Lesson 1 – Why Do You Want To Take Up Painting?

Welcome! Thanks for joining me on this Painting For Beginners online course. This will be a simple but important lesson to get things started.

Why Do You Want To Take Up Painting?

Before we dive into the technical side of painting, I want you to consider the reasons why you want to take up painting in the first place and the realities of being an artist. This is important as many people get frustrated when they take up painting and sadly quit way too early. Some of the reasons these people get frustrated are:

  • They did not realize just how hard painting is (the professionals certainly make it look easy).
  • They could not handle making mistakes (you will make mistakes when you are starting out and even once you are a master).
  • They did not understand the processes and techniques of painting.
  • They were overwhelmed by the mass of information, which is often misleading and has no real direction.
  • They could not sell any paintings.

… and you get the point. The truth is, painting is an extremely challenging but equally rewarding craft. There is a reason our society holds the great artists in such high acclaim. Our society is willing to pay insane amounts for great paintings, which when you think about it are nothing more than colored pigments arranged on a canvas. These paintings do not produce any direct wealth or fix any world problems. Despite this, they are held in our most prestigious buildings and gifted to our leaders. This is because painting is hard! But don’t let that discourage you. You should be proud that you are taking on such a highly revered and appreciated craft. Once you understand why you are painting and the realities of being an artist, you will be much more resilient to any challenges you face (and less likely to quit). Let’s move on to some of the reasons you should not take up painting for.

The Wrong Reasons To Take Up Painting

Here are some of the wrong reasons to take up painting:

  • You want to get rich. Money is important, but if your only goal is to make money from your art, then you should go into another avenue which has more secure profits. That is not to say you are not able to make money from your art. It is just very unpredictable. For example, I went to University and studied accounting. Whilst I was studying, I had reasonable assurance I would be able to make a secure living from accounting. Studying art however is much less secure. My thoughts on money and art are this – do whatever you can do make enough money to live comfortably and practice your art and do not let money dictate how you paint. If you are able to live comfortably as an artist, then great. If you work full-time and use that money to finance your art, then that is great also.
  • You want fame. This is much the same as the point above. Fame in art usually comes to those least expecting it. It is unpredictable by nature. Just look at Vincent van Gogh, one of the most famous artists in history. He would have no idea of his own fame as it all happened after his death. He remained relatively unknown during his lifetime. I wonder if he would be happy or sad about his postmortem fame?
Vincent van Gogh, Vincent's Bedroom In Arles, 1889
Vincent van Gogh, Vincent’s Bedroom In Arles, 1889

You want to become a master in a short period of time. It is great to have high expectations of yourself, but painting is one of the most difficult crafts to master. Many of the all-time greats of painting have said how little they knew even in their later years. Painting is easy to pick up, but extremely difficult to master. So if you are still reading, then you may still be interested in painting, which is great! I am not trying to be negative, just realistic. Painting can take up a significant amount of time and if you are not doing it for the right reasons, then you may as well save yourself the effort.

The Right Reasons To Take Up Painting

Now for some of the right reasons to take up painting:

  • You want to challenge yourself. Painting is hard, but anyone can take it up. All you need are some basic materials and you are good to go.
  • You want a fulfilling hobby. Not everyone has aspirations to become a professional artist. Many are just looking for a fulfilling hobby. Painting is fantastic for this. You can paint at pretty much any age, at any time of the day and at any skill level.
  • You seek an escape from your ever busy lifestyle. Many of you will work busy and high-stress jobs. Painting is the perfect escape from this lifestyle.
  • You like the idea of creating something. Painting is one of the rare practices where the result is something truly unique and personal. Sure, there may be other paintings very similar to yours, but none will be exactly the same. Your strokes and color selections are unique to you.
  • You like to document your life. Paintings are much like a visual diary of your life. You can paint different experiences, places you visit, people you meet and emotions you feel. Since I started painting many, many years ago, I have built up a sizable body of paintings. All of them tell a unique story about a particular point in my life.
  • You want to work for yourself. If you want to become a professional artist, then you can treat your art career as if it were your own business. A major positive to this is you get to be your own boss!
  • You want to empower your mind. Our bodies are frail, but our minds are very powerful. Painting is a fantastic way of understanding how your mind works. I really should not need to give reasons to paint, but if you are unsure about if you should commit to painting then hopefully these reasons help you make the leap (you won’t regret it).

[Exercise] Why Do YOU Want To Take Up Painting?

I suggest you take a moment to write down why exactly why you want to take up painting and what you are looking to get out of it. You can email me your answer to dan@drawpaintacademy.com. There are no right answers. This just helps me understand where you are at and what you want to learn. It is also an important exercise in self-awareness.

End Of Lesson 1

Great work! That is the end of lesson 1. This was just a simple lesson to start with. In the next lesson we will go over the different painting mediums, including oils, acrylics and watercolors, to determine which would suit you. Kind Regards

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Dan Scott is the founder of Draw Paint Academy. He's a self-taught artist from Australia with a particular interest in landscape painting. Draw Paint Academy is run by Dan and his wife, Chontele, with the aim of helping you get the most out of the art life. You can read more on the About page.


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165 comments on “Lesson 1 – Why Do You Want To Take Up Painting?”

  1. I may as well start.

    I started painting and drawing from an early age, so I can’t remember exactly why I started. I believe I just fell into it.

    Sadly, I stopped painting after high school due to a fallout with my art teacher (he had no passion for teaching or art and that really killed my motivation). Part of the reason I started this website was to provide people with inspiration and education which was not given to me during my schooling years.

    I decided to take up art again as I was searching for something which is not dominated by money or any other powerful influences. Art can be as simple and natural as you like to make it.

    I also enjoy helping people so art is a great avenue for that.

    Over to you.

    Dan Scott

    Reply
    • I always loved drawing and painting from an early age. I did art in school but that’s where it stopped. I’ve dabbled in and out over the years but then work and family got in the way. It was only when I had my last child at age 40 now 5 years ago that my sister encouraged me to puck it up again. I have sold some paintings to family and friends. I really want to master all the techniques and make beautiful art however I get bored easy if a painting isn’t going the way I think it should, I also get huge artist block and sruggle with what to paint. But mostly I just draw and paint because I love it.

      Reply
    • Hi Dan,
      I went to a ‘One Stroke’ class with a friend. I just couldn’t do it. I loved the feel of the brush in my hand and the colors, etc. I decided to try a different approach and went to an oil painting class….and fell in love. I am now retired but when I worked, picking up a brush was like starting meditation. Now I have more time to paint. It would be nice to sell some paintings but it is not necessary. I love creating.

      Reply
      • Welcome Sara!

        Painting does feel very meditative. If you want to sell your paintings, I would suggest getting active from the start. Enter competitions. Get involved. Meet people. But most importantly, focus on painting 🙂

        Just let me know if you need anything and enjoy the free lessons.

        Regards

        Dan

        Reply
    • Hi Dan. I have been painting for about the last five years in oil. I took classes from three teachers and learned all I know from them and reading a lot. I paint mostly every day. I love painting and can do this all day long. I have lots of artist friends.

      I do not have any problems with painting. I just don’t know how to create something from myself. I copy from photos in mags and some that I take myself. I have no paintings that I have from my mind. I wish I can.

      I am looking forward to these lessons.

      Regards

      Babre

      I am from Cape Town in South Africa.

      Reply
      • Welcome Babre!

        To be honest, not many people paint straight from the imagination. It is more common to paint from some kind of reference, whether that be a photo or from life.

        Regards

        Dan

        Reply
    • A LONG time ago, in high-school, I enjoyed drawing/painting very much… so I decided to go to art school (scenography). I took lessons (as I was not attending an art high-school)… but I failed (at the time, there were only 5 places per year, and I was not one of them).
      … So I got into a completely different university (technical), got on with my life… and completely abandoned drawing/painting (somehow, I got the feeling that they failed me…).
      … until several years ago, when I enlisted into a drawing course (in the evening, after work), and this is how it restarted.
      Since then, I have participated in various art courses/classes/workshops (hobby, not professional) in the evening, and when I draw or paint, or work with clay, etc…. I no longer think about the job, or my family. Time just flies away. I enjoy it and it relaxes me.
      I don’t have the time to do it every day (I work in a multinational company and my job involves long hours), but when I manage to “steal” away some time, this is what I love to do.

