint is that it dries slower and allows beginners more time to correct mistakes. You will also need to get turpentine or mineral spirits if you are using oil paints.
Choose a work area in your home that has good lighting and is well ventilated. Bad lighting can distort your choice of colors. Poor ventilation can cause you to breathe in the harmful supplies you are working with (paint, turpentine, etc.). Wear some clothes you don’t mind getting painted all over. Lay down some drop cloth and set up your easel in a place where you won’t have to worry about paint splatter (patio is ideal). Make sure to keep your turpentine/mineral spirits near if you are working with oil paints or a jar of water if you are using acrylic (to clean the brushes).
Using a pencil, make a light sketch of the object you want to paint on the canvas (portrait, landscape, etc.). Sketch lightly but be as detailed as you can in order to give yourself a guide for when you start painting. After you finish the sketch, start mixing the colors you need for your picture. Start painting the background of the picture first. Use neutral or monochromatic colors for the background because you want to paint the closer objects in more intense colors. This will give the painting depth and dimensionality. Let the background paint dry before painting the details of the picture and adding more colors. After you have finished all the details and shading step a way from your work for a couple of days. Go back to the painting with fresh eyes to see if you want to add any details you may have skipped over the first time.
Find art studios and community colleges in your area that teach beginning art class. Art supply stores can sometimes host various types of art classes. Do a Google search for art classes and look the places you find on Yelp.com to see if they are recommended and affordable. Taking class will help you hone the craft and teach you the painting fundamentals (mixing, brush technique, etc.).
Paint freely without judging your work. Your first few pieces will not be art gallery material by any means. That’s okay! Feel free to experiment and create your own style based in what you learn from classes and observe in other artists’ work.