Introduction to visual arts

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Congratulations on reaching top of Maslov’s hierarchy of needs, even if you decided to skip a few layers. But to be fair to painting - it is extremely therapeutic, interesting and one more creative way to annoy people with some unnecessarily personal gifts.

The hobby in itself might seem forbiddingly expensive but in reality a lot of fun can be squeezed out of the tube of paint.

Tools & consumables

Surface - depends on viscosity of a medium. Generally canvas or panels for oil and acrylics, different weight and thickness paper for everything else.

Primer/Gesso - needs to be applied to surfaces before painting with oil and acrylics. Just two coats an hour apart are perfectly workable after overnight. Some sanding might be required;

Brushes/tools - much ink has been spilled over preferred brushes. But in real life (from all the research I’ve done) that is just a preference. Generally: * Synthetic brushes are harder and will leave visible marks good for harshing up the consistency; * Animal hair brushes are soft and great for leaving minimal trace; * Painting knife - generally multitool of the industry - can palette knife to mix paint or to finish whole painting. These come in different shapes and sizes, all of soft, flexible metal. I prefer asymmetric copies for their versatility;

These are consumables and their cheapness make no lasting difference. I find cheapest of the bunch to lose bristles on the surface which, frankly, sucks, but somewhat can be helped with a few drops of glue.

Besides a large and a medium brush of both synthetic and natural bristles I find fan brush and a large “utility” brush really useful. I would recommend to own tiny natural bristle brush but painting knife does the job at precision a lot better.

Paint - Choose only “artist” or “professional” labeled paints as cheaper ones have no “archivability” and will definitely brown much quicker. Some non-artist paints I got are not solid enough, come with separated oil from pygment, apply in a very liquid manner. No need for all different colours - they are supposed to be mixed. If fourteen is enough for Bob Ross’s favourites then it is enough for everybody. I have began with monochromatic paintings for which one colour, a white and a black are enough.

How to read paint information - usually tubes of paint will contain following on them:

Palette - for oil and acrylic the %insert_niche_luxury_brand_of_choice_here% is a glass picture frame which can be had for a few cents in local charity shop;

Easel - in most cases floor or tape is good enough, but with only a little investment in cheap pine planks and a little consumables one can make banger easel. I made just two planks one next to another with gap in between for screw tightening mechanism and installed it to a wardrobe since I am short on wall space;

Tips and tricks to suck less