      Reply
    • I used to feel artistic, creative and as I grew more involved in my medical career, I lost that. I became more involved in maintaining that critical thinking mindset. Now that I am smiling and about to be full time retired, I took advantage of a short course in oil painting from a semi-professional. I loved it but struggle with creativity right now.
      Carol

      Reply
    • On a trip to Gulf Shores AL for a summer vacation last June, my family and I went to an art class. We all painted the same picture and was amazed at how different they all were. When we returned home, some of us decided that was fun, so let’s try it! We did. I really love to try my hand at painting. Everyone loves my paintings. But I just don’t see what is so good about them! i’ll admit I did frame my very first one. I consider myself as still learning. It helps me to de-stress or not sit around with nothing to do. I’m semi-retired (71) and was looking for something to do with my time. I found it. I just need to figure out what are the best paints and brushes to buy for acrylic painting.

      Reply
    • I went on retirement in 2014. Played around with mosaic on board and painted a background. I then realised I enjoyed the look of what I had painted (very simple). I did not have an artistic inclination at all my entire life but what I do have is time. About twenty five years ago I did about three months of architectural drawing for an architect and adapted like a duck to water. I started sketching and found after a while that I can sketch simple outlines but I love colour. All the knowledge I have gained had been from the internet. I cannot afford lessons. I love to paint! It makes me happy. I paint for me. Glad to have joined your academy.

      Reply
    • Hello
      Im 64 and just retired last year due to ill heath and when off work bought all my art stuff paints paper etc .
      I have not used it as have started part time work outdoors fro the first time in my life and so enjoyed it that I did not have time to paint /draw .
      But winter is here and im thinking I will have time to start this soon .
      I had no art education at school but loved drawing and painting at home when I was a teenager but then i could not get any help apart from library . With the internet now I feel i could learn more quickly how to correct my mistakes.
      I always tried to draw things in every detail and not let my mind go free .
      My 8 year old grandson could put more feeling into a painting than my ( try to get it perfect attempts )

      I used to draw from my imagination when i was young and came up with some crazy stuff that i liked .
      but where I live now there is so much scenery on my doorstep that I love that i would dearly like to reproduce it myself .
      Hope I get the time to try it
      JIm

      Reply
    • I am a retired medical practioner.I love drawing and painting as sacred hobbies. They are like meditaions to me They rae my passions.

      Reply
    • I started painting about 20 years again when my kids were little and I needed an outlet r me alone, no work no kids no family. I fell in love with the meditative act of really seeing and looking at what I was seeing, and trying to transcribe that in some way. I love colour, and love the freedom of using colour. I lam now retired, shave more time, and want to improve my skill level to be able to reflect back onto whatever surface I’m suing, myself version of what I’m seeing. Hope that makes sense I love being able to paint and draw and gift the products to friends and family. If I am able to produce things people like and maybe someday things they might buy, that’s a bonus!

      Reply
    • I start oil painting I was 40, then I travelled a lot with my husband and I stopted painting for nearly 23 years. Now I am retired and after a life so busy, the days seams too long for me so my daugther told me “wy don’t you try to start to paint again !” It was a marvelous idea but I have to improved myself and to start all aover again. I like painting beacause it is for me relaxing, and I love the colors. I would like to master the techniques and paint better ! I need to find models to give me ideas, but I never copy exactly what I take as model. I love to change things and colors. I am french, so I may write with a few mistakes ! Please apologize !!

      Reply
      • Annie sounds a lot like me. I started painting more than 35 years ago, but stopped after I started having children. Life just got too busy. I retired 3 years ago and my husband and I built a house that he insisted have an “art room” with plenty of natural light. About a year ago, he asked me when I was going to start creating some “art” in that room. I began taking classes at a local Art House and I love it. I paint because it takes me to a place in my head that is completely void of any interruptions. My goal is to become more original in my art and to develop a style that people will recognize as mine.

        Reply
    • Hi Dan,
      I loved to draw horses as a child. I never pursued any art activities. Even in college, an interest test said I should pursue art. Instead, I became a nurse. After, my oldest son died in an accident I started an oil painting class. My art teacher moved away and Idid not paint for about five years. I have recently started painting with a local women’s group and I am enjoying it. I just need a little more guidance. I love oils but I would like to also try watercolors.
      You are very kind to offer these on line classes.
      Thank you,
      Jenny

      Reply
    • Your list of reasons to paint resonated exactly with me. I see it as a challenge and an escape all at the same time. I look forward to understanding myself and my world through my creative journey. Recently I sat down and did a series of small acrylic works and then compared them to each other. The first was very disjointed and chaotic, while the last contained more depth and clarity. This is why I want to paint.

      Reply
    • When you’re in school the most important thing is to have a passionate teacher who can show you the good side of their subject. I had the same problem with my teacher telling me that I’m not good enough and I started to believe. But some years later I realized I have a talent and I shouldn’t left the art behind!

      Reply
    • What I love About painting is the paint itself; the color and the texture of it. It make me want to make something beautiful with it. I also like the feeling of being concentrated and in the moment when I paint.

      Reply
    • I want to learn to paint, I love doing crafts and this will help me making cards and other stuff. My 2 aunts paint all the time but they are two provinces away and when I go and visit we can all do painting. When I do visit they will not paint because they want to do everything else and not put me out.

      Reply
    • Hi, I have always dabbled in art from painting to printing to drawing nod have flitted from one to the other and enjoyed it. I would now like to try and take my art to another level and may be sell.

      Reply
    • When I see my friends paint (with watercolors, I try to do what they do. One of them told me that I have a talent for it tho’ I can’t see it?. I can draw free hand and seem to get the right proportions. But I’d rather try painting since I appreciate the light and shades…..and, of course, the colors. I’d like to make one of my own painting and see if I could produce those same effects. Plus, it’s something I can do anywhere, I believe(?)

      Reply
    • Hi Dan! I can’t remember exactly whatage I was when I first fell in love with art, drawing and painting. I know I was still in primary school and every moment I had of free time I’d be drawing or painting something, always eager to create just absolutely loving the creativity plus things conjured up from my imagination put to paper or canvas. It was my time to relax, tune out from the world. I continued with art through high school taking it seriously and pouring over all the teachings and history of the great Masters, various styles etc. I decided then that I wanted to be an artist! Art and everything about it was my true passion, however after being badly ridiculed by an art teacher on one of my works even to the point where they actually started making changes to it themselves I was so discouraged and shelved it. I got into hospitality at uni and then business management, economics. I had a good stable job, income but I felt so bored and like all passion for life was just gone. I would doodle and sometimes sketch randomly on and off but didn’t really take it up again and self doubted my ability. After having a very difficult time in my life I was suggested to try art to help with PTSD, anxiety and depression. So I just did a few sketches and dabbled. I found the love and joy for it again as well as reigniting my original dream of becoming a professional artist so I’ve been wanting to learn seriously and then create to help me achieve my dream.

      Reply
    • I have always liked to be creative and now that i’m retired it seems like a good time. Painting is something i have found interesting and i think it will be a great hobby. I enjoy drawing with graphite and also use water colour pencils so now i can experiment with paint also.

      Reply
    • My life partner died. I’m a Senior and we used to do folk art together. I decided to join a local art group and learn something new. I don’t draw well, but I love experimenting with watercolours. It gives me peace and satisfaction. I like that it make me look at things differently. For example, I live in British Columbia and am surrounded by mountains, ocean, lots of trails in the woods, etc. I look now and see where light hits things and affects the colours. I want to learn for the pleasure, satisfaction and creativity I feel – learning about the brushes and feeling how they work their magic. . .seeing the power of water on the page and the blend with the flow of the water.

