Painting As A Hobby: How To Get Started?

  • By: Artistic Bees
  • Time to read: 6 min.
Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

If you’ve started painting recently, you may be wondering what kind of tools, brush sets, and paints you’ll need. When you start painting as a hobby, you start living in a relaxing world with brushes, canvas, and paints. But how to get started as a beginner?

To get started with painting, a painter needs inspiration. It could be a person, an object, or a place. The next step is to get the proper equipment for painting: brushes, canvas, paint, etc. The painter must also look for ideas to concentrate on sketching before painting.

Painting Brushes

Sounds easy? Sure, it is. But since it can be a little confusing, it is necessary to gain enough knowledge about the inspirations and tools. Dive right into the article to know more!

Fundamentals Of Painting

As a rule of thumb, your first painting will not be highly satisfying. For the first few pieces, allow yourself to make mistakes, and do not let it lower your interest in painting. However, the painting may not improve if you do not understand the fundamentals of painting. Here are four pillars of painting:


The final painting should be able to speak. In simple words, all the elements in the painting should represent a single story. It does not have to have a deep meaning, but it should make sense.

Secondly, the elements in the painting should be arranged in a way that looks attractive. A perfect arrangement communicates better with the person looking at it.

Painting Brush


Most people know what color is, but not everyone can name the elements that create color saturation, value, and hue. Hue is the color in the color wheel-blue, red, green, and yellow, while saturation indicates the intensity and vibrancy of those colors.

Value refers to the brightness and the darkness of the colors. Even without colors, it is easy to interpret the painting if the value structure is strong. For instance, when painting in black and white, different forms of gray or black will represent the painting better.


Edges help separate elements in the painting. There are three types of edges-soft, hard, and lost. Soft edges give a smooth transition; for example, they can create distinctive ocean/sea waves.

Hard edges give a sharp edge that separates two different elements. In most cases, hard edges are where bright colors contrast with light colors. Lost edges are so smooth that it’s hard to notice.


Techniques involve using brushes in a way that leaves attractive marks on the painting. It develops over time and with practice.

To learn different techniques of holding the brush, applying paint to canvas, and so on, watch professionals. Observe how they do it and practice when you can.

Finding Inspirations For Painting

Before starting to paint, we need to sketch the surface on which we will apply the paint. It can be confusing to choose a subject to sketch. People sketch several times before painting what they like. Ideas on what to draw make the whole process easier. So find it out by following your inspirations and interests.

Sketch or paint something interesting to you. In this way, the final painting will also look appealing as there’s a higher chance of great effort. For instance, if space and galaxies interest you, paint them. Try painting a series of such elements with different techniques for practice. Later, check which techniques work the best for you.

Another way of finding inspiration is to study a famous artist’s paintings. For example, you can check James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s most admired paintings to get some ideas and learn something new. Painting something similar to their paintings will help you get started.

There are billions of tutorials on YouTube and other websites. They also teach different painting methods and ways to hold brushes for beginners. Watching such inspirational tutorials will encourage painting.

Imagination can also inspire a painting. If you are a dreamer, this can work better for you. There are no limits to imagination. In this way, the painting might end up having a deeper meaning and a storyline. Thinking deeper to create stories in your head produces masterpieces.

Picking Up Painting medium

Before selecting the supplies, choose the medium you find easy. The most common painting medium involves acrylic, watercolors, oils, and gouache.


It is recommendable for beginners as it avoids the complexity of watercolor and oil painting. It is easy to use and clean; cleaning these colors only requires a wipe. Moreover, it dries quickly, so it does not make the painting messy and does not stick to your hands.

Its texture can be thick and thin; it makes painting elements with different consistency levels easier. When purchasing it, it is better to get the student grade as it works fine for beginners.


We’re all quite familiar with painting using watercolors. If you are experienced in handling water over papers, go for this one. Or, for practicing water coloring, grab a set of watercolor pans and tubes of color.

It is cheaper than other painting mediums. Usually, it can give the paintings a smooth transition, especially from light to dark colors.

Painting colors


Using oils can give a smooth finishing look to the painting. It is possible to adjust its consistency and the time it takes to dry; this only makes changing and fixing mistakes in the canvas easy.

It is easier to control the brush when using oils. Thus, it is an excellent option for people who have painted before with acrylics. However, unlike acrylic, it may contain irritating chemicals.


It is a great beginner medium and is rather easy to use. It dries quickly but can be reactivated using a few drops of water.

Gouache gives a velvety and matt final look. A combination of its colors can obtain various complex and neutral colors with high pigmentation.

Supplies Needed For Painting

When painting in your leisure time, you don’t need many supplies. There are few supplies like brushes that are essential when painting. However, it will depend on the chosen medium.

First, the painting needs an easel.

It is where the canvas will stand. It allows the painter to paint with any gesture with their arms and body. There are many types of easels, and each is adjustable as per requirements.

Canvas and palettes are the second-most important supplies after paint. Canvas is made from linen and cotton, so the paint can bond well with it. However, they are mainly for oil and acrylic painters. For watercolors, use paper instead of canvas.

On the other hand, palettes are for mixing colors. Not all the colors are usually available; you need to create some using palettes. Good-quality palettes should be long-lasting and easy to hold and clean.

Brushes come in various sizes. For getting started, a round, flat, and angled flat brush with synthetic bristles is enough. Start painting with the larger brushes and use the smaller ones for detailing the elements in the painting. However, for water coloring, an 8-round red sable will be more suitable.

Lastly, get paper towels and solvents. Paper towels are for avoiding mess and wiping the brushes when they need a quick cleanup. Solvents are necessary if you want to start with oil painting; they are for thinning oil paint.


By now, you’ve learned the basics of painting. You are ready to start painting as a hobby as long as you’ve found the inspiration and got all the supplies.

I hope you’re able to continue painting for a long time. Happy painting!