“All you need to paint is a few tools, a little instruction, and a vision in your mind.”
– Bob Ross
Painting is an art technique and process which involves applying different kinds of paint to a medium, such as a canvas, to create an image. There are different kinds of painting and different techniques, materials, and processes involved with each kind. The painting process has been around for hundreds of years - some could argue that the earliest cave drawings were really paintings.
The painting process typically involves a brush of some type, but by no means is limited to one. Some common forms of painting include oil, acrylic, and watercolor. The painting process often involves mixing different colors of paint to create new colors, which are then applied to a surface to create imagery. The style and techniques used vary depending on the type of paint you're using. Similarly, cost will also vary depending on the type of paint you use, with oil paint on one end of the spectrum at the higher price point, and acrylic on the cheaper end of the spectrum.
The process of painting is easy to pick up but hard to master. There is an element of control, but the material can be difficult to completely control due to its viscosity and mixing properties.
Painting materials will vary slightly depending on the type of painting you're doing. For starters, you will need varying colors of paint, including tubes of acrylic/oil, or sets of watercolor. You do not need a brush (see finger painting) to move paint around, but it does give you more control and finesse. Other tools can also be substituted in, such as palette knives, sponges, or squeegees. You can use a variety of matrixes or surfaces to paint on, such as canvas, wood boards, walls, or paper, but some will lend itself better to specific kinds of paint. Experiment with materials and don't be afraid to venture outside of the paint on canvas stereotype.
Tips, Tricks, & Resources
Find the kind of paint that fits your personality and budget. You can pick up a set of paint and a pad of paint paper for fairly cheap.
If you're intimidated by 'realistic' painting, try getting messy (see Jackson Pollock).
Color mixing is a big part of the painting process. Practice mixing colors together to create a new color that doesn't come in a tube.
Try varying brush sizes and tools for mark-making. If you're not getting the desired effect, try something different.