      Reply
    • At a very early age, I was so intrigued w color, becoming OCD w coloring at the young age of 6, then around 9-10, started sketching, from newspaper photos, just doodling, etc… won a art contest in high school, sketching was one of those things once I started I couldn’t stop, could stay up all night .
      Then adult and life happened, attempted art school, but ended up getting married and having a family which is great, but art got set aside. Later went back to school, knowing it had to be in a field of security, I chose drafting/design for the simple fact I’d have a pencil in my hand, all before auto-cad a thing, doing this with a lighting ind. doing electrical layouts for 10 years.
      Went thru a divorce, needed more security, went back to school for nursing, which I love, remarried now for 25 years, and at a point in my life we’re i can slow down with my job.
      All my years of work, my mind has raced w thoughts of one day, I’m going to be able to draw and learn to really paint, and do what my first ❤️ has always been, just because it has never gone away.
      My life experience’s have helped me to think outside the box, esp as a Trauma nurse, which has helped in my creativity, considering at a earlier age I was so fixed on perfection, staying in the lines, erasing, erasing…no line out of place, but now that fear is long gone, thanks to my life.
      I’m always thinking art, always see art everywhere, in my bathroom tile, cracks, etc… it’s always around and I can’t wait to start my dream for pure love !!!

      Reply
    • I always wanted to be an artist, since early childhood. Now I’m 62. If not now when. I see thing’s and know it should be done “This way”. I know how to spot light and where it comes from. I want to know how to paint droplets of water, lace curtains that I can see through!
      I want to wake up and create, I feel I have something to say. I desire to know more.
      I’m taking a class and hate what I’m NOT accomplishing. I won’t quit. I’ve always been creative.

      Reply
    • I was angry and needed to vent. All i had was a canvas someine gave me and black and white paint. As i started to paint found i was relaxed and enjoyed what i was doing. I have done a few painting and sold one to my good friend for $150.00. I asked for $15.00 lol
      The reason i want to paint is theres not much im good at or can do for long periods of time due to having ADHD and this i can really focus on and think in time and if i challenge myself i can get better. So the reason i want to paint is for myself and to better me. I was told i wouldnt be goid at much only having grade 7 education and starting a family at 16. Now im 52 4 grown children 9 grandchildren and a good time to challenge myself in art

      Reply
    • Hi Dan!
      I used to paint when I was a teenager. I just loved the way how color mixed up. I stopped for few years and started again 4 years ago. I was going through depression and I found it too be really therapeutic. I don’t know all the skills and never have been confident so I want to learn painting.

      Reply
    • Thank You Dan for making this Painting Lesson available to Us.
      I have Alway loved to make things, weather it is crafts, drawing, knitting at an early age(fixing holes in socks) crocheting, working with wood, sewing, even a few oil painting lessons from a semi- professional,ect… Although I loved creating things, most of these things I did out of neccessity. Lacking the funds to buy what I desired, I found ways to make them myself. With a family to care for and having to work full time, painting was push out of scenario. Now Many years later, I have a job in a glass shop, where I learn to do Stained Glass, alittle Mosaics, and my ALL Time Passion, -Fused Glass. Which I also teach these on the weekends at Work. Recently I abtained alittle townhouse, and wanted some artful pieces for a few walls in my home. Looking online for ideas of what I would like to have, I noticed the prices where more than I was able to spend. My thought went back to,- I wonder if “I” could paint something like these. Nothing extravagant ot too intricate. Just a pleasing picture wuth a Pop of color. Sk I bought a large canvas, which sat there for about 6 months, too chicken to start. So I bought a little canvas, less intimadating.with the same picture in mind as for the large one, I painted it on the small canvas. It was Ok. Just something I saw on an Art Site. So next I did it on the large one, that was Ok too. Then did a collage of small silhouette bird paintings. And a few others. They are all Ok. But they are All just copies of something someone else has painted. Fine for in My house or to give as a gift. But I would love to paint from something I See, rather from something someone else has seen. Need to learn brush strokes and more technical parts , composition, color use, perspective ect… if I can learn some of these, I would be very happy. It’s a Good Starting place. Thank You. Sorry this was So Long?
      Helga Cybak

      Reply
    • I like to paint to distress, I am not good but I don’t care I just like painting. I am never going to be able to sell anything but I never plan to anyway.

      Reply
    • My Grandfather was a fabulous painter and as a child I used to love watching him create his masterpieces, mountains, deserts, ocean, floral, oh they were all breathtaking! He is long gone from this earth but my walls are filled with his beautiful paintings. In school I loved to paint but than I got married and had a family and never looked back. Recently I went to 2 painting parties now that I’m retired and my love for painting just exploded in me. I bought a book on painting, a neighbor sold me her french easel, I read here about supplies and ordered paints, brushes, etc. which are starting to arrive. I am very excited to create what is just itching to get on to a canvas for my pleasure. Thank you Dan for your wealth of information, it is much appreciated!

      Reply
  2. I had no real intention of starting to paint. I enjoyed taking a piece of old furniture and refinishing it just so it could last another 25 years and be enjoyed by its new owner. Well after months of doing this and creating designs on my furniture, well one thing led to another and eventually my brother in law gave me a piece of raw lumber to see what I could make out of it. Well as soon as I saw this knotty live edged piece of wood I knew it was destined for something out of my norm. As I looked at this wood I wanted to learn to paint something simple but unique. Never having “painted” per say. I hit the internet for how to videos. Well here I am 6 months later and about 20-30 painted canvases stacked up I have to say I’ve been sucked in. Now its a challenge for me to try and do better with each one I paint, and as a 911 emergency dispatcher it’s a way for me to unwind after work. I can just concentrate on brush strokes and blending vs ambulances and police calls. I don’t expect to get rich from my paintings but I do want to put a smile on somebody’s face when they are gifted with a painting…..and that piece of raw lumber is still in my garage waiting for that perfect painting idea to occur. I’m thinking maybe an owl…

    Reply
    • Hi Judi

      Thanks for sharing your story! Sounds like art is a fantastic escape from your day job (which I imagine would be highly stressful).

      Dan

      Reply
  3. I start drawing and painting since I was a kid. I use to help our Art teacher making the stage for our school programs. Sadly I didnt have the support of my parents to study Art at the University. But I realize that my pasion is painting, When I am painting its like if I am inside my painting.

    Reply
    • Hi Annie welcome and thanks for sharing! Your story is like many others. My parents also directed me away from studying art at school.

      Dan

      Reply
  4. I have never thought that I will draw or paint. I’ve never dreamed to feel the way I feel when painting. As an accountant and entrepreneur I feel that my life goes in the rush. I need more time for myself and I want to create beautiful drawings and paintings.

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing Lili. You sound much like myself, being an accountant and entrepreneur.

      Painting is just such a great complement to these fast paced areas. The world slows down as you paint, as everyone else scurries around in stress.

      Regards

      Dan

      Reply
  5. From the time I was a child I drew on and off. In college I took a semester of mixed media [a little bit of everything). As an adult I took clay for 4 years but difficult to do at home. I’ve always loved color so a couple of years ago I found the most wonderful acrylics teacher. She has retired but did a great job of teaching me color theory . I struggle with my own perception of my work. I’m still trying to find my style. I’m not interested in being a Bob Ross copycat. (I love Bob, btw) Still listening, learning, observing.

    Reply
    • Hi Chicki! I find color theory fascinating, but for some reason many art schools do not even teach it.

      I too am a Bob Ross fan but I think people need to be careful not to fall into the copycat trap. His techniques are very easy to adopt but at the end of the day you will not develop any personal style but copying him.

      Thanks for joining!

      Dan Scott

      Reply
  6. After my exams… I had a lot of time at hand.. n was searching for an avenue to do do something.. something that my heart desired.. n when I actually started painting.. I was hooked to it n still am.. researching ways to make my hobby better with each canvas I paint.. n achieve d satisfaction, dat i m learning new things ever day. Love colors n d happiness I get in creating something of it is immense.

