Painting Guide: What's the Best Medium for a Beginner?
Do you have a lot of complex thoughts, feelings, and emotions that you can’t express? Whether you are an artistic person or not, creative expression is a necessity.
Some people find their creative calling during childhood, while others stumble upon it much later in life. Painting is one of the best ways to express your creativity. It is a visually dynamic way of conveying your thoughts and ideas.
Any new painter can get intimidated by the endless list of painting mediums. However, once you find the right medium, you will be surprised by how much you can do with it.
Best Art Mediums You Can Start With
For any beginner, the best medium for art can be subjective. What one newbie might hate, another might love. You might find watercolors easy to deal with, but someone else might think otherwise.
So, what is the best art medium to start your artistic journey with? Here is the beginner's medium in art overview that might be able to help you figure out the correct medium.
● Color Pencils
If you think that color pencils sound childish, think again. Color pencils are often one of the earliest mediums of art we get to try. As children, we use colored pencils to draw on paper or color in our coloring books.
They are cheap, super easy to use, and one of the simplest mediums that you can try. Some color pencils turn into “watercolors” when you use them with water. What better way to explore this new mode of creative expression than using a medium we are already used to!
Remember when we were children and all the cool kids owned watercolor pans? They are a delight to work with! There are two key reasons that make watercolors so great.
For starters, they are super easy to use. All you need to do is rub the tip of your wet brush onto the caked color and you are good to go. With some easy tips and tricks on watercolor painting, you’ll be able to achieve a great finish.
The other reason why watercolors are great is that despite being cheap, you get a variety of colors. There are palettes that have over fifty or even a hundred different shades!
As a beginner, you may not be the best at color mixing, which is where a palette of multi-shades can come in handy. Such simple art mediums can be great for beginners who are only starting to explore.
However, remember that watercolors are not the easiest painting medium if you’re looking for a professional finish.
● Graphite Pencils
If there was a universal class called “Art 101”, sketching would probably be one of the earliest topics to cover. Sketching is the very skeleton of art and is often used as the guiding lines that are drawn before coloring.
Pencils are the first mode of writing we use and most of us are comfortable using them. When you want to learn to sketch, it is easier to start with graphite. It helps you understand and fully appreciate the aspects of light and shadow that you can create by shading with graphite pencils.
● Oil Pastels
As a beginner, you will make a lot of mistakes. Pastel colors are great for a newbie as it enables you to fix or cover up your mistakes. You get to work with a variety of vibrant colors and get to expand your creative horizons.
With pastels, you get a creamy and velvety finish. What makes pastels great as a starter medium is how much you can blend the colors. If you want to learn and explore, pastels are the way to go. Unlike most other versatile mediums, pastels are hassle-free and you don’t need extra tools to use them.
● Acrylic Colors
If you want to feel like a “serious artist”, acrylic paint is your best option. There is literally no expertise level for acrylic paints.
As a beginner, you will make mistakes and learn from them. Acrylic is forgiving and versatile, and will allow you to fix any blunders you make.
There is a wide range of techniques that you will slowly learn as you practice and become more used to acrylic paints.
Charcoal is great for a newbie artist who wants to explore beyond graphite pencil. Learning with charcoal can be enjoyable, especially when you feel like you are not confident with colors just yet.
Most charcoal techniques are easy to learn. You can complete charcoal work quicker and it requires much less elbow grease.
Sketching over charcoal work is possible without making it too obvious, which makes such work easily fixable.
You can also use an eraser on charcoal, making it one of the most forgiving mediums to work with.
Not Recommended for Beginners
Some types of painting mediums are not right for beginners. They are difficult to learn and work with, as they require a higher level of expertise. Here are three such mediums that are not recommended for beginners.
The effects you can create with gouache can be mesmerizing, but only if you know how to use it! Gouache is something between oil paint and watercolors that gives an opaque look to your painting. But, due to its opaqueness, this medium of painting can be difficult to work with.
One problem many people face is not knowing or understanding how much paint they need. For gouache, a little goes a long way. It takes an expert to understand exactly how much they will need.
● Oil Paints
Oil paint is over 1400 years old, making it one of the oldest mediums of painting! Most of the historical paintings we know and love are made of oil paint. This is because oil paints can stand the test of time better than any other medium. But, this doesn’t mean using them is easy!
For starters, it requires a lot of materials and accessories. It also happens to be one of the most expensive mediums. Even though it’s extremely versatile, the techniques are difficult to master.
Whenever we start with a new hobby, we want to jump right in and attempt the difficult bits! But, it is always better to start with something simple, particularly when it comes to painting.
Start with a medium that is easy to harness and grow your skills gradually. Once you learn more techniques, you can move on to more complex mediums.
The key is to have fun and learn, so don’t think of attempting a difficult medium just to show off. Happy painting!