There are many times when we've been stumped by a painting. At this point we either throw the offending image into the bin, vowing to never paint again……or start looking for solutions somewhere else.
Most of us don't have a skilled artisan at our fingertips who is willing to step up and guide us though our paintings.
Luckily painting tutorials take lots of different forms, and there are thousands of them available. All have their pros and cons.
Click on any of the images below to learn how to paint these beautiful elements and scenes for yourself! (PS: Also, you can scroll to the bottom of the page for many more free tutorials for you to explore!)
For starters there is your local library. This is free and may be wonderful, or it may be full of tragic dog-eared articles from the 1920's which are not relevant to your arts practice today.
Doing a workshop can be a great idea. Having some idea of the tutor's approach to painting tutorials (if you can) is worth doing. Some teachers out there are, how shall I say this......... mind bendingly boring, or indescribably pretentious (wow, Mark, beat around the bush why don't you). Some are also very stingy with their information. Often, though, it can be money well spent.
A magazine subscription is not a bad idea. There are many magazines dedicated to solving problems, but you may have to wait until your problem arises before you get to the gold.
Purchasing a tutorial is a great idea! Choose your subject and/or problem area, and hopefully the tutor will help you solve your problems.
There are many sources of painting tutorials out there these days. With video and DVDs there is no real way to tell what you are getting, until you've paid your money. Word of mouth helps. As do testimonials. Or find a sample or trailer - Youtube is a great resource for this. Mine are great - just ask me, I'll tell you!
This leads us to another great search option for painting tutorials - the Internet. You can find almost anything out here (including what Aunty Nancy did at her last work party). Just be careful what you search for (I accidentally discovered that whale tails are not necessarily exclusively about large sea mammals).
Searching specifically for the solution to your problem can very often yield some great painting tutorials, and forums can be useful in this regard. With forums you have the advantage of being able to ask your specific question and very often people will come back with (a variety of) answers.
Fundamentally, as painters who work with realism as a base, there are two major skill sets:
Firstly, your physical skills, including:
√ Mixing colour - I use Artists quality acrylic paints by Chroma Australia, Atelier Interactive and Atelier Free Flow.
√ Dexterity with a brush
√ Range of brush applications
√ Understanding colour theory
√ Understanding perspective
√ Understanding composition
and so many more…..
The second most important thing is your perception or observation skills. This involves discovering all of the information that you need to create a convincing piece of artwork, for example:
√ How does the light hit a tree?
√ What gives that cloud depth in the sky?
√ What makes water look like water?
√ How are things affected by light?
√ What is the negative space doing?
and so much more…..
When one of these areas is out of balance, our paintings don't work. If, for example, you can see the information you need, but you can't get your brush to do what you need it to - this is the area where you need some help mastering the skills. Drag out a blank canvas, and train your brush. Practise makes perfect.
If, you feel comfortable with your brushwork, but don't seem to be able to make the work convincing; there is probably some information missing. You need to learn to look more closely at your subject, to discover the subtlety & nuances that make or breaks it.
Go into the world and look around. Dissect it. Layer, upon layer. Make notes and observe. Discover your own painting tutorials.
Good painting tutorials will address both of those areas.
It's important to note that you are not on your own. Someone out there somewhere has struggled with the same thing you are struggling with, and been victorious!
Take advantage of this site's free painting tutorials above and in the links below, as well as our new forum section and also our Youtube channel - hopefully there is some real gold in here for you.
If you would like to support us by spending some actual money on our tutorial products, click here to visit the shop.
Have fun, and as always, chuck some paint around!
How To Paint Water, Demystifying The Process.
Have you always wanted to learn how to paint water realistically? My unique process teaches you how to paint water, and see water, in a whole new way.
Free Painting Lessons - Paint a Beautiful Beach Landscape
Ever wanted to paint a beautiful, light filled beach landscape? Our free painting lessons will show you exactly how.
How To Paint Trees. Observation and Technique - The Key To Great Trees.
How to paint trees. Train your eyes to find the patterns. Then, train your brush to make the patterns, and watch your trees come to life.
We'll investigate four basic concepts and skills to inject more light and life into your skyscapes.
Painting a Gradation of Colour - Master This Fundamental Skill
The basis of most successful paintings is gradation. Learn how to paint a gradation smoothly & efficiently.
Learn How to Paint a Mural! Mark Style.
A simple formula for learning how to paint a mural.
Landscape Painting. A Simple Process To Help Get You Started.
Discover how landscape painting can be loads of fun, AND good for your soul.
Painting Waves. Find The Information You Need To Paint Convincing, Compelling Waves.
When you discover the nuances, painting waves with life and movement is exciting, easier and so much fun.
Learn How To Paint Clouds. Diminish The Daunts.
Discover a simple and powerful strategy to uncomplicate the process of learning how to paint clouds.
Rock Painting. Learn How To Create Realistic Rocks In Your Paintings.
Underwater or out of the water, understand simple patterns and processes behind painting realistic rocks.
Shadow Painting. Bring Your Shadows To Life!
Discover the amazing array of colours within shadow paintings, and the tricks to using them to create amazing paintings.
Sunset Painting. A Simple Strategy To Uncover The Nuance Behind The Romance.
Uncover the transitions from luminous blues through to glorious golds. Learn which colours to add to your sunset painting. Discover where to put them to make your canvas sing.
Compelling Ocean Landscapes. Vital Tips To Help You Paint The Magic.
Explore some simple tips and exercises to get you creating ocean landscapes with zing. Stuff you need to know.
Perspective In Painting. The Framework To Make Or Break Your Paintings.
Atmospheric and structural perspective in painting. What’s the difference? Why does it matter? What do you look for? And what is the point??
Prepare Art To Sell. Tips To Get You Started Selling Yours.
Prepare art to sell and do it right! Ideas to improve your changes, and some strategies to help avoid disappointment.
Mixing color. A nightmare on Paint Street? Not necessarily.
Explore 7 simple ways to make mixing color a dream.
Marbling. Faux Finish? Or Foe Finish?
Befriend some simple marbling techniques to create wonderful faux effects and add to your painting repertoire.
Your Color Mixing Guide. Some Recipes To Get You Cooking With Paint.
Use our practical color mixing guide to create your own set of go-to default paint recipes.
Marine Painting. Fill Your Underwater Paintings With Life and Sparkle.
Explore some simple strategies to take your marine painting to the next level. Create depth and distance in your underwater masterpieces.
Painting Tropical Landscapes. Create Glorious Scenes Filled With Colour And Texture.
Go bananas painting tropical landscapes. Surrender to colour without losing your eye for subtlety.
Color Mixing Recipes. Colors and Video Tutorials to Streamline Your Process.
Free recipe cards and corresponding video tutorials to kickstart you into action!
Learn How To Paint Fabric With Fabulous Folds And Nuanced Shadows
How to paint fabric. Break down the appearance of fabric, and rebuild it with simple straightforward painting techniques.
Painting Pandanus. Don't Let These Screw Palms Screw With Your Head.
Learn some structures and processes to help simplify painting these incredible plants.
Painting a Storm. Let's Get All Dramatic.
On the surface, greys and muted tones could seem a little dull. But nothing could be further from the truth. There is always unexpected colour, and a mood that can be exaggerated and highlighted. Perfect for making stormy paintings.
Painting a Moonlight Scene. Learn How To Get Even More Colour Into Your Waves.
Learn how to paint waves at night by painting the “not-waves”.
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