    Reply
  7. I used to enjoy painting as a kid. I enjoyed creating, mixing colours, expressing myself. School took the fun out of it though. Do it the way the teacher says or fail. I would have enjoyed continuing and learning more techniques if it weren’t graded.

    I’ve recently switched jobs from cake decorating to office work and I’ve lost a creative outlet. Lately l’ m realizing that my kids have all kinds of activities and interests and I need to reclaim some for myself. I’m hoping Maybe to combine painting with my interest in crochet and jewelry making.

    Reply
  8. I love seeing something quite unplanned take place on a piece of canvas. I put a colour down and suddenly the colour right next to it looks so amazing. I paint using nothing planned except how I see the finished image in my mind. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t I use a piece of sandpaper, give the canvas a good rub and then start again. What is underneath is what comes on top and that surprise is what keeps me painting. I would like to start using my brain as well as my intuition in future.

    Reply
  9. Hello
    I have lived a wonderful and enchanting life, part of which involved many casual romances with the arts. In the beginning, my high-school art teacher frightened me when she shouted, “There should be no white spaces left in your work!”
    Then I knew then I had missed something which, until now, I have not understood. She later became my drama instructor and life-long friend. But I don’t know if the white-spaces were a phobia of hers or the secret to being a Master.
    All my life, I have feared working in the bold permanence of oils; instead I have sought comforts in the simplicity of pen, ink, watercolors or acrylics. Now I perceive the greater challenges they present.
    As an escape, I spent years playing in the mud, creating coiled earthenware works of pottery and wheel-thrown vessels; my most treasured pieces are those small characters created in an idle moment.
    My time invested in at art was challenged by those more financially lucrative exploits as a stockbroker. My soul reaped no satisfaction there either. Now I realize time is the most precious commodity we are entrusted with, but only for a short while. Now I choose to devote my time to enjoying endeavors most valuable.
    At 60 years old, the pages of life are mostly written and I am creating the final chapters. I feel the need to express my emotions in ways that will outlast my short existence. I must use it to leave something behind saying something about me. I must conquer all the inhibitions left in my mind and fingers, allowing me to create visual expressions of pleasant times in my life. I choose to use the simple childhood tools of, a brush, pen, paper, ink and pigments to tell my short story.
    Forgive me for rambling, thank you for asking.
    Gordon

    Reply
    • Beautiful thanks for sharing Gordon and welcome!

      Took a while to read but was well worth it.

      Need anything feel free to ask.

      Dan

      Reply
  10. Hello
    I have always loved Art – painting, colouring, drawing, poetry. I’d love to take up painting for relaxation purposes and to escape the day to day dramas and stress of life. Also, to open my mind and expand my creativity. In the past, I have been in my own way and would love to open up and explore the world of creativity and where it will take me.
    Thanks again
    Deb

    Reply
  11. Hello, I’m just getting some time for myself to have fun n creative. Not looking for anything but peace n joy. Thanks for the classes.
    Karen

    Reply
  12. I have always wanted to paint but when i tried srawi g when i was younger it just didnt develop….now that i am older and have a lot more stress in my life…..i tried it again and something just clicked….i so look forward to my painting sessions…i turn on my classical music and just tune it to what i want to paint that day….most of my paintings i do for people i so enjoy seeing the joy and surprise when i capture a moment or pet for them ….it gives me such a.good feeling…..my othher hobbies are scrapbooking photography drawing so painting goes hand in hand with these….i feel so free from all of the things going on outside of my bubble…it gives me rejuvenation to deal with the real world when i poke my head back into it after i paint…

    Reply
  13. Hi
    I loved drawing and painting at school, and for a few years after used to to draw randomly. But then life took over.marriage,children etc.my sister in law introdused me to oil painting a few years ago and I loved it straight away. I am a counsellor now and painting is my self care, my escape.while I really enjoy it,I always felt that I could benefit from proper lessons so when I came across this opportunity I jumped at it ?
    Thank you for this.
    Susan.

    Reply
  14. Hi Dan,
    I was drawn to your web site by the good article on tips for self-taught artists, and top 10 painting books. Thanks for the pertinent info. I’m not actually a beginner, more intermediate. I wanted to see what your lessons were about, you didn’t give a table of contents. This essay about motives is good advice, but I’ve already worked through the issues. I’m 61 and I decided to study and improve my drawing as a foundation for painting. I’ve never had an art class until now, they have sessions at a local community center. I’m in Southern California. I have dabbled in water color, colored pencil, acrylic and i’m studying drawing with pencil and charcoal. I’ve found a lot of good info on the internet and i want to start an art club here, maybe a drawing class. I will submit an article for you.

    Will you show us one of your paintings and explain how you did it?

    Reply
  15. Hai Dan,

    i just discover your page.. thanks to make a page we can share for free and get inspired.

    i am 35 and just know that i can paint and draw a year ago.. its seem to late but i dnt care because i used painting to get better from my depression and to focus to other great thing.

    i really into oil painting and try to play with watercalor and acrylic also.
    the thing now i always paint and not finish the painting, i feel like i dnt know what end result of painting should look like and i got scared if its dnt end up like it shoud be.
    By the way i am noob as i am just beginner and self tought. i still need a guide and learn more about painting.

    Reply
    • Hi Zizied

      Welcome 🙂

      Trust me that is not late at all!

      In relation to not finishing paintings, try and embrace the uncertainty. One of the things I love most about painting is I have no idea where it will take me. I have a general idea of what I want the finished painting to look like, but I always end up taking an unknown path.

      Try to relax and not worry about where you will end up. Just enjoy the process and the finished result will benefit.

      Enjoy the website Zizied.

      Regards

      Dan

      Reply
  16. Hi, Dan, I have been painting on and off my whole life, but I’m far from a pro. Marriage, babies etc got in the way. Now I’m a widow and need something to do. I feel like I’m starting all over again. I hope that these lessons will motivate me.

    Reply
    • Welcome Catherine 🙂

      Good decision to take up painting again. You will pick it up fast if you have past experience. Hopefully these lessons will help you on your way. Feel free to message me if you need anything.

      Regards

      Dan

      Reply
  17. Hello from British Columbia Canada…your sight was of great help and that was the intro..lesson one made me feel comfortable..so thank you and I am looking forward to additional lessons..I been painting in each of the three mediums water , acrylic..oils just recently..but each time I got to a certain point and could not go further…I love taking pictures and trying to paint them..and in lesson one I found out that I was trying to capture everything ..instead of finding my interesting place to copy…again thank you for your sight.. Can not wait for next lessons..see you in your blog..Emily

    Reply
    • Welcome Emily and thanks for sharing!

      Yes – one of the most difficult parts of painting is relaxing that need to capture absolutely every detail in your reference.

      A huge portion of your reference is not that important and can be simplified to a very simple element. A tree in the background for example may be nothing more than a dab of green.

      Regards

      Dan

      Reply
  18. Hi Dan – I just read Carol Marine’s interview with you. Last June, I attended a workshop she gave in Eugene, OR. I had been dabbling in water mixable oils for a few months and needed more information. It was a wonderful, creative experience and I have continued to paint many small paintings while working on value, color, brushstrokes, etc. I enjoy creating colorful still lifes and would like to try landscape painting, as well. I’m hoping to add your lessons to improve my work.
    Thanks,
    Valerie

    Reply
  19. I just found this site, thank you in advance. I’m 73 years old, I’ve never had an art lesson, but over the years I have learned from my own mistakes.
    I enjoy creating, I used to have a craft/floral shop, I went to craft fairs for years, I would do floral arrangements, wood crafts, etc. . Over the years it developed into painting on old windows and such. I have used mostly acrylics and tried some oil on canvas. I’m interested in oil, but it intimidates me because I’m not good at drawing, I often have to trace some odjects by using patterns from a photo etc., and I think that would be hard to do in oils.Because of my lack of drawing skills, would abstract painting be the way to go with oils?
    Looking forward to your help.

    Reply
    • Welcome Marian!

      The only way to become better at drawing is by drawing, a lot. Rather than abstract, I would focus on the impressionist style. It still follows all the same principles of realist painting but with less focus on detail.

      Hope this helps 🙂

      Dan

      Reply
  20. Good day
    I am a 54 year old wife, mother and granny to six very active little ones, so i enjoy painting as its my time of quiet and peace when I am alone, I have been testing my talent this past 6 months Ive always loved art and paintings, I have painted a few landscapes in water colour , acrylics and gouche, I find it completely relaxing and really enjoy it, am quite shy about showing it as i have not had a single art lesson, its just the way i see things, I finally put them on facebook and hung them up now, gave it as gifts to a few special people, not really wanting to sell them, i love them too much, like my babies. i would like to learn to do it better though, just as a hobby, looking forward to this experience

    Reply
    • Hi Marlene thanks for joining!

      Never be shy about your work. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is that you are proud of it.

      Dan

      Reply
  21. Hi Dan,

    I like that you’re asking the right question right away! It gives us a chance to reflect on our choice and the reasons for it.
    So here goes –
    I got noticed by my teacher at age 6 for drawing well. I loved the attention and prizes my art got me all through school but felt that I wasn’t creative enough and could only ‘copy’ a picture. This thought deterred me a lot.

    Later, despite academic and career success, I missed having a fulfilling hobby. When I finally had free time, I acted on this deep yearning to paint and signed up at a local art class. But it was self study from books and the internet that taught me far more with so much expert advice to be had.

    I paint on and off but face constant blocks due to my frustration in not fully understanding colours or some techniques. I procrastinate constantly due to the fear of not knowing exactly how to proceed next. It’s difficult and disabling to be in this frozen, self-inflicted state.

    So here I am on your website, searching for some answers. Hope you can understand and advise this hopeless soul! I loved your article on colour theory and feel a connect with your style of sharing knowledge.
    Thanks,
    Neena.

    Reply
    • Hi Neena and thanks so much for sharing.

      Really glad you enjoyed the color theory article. Color is amazing and I would love for more aspiring artists to understand it.

      It sounds like you are on the right track but hopefully I can give you a bit more guidance 🙂

      If you have any questions feel free to just email me.

      Dan

      Reply
      • Hi Dan and Everyone,
        I became a quadriplegic at the age of 30 and it was suggested to me that I could perhaps try painting as a pastime. I could not draw stick figures prior to then and was a dreadful participant in Pictionary. I took to painting instantly. My spirit rests when I am painting…. I become whole again.
        I read your tips and although I am not really a beginner, I keep on learning and are open for improvement. I believe growing is the key and look forward to your lessons.
        Mari

        Reply
  22. When in High School I took 2class on art. Painted some beautiful pictures using various techniques. I love the outcome of a painting if it makes me smile then I know it will make someone else smile. That’s good.

    Reply
  23. I’m 65 years old, never tought I had talent for drawing; Quite creative in many ways,Inever tought I could paint till I tried it with one of my friend. I love it; I make abstracts , make many research on the web and pinterest. Never thought I could do it. Now,I enjoy .I discover a place where I can do what I want and discover my style. I’m glad to be able to have access to your free lesson and look forward to all the others

    Reply
  24. Painting for me is the experience in which I escaped from the stressful life to my lovely world. I found my self when I took the brush and start mix the color. My first try was with oil colors and I really happy with the result. Thank you Mr Dan for your great lesson and waiting for the rest lessons.

    Reply
  25. Hi Dan I retired 3 years ago and had a list of things I wanted to try, It has taken me this long to try the oil painting. Never painted before but is something I would like to try have got myself some paints and brushes and been on the internet have found you on printerest so here I am. Want to try something creative and relaxing.

    Reply
  26. I am 86, retired engineering manager, just started painting starting with cat portraits and went from there doing landscapes and other stuff. I was a good photographer, traveled Europe and Korea, have good subjects for painting.

    Reply
  27. I am a teenager. I started painting when I was 5. I paint and draw because I like doing it. I expect to knowledge from this site, in order to grow as a painter

    Reply
  28. From early childhood, I found painting or dancing preferable to speaking. These gifts intertwine, develop & adapt according to situations in life. At last being retired, I now have space to again play & experiment & learn to paint with no deadlines, just because it’s enjoyable.

    Reply
  29. I enjoyed the comments explaining reasons for painting. I wish I could see pictures of what all these wonderfully creative, energetic people do. I’ve always been creative too and in need of an outlet. My problem is that as an art teacher I learned many different types of art and I loved them all. Even in painting I love everything from watercolor to acrylic and even dabbling in oil. So, I see myself as a “Jack of all trades and (unfortunately) master of none”! I finally reconciled myself to the fact that this is who I am and I’m not really going to change so I might as well just enjoy myself and go where the creativity leads me. Next, I will be working on a series of sculptures while painting in between. When I get exhausted on a painting I sometimes sit down and work on a jewelry piece or something else! This is how I roll and I love it. I enjoy hearing about what other artists do and how they do it, as well as, reviewing techniques and learning new ones. Thank you for what you do to encourage art making! From, Racine on Lake Michigan in Wisconsin, USA.

    Reply
  30. Hi,
    I loved art as a child and during my school years. In my twenties I made a small living out of it but stopped when I had my children, but now I’m at that stage where I want to revisit my passion and fill that void that seems to be missing. I’ve lost my confidence with my work and hope to gain it back and enjoy painting again ?

    Reply
    • Welcome Kirsty!

      You sound much like me – minus the children.

      It will take some time but the confidence will come back. If you need anything let me know!

      Dan

      Reply
  31. Hi Dan

    Some years ago I did a short course in water painting, I really enjoyed painting flowers. I did struggle with getting the colours right and become discouraged. So now I have more time on my hands and after talking to an friend of mine decided to start painting with acrylic paint as a hobby. So I need guidance to start painting.

    Greetings
    Renee
    Swellendam. ZA

    Reply
    • Hi Renee

      Thanks for joining! That is too bad you got discouraged. Painting is hard at the start but if you stick at it you will become very profecient.

      Hopefully this course can teach you some new things 🙂

      If you need any help, don’t hesitate to email.

      Thanks

      Dan Scott

      Reply
  32. Hi.
    I joined this course as I enjoy painting in a meditative way. I use it as an expression of feelings and stress relief. I look forward to moving forward.

    Reply
  33. Art is my life. i make art all the time. i love doing courses, learn new things, express myself and hundreds of other reasons.
    Maggie

    Reply
  34. I am at the age that I have the time to devote to something that I am interested in and something that I feel would be relaxing. My mother was an artist – and didn’t find out until later in life – she was very talented and I have the desire to find out if I inherited just a small bit of her talent.

    Reply
  35. I am 86 years young, a retired engineer. Two years ago I saw a course at the local community college “introduction to painting” Being a “senior citizen” all I had to pay was a small course fee (I think it was $10). I found out that I had a hidden talent – I could really draw!!! That was the start. I now do something creative, painting (acrylic not oil, Having lung problems, I can’t tolerate the fumes from the oil thinner) , sculpting with paper mache or straight construction paper at least 4 hours a day. Much better than sitting in front of the TV as well as a lot of fun and satisfaction.

    Reply
  36. Hi Dan,
    I have always been fascinated by arts and crafts. I look at paintings everywhere I go, thinking I wish I could do that. I just don’t think I have the talent. I am now retired, aged 52 and have the time to learn. I’d love to produce my first picture. One to treasure, I guess. Looking forward to learning from you. Thank you
    Jackie

    Reply
  37. I have never been very artistic, but wanted to be. My sister does a lot of painting, and I have been jealous of all the pretty things she has done. I have retired from teaching and decided I wanted to learn. I have tried several projects I found on Pinterest and have been encouraged by my results. I am ready to learn more!

    Reply
  38. Hai, l am Anupama from India. I am very inspired by your 1st lesson. I am very glad to meet you. In my view art is a form, anyone can express there thoughts or feelings in colors or In any medium. I want to become a professional artist. From the age of 12years l am drawing, but l am not perfect with oil paintings. I want to pay and start the class from you. Thanks for your mails and egarely waiting for your reply.

    Reply
  39. Hi I’m Wendy from Ontario. I’m 52 and have only been painting for a year. I actually didn’t realized I could paint. Now I’m painting all the time. Following different people on YouTube. Looking to learn more. Thanks for letting me join.

    Reply
  40. I took one art class in college, but the instructor did not encourage me in the least. So I dropped it for many years. Then at 66 I started playing with it again. I have gifted many and sold only one, but my reason for continuing is that with each canvas I learn something new. I usually use reference photos or my own photos. Have tried plein aire a couple of times and would like to do more of that, painting from nature, and my surroundings. Still working and painting in my spare time. I have used online courses and follow a couple of artists on a regular basis. Learning something new keeps me going.

    Reply
  41. I like to be creative I started with textile art and photography and now painting.i would like to improve my skills.thanks for the help

    Reply
  42. I (70) was starting painting about eight/nine years ago. I liked it very much – as a hobby – but now I am nearly unable to paint again. Maybe this will become better now! (Sorry for my bad English.)

    Reply
  43. In my pre-teen years my sister and I ‘sat’ for each other and painted faces that didn’t look much like the owner! She learned to paint as an adult but i, being left handed, was always discouraged and told I wasn’t going to be able to cope. I became a remedial English teacher but at the back of my mind I still dreamed of painting. When I retired my daughter gave me a 6 month on line art course as a gift. What a wonderful eye-opener and the start to loving playing with colour. I’m hoping your course might open more doors. . . ..

    Reply
  44. I’m a leftie. Although we remain somewhat marginalised in the truth that calligraphy pens and scissors and can openers are designed for right handed people, us lefties have a lot going for us. We’ve spent our entire lives ‘flipping’ the picture, so that we can see what right handed people do, and can interpret the picture so that our hands can do it too :). I spent a life time in technology, which although creative in and of itself, is a different kind of creativity. Where I am right now is ‘I can’t draw. I can’t piant’. For me it is the challenge of being able to say ‘I can draw. I can paint’. Looking forward to more. Best.

    Reply
  45. I am a self taught painter but I’m always looking to learn more. I love impressionistic style painting but always find myself reverting to my default realistic style. I’ve given many paintings away, won an online contest,and have been accepted twice into a juried art show but have never sold anything. I feel like until I sell something I’m not good enough no matter what anyone says.

    I’m hoping to receive some tips from you that will help me loosen up my style!

    Reply
  46. I look back on my life, and in the seventh grade, I was constantly drawing, ignoring the subjects I was supposed to be taking in school. Later in life, I taught preschoolers at our church, while also 5 days a week, 12 hours a day in our home, while still raising one child, and taking care of my elderly Dad 12+ years, I took care of preschoolers in our home. I did all the drawings for their coloring pages. After my Dad went to our heavenly home, I went to work outside the home at Raleigh Christian Day Care, and drawing all the coloring pages for the classes. Later I was back in caregiving this time for Papaw, who came down with lung cancer, (my husband’s Dad), and for the following ten years, I helped take care of Mamaw. So art was on the back burner of my life. After caregiving was over, I decided to pick it up again, and I feel I surprised myself. I have my art sitting around me, and it has surprised me at what I can do, but I still have this fear of starting the next painting. My reasons for wanting to paint, I want something to do, not to escape anything, but something in addition to cooking, laundry, housecleaning, yardwork, flower gardening, etc. Secondly, I want to give my life to painting the rest of my life. I can’t explain this, and I want to share with others through my paintings. It is hard and a challenge, but I have painted first with the traditional oils, then watercolors, then acrylics, now I have the water miscible oils, and lots of brushes, canvases, canvas panels, card stock, watercolor paper, an easel, a nook for my studio set up in the corner of our L shaped living room, so it is not visible from the front door, and I love my painting nook. My easel sits on a table with lots of storage space for all my supplies in drawers and about the table. And the paintings I have completed surprised me at what I did, I had no idea I could paint what I did paint, but yet fear holds me back, and this I also cannot explain… and this evening I was searching online, for an artist group, to help gain motivation, to help overcome the fear,… and I came across this site… Thank you for sharing with all of us would be, want to be artists, and I want to be a professional artist, to create unique art the rest of my life, I feel it as a life calling…to be an artist, something else that is hard to explain…

    Reply
  47. Hi Dan,

    Like many others I did art at school – more Art History not much technique. So when I paint its just more instinct / what seems to work. I love the colours and can get quite distracted. I am also self-critical so need guidance. So looking forward to whats next.

    Reply
  48. Hi Dan,
    You might be sorry you asked! I am 68 years old and three months ago decided to take up watercolor. I am not interested in the other mediums, watercolor just fascinates me. I don’t know how to draw, I have never had any art training, I am patient, I have watched at least 100 videos and purchased paints and brushes and paper that has been recommended. I have done several works that I have framed, not because they are perfect but they are great for a beginner. I just love watercolor. It’s light and airy and bright. I love to watch it move on the paper. I paint for myself. I like it when others think I’ve done something pretty but that isn’t my motivation. My goal is to improve. I tend to overwork my paintings, I sweat the small stuff, I need to learn to draw so that my work will be my own and not copying someone else, I want to find my own style. I’ve done a bit of everything, landscapes, waterscapes, skyscapes, still life, negative painting and florals. I have tried to find an artist close by to help me but surprisingly, having a problem with that.
    So, we’ll see how this goes and where it leads me. Thank you! Nancy

    Reply
  49. I started out drawing when I was a kid, about 8 years old. I used to draw out the pictures in my coloring book instead of actually coloring them. I stopped drawing when I was in my late teens. I always wanted to try painting though. I realized how good I was at it when I attended a paint night event and did really well. I wanted to take up painting just to see how good I can get. I also wanted to take up painting because I wanted to find a hobby where I can use my creative capabilities to make something beautiful. So I started painting about a year ago at age 31. I’m excited to see what I can when I learn new techniques!

    Happy Paining!!

    Christina

    Reply
  50. Hi Dan
    I have only been painting for a few weeks but I absolutely enjoy it. Sadly I waited until age 59 to find that out. I began because I wanted to paint a little Christmas wine glass for each person at work because I am on a budget, but I learned that painting on glass is much more difficult than I anticipated. So I bought some pads and some better brushes and began doing one stroke tutorials and that sort of thing. I’m trying very hard to learn to paint a rose but it looks more like a parrot that had a massive collision with a semi truck. I do paint every night and I’d feel like I see some improvement but is usually quite accidental and it is one step forward and 2 steps back particularly when it comes to the rose. I’m getting pretty good at chrysanthemums. It is absolutely very difficult and much harder than it looks. Having said that I am having a very good time and I wish I could find a painting class or a tutor or someone who could point out the correct way to do things. I’m sure there must be classes around but I have not been able to find them yet. By the way I am using acrylics. Thank you so much and I’m looking forward to your future lessons. Denise Lutz

    Reply
  51. Hi Dan:

    I have always loved sketching, and in the 7th grade took a course for the allocated three months, and

    loved it. Wished to go to art school, but my parents were set against it. Now as a retired nurse, I have taken a

    course of drawing from the right side of the brain which I enjoyed very much… Painting makes me feel

    peaceful and entranced once I really get into it… Love oils, acrylics, and watercolors… and sketching…

    I feel though that I am lacking so much knowledge, and wish to learn more techniques of painting

    especially for classical paintings…

    Thank you truely for this opportunity,

    Sincerely,

    Robin Katalan

    Reply
  52. Hi Dan
    It’s a challenge for me. I loved painting and drawing from an early age. It’s my dream. but I never belivie myself. I am a graphic designer, its my job, I can do every thing with my computer ☺ make logoes, design magazines, books, cataloge and etc. but with my hands nothing? I want to try and painting with a brush in my hand and enjoy it. I am looking forward to these lessons. I hope I can do it.
    Best Regards
    foorooz

    Reply
  53. I have tried to paint all my life and never really learned how to paint. I took up digital painting using Photoshop Elements and have made fantastic scenes from scratch. I want to learn how to put these to canvas using oil, acrylic, or other types of paint. You can see my work at http://www.artwanted.com/grayghost2348 then you can understand why I want to paint.

    Reply
  54. Hi Dan

    I have always been interested in drawing/painting from a young age. I took art classes after school during primary school and then did art all through high school as well as choosing pottery as my ‘school sport’. I absolutely loved just getting lost in that world, it is so peaceful.

    Unfortunately I had a horrible art teacher in my final year of school, so stopped for a while to get over that horid experience. Since then I have done a spot of painting or drawing here and there but I do miss it.

    Now I have finally moved out of my parents house and have my own space I want to get into it again. To take a break and relax from my full time job as a scientist and post graduate studies.

    Reply
  55. I am a physician .. and I like drawing as long as I could remember. . I stopped drawing long time ago .. I finished my master degree and I felt that I need to draw again this makes me feel happy and satisfied. .

    Reply
  56. I was born in 1932 in the former Dutch East Indies and lived there until 1947. (Since 1949, after the Revolution, renamed to Indonesia)

    My family and I were caught there during WW II, when the Japanese forces occupied the archipelago. I was held in a Japanese internment camp for boys (12-15 years old) from 1942 to 1945. There was no schooling during that period, just slave labour. The war was immediately followed by the Indonesian Revolution, which resolved in 1949, when the Dutch East India became the Republic Indonesia,

    In 1947 I moved with my family to my ancestral homeland, the Netherlands. Here I resumed his education that had been interrupted during the war and the revolution. I graduated from High school in 1952 and toyed with the idea to enroll in the “Haagse Kunst Academie” (The Hague Academy of Fine Arts). However, I was in awe of the talent that was displayed there and, as my family had lost literally everything during the war, the priority was to earn a living, so I chose to enroll at the Technical University at Delft. Thereafter, I served my compulsory, two years active military service in the Royal Netherlands Army as an Intelligence Officer and Acting Commander of the Intelligence Company of the 1st Army Corps. Following this, I studied Economics at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam

    My career in the manufacturing industry, which started in Rotterdam, saw me work with companies in Europe, USA and Canada, progressing to an executive position in a Fortune 500 company in the USA. During my career I traveled widely in Europe and North America.

    In 1973 I took a sabbatical and in 1973 graduated from the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

    Upon retirement I founded a management consulting company offering advice in corporate affairs.

    For the most part I am a self-taught painter, at a young age, prior to 1942, I used watercolours. There were 3 paintings done on plain paper from that period. One survived and I am quite proud of how it turned out.

    War, revolution, education, career and family became the priorities in life and I did not paint until
    I took up painting again in the 80’s, using oil paints. In 1992 life interfered again.

    Twenty-six years later in 2016 I started again, using acrylic and water miscible Oil.

    I have taken a couple of workshops but it seems that in each case the artist shows how to paint in his or her style, while I am trying to establish my own style.

    Today I am quite happily painting again, but I feel I need to break through into the next level of
    is now happily painting again.

    Reply
  57. Painting is completely new to me. I started painting a canvas with my 5 year old daughter and realized how it made me feel relaxed and how it was a way to free my mind !
    I realize how it looks so easy when I watch a professional at work but I have a lot to learn !
    I’m not planing to sell any paintings, it’s more a hobby that i discovered and I would like to get a little better at it !

    Reply
    • Dan – I am your blank canvas. I love the feel of putting the oil paints on the canvas and the flow of the emotions. But I need the technique to help me move to the next level. Looking forward to a great opportunity.

      Reply
  58. I’m not particularly talented at anything, however, I just love being creative. I’m self-taught in everything I do from celebration cake-making to sewing, drawing, modelling in various mediums, woodcraft…the list goes on… I have painted a little with acrylics, failed miserably with watercolours and drawn using charcoal and pastels. All the above have been initiated by wanting special things for my home/family without having to pay others make them for me. I want to try oils as I think I can play around a lot more with the paints to create effects which would be impossible with watercolours. Alas, I find watercolours very difficult as they dry really quickly!

    Reply
  59. Hi Dan,

    I’ve always wanted to learn to paint on canvas. 20 years ago a friend introduced me to plaster painting and I loved that, then I tried ceramics, loved that too! I’ve always been intimidated by trying to paint on canvas, I’m not very good or gifted in drawing, although I do remember being able to draw trees with their branches pretty well. That was the extent of my own creativeness on paper. About 2 years ago a friend invited me to a paint night (the popular paint parties nowadays) and I instantly fell in love with painting on canvas!

    It was pretty easy, they supplied the patterns, the consultant provided the directions & techniques. I jumped on board and became a consultant and have been enjoying it ever since. Now 2 years later, I’m really wanting to open up my skills and really learn more. I want to offer my customers more options than just what the company I work for has. I feel I’ve gained some skills, but do know there is so much more to learn. I look forward to your lessons and hope to blossom into an artist of my own accord. It’s definitely not for fame or money (although that would be a welcomed bonus), but simply to just be creative, learn and stand back and say, ‘yes I did that!’

    Reply
  60. I enjoy being creative, especially in photography, but believe I am no good. I want to learn and improve so I can get the images in my head on to paper, before moving on to paint from my photographs..

    Reply
  61. Hi Dan! I can’t remember exactly what age I was when I first fell in love with art, drawing and painting. I know I was still in primary school and every moment I had of free time I’d be drawing or painting something, always eager to create just absolutely loving the creativity plus things conjured up from my imagination put to paper or canvas. It was my time to relax, tune out from the world. I continued with art through high school taking it seriously and pouring over all the teachings and history of the great Masters, various styles etc. I decided then that I wanted to be an artist! Art and everything about it was my true passion, however after being badly ridiculed by an art teacher on one of my works even to the point where they actually started making changes to it themselves I was so discouraged and shelved it. I got into hospitality at uni and then business management, economics. I had a good stable job, income but I felt so bored and like all passion for life was just gone. I would doodle and sometimes sketch randomly on and off but didn’t really take it up again and self doubted my ability. After having a very difficult time in my life I was suggested to try art to help with PTSD, anxiety and depression. So I just did a few sketches and dabbled. I found the love and joy for it again as well as reigniting my original dream of becoming a professional artist so I’ve been wanting to learn seriously and then create to help me achieve my dream.

    Reply
    • Hi Rochelle! Thanks so much for your very well thought out response.

      Hope you can learn something new here.

      Dan

      Reply
  62. I’ve just started to try water color painting. I love the creative aspect of painting, the focus, the peace it gives me. I love scenic paintings that are imprecise and leave the viewer guessing at the artists intent. Looking forward to learning more!

    Reply
  63. Hi Dan
    I have been a doodle sketcher since I can remeber and did my first painting when I was in year 10. Art was one of the best things about high school.

    I have sketched throughout the years since then, until becoming one of those dreadful workaholics. Long story short, forced into early retirement 2014, which I thought was the end of the world, etc. etc. etc. but Man was I wrong! Thanks to my darling Sisters persistence over the past 2 years I have found Art and Writing again, YAY!

    I do still enjoy my sketching but have managed to work with charcol, completing several human interest pieces and have dabbled with ink, but am not a big fan. I have completed, an acrylic and pastel landscape, and my first abstract painting. But I am still experimenting with my acrylics and pastels and mediums, along with styles!

    Of course I wouldn’t win any Art competitions or make a living out of my Art LOL……Hey Man all I can say is that “I am” still a work in progress, fighting that old “I should be working not enjoying myself”.

    I celebrated my 55th birthday a couple of weeks ago, and “Man it is good to be alive” so I am damn well going to do my best to chill, relax and ENJOY my Art, along with my Writing.

    So there you go Dan that’s me in a nutshell and why I am looking at you site. Ciao Lynell

    Reply
  64. I practiced a little bit at primary with a friend who is good at it and stopped when i got to secondary because we got out of touch and I didn’t want to do it anymore. I wanted to learn again at a webtoon comic I like called ‘nightmare factory’ it really good, funny and the art is great and the artist work wouldn’t stop making me smile and laugh, and I want to do the same if other people saw my work.

    Reply
  65. For some reason, I just always thought I would love to paint, but I knew I had no “talent”. I finally became convinced that anyone can learn to do just about anything if the desire is present, and I realized that as a florist I learned to design flowers because I WANTED to; so why couldn’t I learn to paint? I love the challenge and the satisfaction of putting different colors together on paper or a canvas and watch it develop into a landscape, still life or even something abstract. I’ve spent the last five or six years, caring for family members which has kept me from pursuing my dream. Now I am almost to the place that I can start devoting the time I need to do what it takes to learn more and more, and that is practice, practice, practice! I am a Van Gogh lover. I love his story, his paintings, and I feel like I can identify with some of the struggles he encountered with his painting. I will try to understand the principles, change my bad habits, and accept that I will be the best that I can be with the time and practice that I am willing to give to learn the most I can about painting. It is for ME that I want to paint. Self satisfaction of proving to myself that I can learn to paint something that I am happy to hang on my wall… and who knows?? Maybe someone will want one of my paintings to hang on their wall.

    Reply
  66. I never had any interest in painting because I figured I wasn’t any good at it. My friend took me to a “Coffee and Painting” workshop one night. At the end of the evening my painting actually looked like trees and bushes – that’s when it I got addicted. I’ve been doing art lessons on line and free tutorials. I wish I had tried this sooner. My husband and I are moving into our RV in a few weeks – this is something I can do as a hobby now.

    Reply
  67. When I begin sketching or painting it’s as if time stops and I begin to see the world around me in more detail with all its richness of texture, colors and patterns. I try to stop the inner critic and just love the process learning, creating and “seeing” like this.

    Reply
  68. Have always messed around with drawing and painting since a youngster. Took my painting more seriously on retirement. The more I do the better I get and have had some success with sales. I enjoy painting in oils but there is no easy results. Every painting is a challenge and I find satisfaction if I finish with something I like and could put on display. I think your course will refresh my work.

    Reply
  69. I loved art at school but did not have the resources to go onto art college. I had to find a job that would pay the rent and put food on the table. My youngest son has always encouraged me to get back into art. Now, in retirement I want to do something for myself. Those pieces of paper and colour give me great pleasure.

    Reply
  70. I always been drawn to paintings and secretly wished I was an artist. Working as an elementary teacher and raising a family fi.led my time until the kids flew the nest. I discovered I wanted something just for me. I find painting fulfills a need in me, and is thrilling and frustrating at the same time. Painting is a way to understand parts of myself I have yet to discover and gives me a language beyond words.

    Reply
  71. When I was a small child, my parents encouraged me to draw. So I did! I took courses in college, and majored in fine art. As life would have it, I was unable to complete my degree. Fast forward many years, I have a side business painting pet portraits. I am fairly busy and make a small side income. I have a main career which takes up the majority of my time and pays my bills : ) I’m a life long learner and feel the need to step back and take a course with some fundamental information. As retirement approaches, I eventually want to focus solely on art as a career! Thank you Dan for your wise instruction!

    Reply
  72. I have been a glass artist with leadlight and kiln work for 40 years time for a change, over the last 3 years I have been doing acrylic fluid and encaustic painting as well as the glass, but now I would like to do more on the painting and no glass.

    Reply
  73. Hi Dan!

    On and off since my early 20’s (now 39) I’ve been painting and drawing in some capacity and it was a hobby that I enjoyed when ever I had the time!

    Over the last three years I have been painting and drawing more and more but in October last year my epilepsy became debilitating and my hands shook terribly. I lost my ability to do everything!

    One day I decided I was going to try to paint and take my mind away from illness. Low and behold when I picked up a brush and applied paint to canvas my shaking almost when away!

    Since November last year I have been painting on a daily basis and my health has improved dramatically and i can count the number of drawings and painting I have completed!!

    Painting has given me, me back! I paint and draw every single day, I even carry a pad and pencils in bag every I go just in case I have to wait or have a few minutes to spare or a idea pops into my head!!

    Reply
    • Hi Cherie! That was an amazing read and thanks so much for sharing. Enjoy the lessons. If you need anything, feel free to email.

      Dan

      Reply
  74. HI Dan,

    I have been creative all my life, I make bears and fantasy dolls, quilts, sewing but it is always for other people. I have decided to put these aside and do something for me and I recently painted a picture for my son’s 21st and the relaxation and satisfaction it gave me was enormous – I felt happy creating for the first time in a long time. I think I found something I want to aspire to and hopefully excel in. I am a true newbie so have subscribed to your page on facebook and pinterest and look forward to any info you send my way.

    thanks heaps!!

    Reply
  75. Hi,
    No one has ever asked this question of me. I have always felt drawing and painting wanted to come out of me. I have seen the trees as I drive down the road or people in the mall and my heart and being would draw them and paint them in my mind. If I could have the chance and the training, instruction to be able to create what I feel and see in my mind I would be thrilled.
    I want to learn to paint to express what I feel.
    Thank you for the question,
    Theresa Crawford

    Reply
  76. In my younger years I was fascinated with sketching. I gravitated to faces. I was fascinated how some people could draw a few lines and render a likeness that was incredibly accurate! Alas, I was not one of those people!! I put line where there should have been shadow and shadow where there should have been line. I was frustrated with my end product because they never looked like wanted them too. I was determined to figure it out though so I took book after book out of the library and kept trying! I learned a lot about building up shadow and to not necessarily draw everything I see. I was able to produce some pretty satisfying likenesses. I realized though that maybe I wasn’t a natural because my expectation of myself was still the few lines and….voila! My progress from my first few drawings to my last few was noticible, not even in the same category really, but I realized I had to work hard at it! That I might never be “that” kind of artist but I found it so relaxing and enjoyable and I could do it anywhere!

    Life went into hyper-speed for me with more and more responsibilities and the time just wasn’t there anymore. Anytime I would stumble upon my sketch pad and look at my drawings I always felt “someday”!

    My daughter invited me out to a paint night and I went along to support her. I was wary because, quite frankly, painting was something I never thought I could do! I was VERY comfortable knowing I could always use the eraser when I sketched but painting, that’s harder to correct! I went and couldn’t believe how much fun I had!! I was very happy with what I produced!! I loved that, of the twenty people there that night, not ONE painting was the same! Sure everyone used the same color palette But everyone translated the model differently. I LOVED putting paint to canvas! It was exciting to see the colours build and how the picture built in my mind as I added more and more color and shadow!

    We went on a holiday the next week and as we were driving, the sun began to set and it was breathtaking and all I could think was “How would I paint that?” And then I knew I was gonna go grab some paint first stop we got to!!! I couldn’t find any canvasses but figured I didn’t have an easel to put them on anyway so I proceeded to paint rocks! It was so much fun!! I knew this was something I wanted to add to my life! It was so relaxing and creative! My life had become one big check list of responsibilities and I realized how wonderful it was to have an outlet for the creative side I forgot I had!!! I am so excited to learn and grow in this new adventure!!

    Reply
  77. Love your article on green mixing. Now I would love one on yellow. ? I had never painted or even had a class until last November when I bought some paints, canvas and brushes and started watching YouTube videos. I just signed up for your classes. It was recommended to me by a professional artist and I decided it was time to learn the fundamentals as I would like to know more.

    Reply
    • Hi Julie

      Thanks for the comment! Glad you enjoyed the article. I will do yellow next! Hope you enjoy the course. If you need anything, I am just an email away.

      Dan

      Reply

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