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Old 11-26-2013, 07:00 PM
Location: Under the Redwoods
3,748 posts, read 5,820,744 times
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A big fat No on paint by numbers. That will not teach you anything at all.
You can buy really cheap (like $2) craft paint which is a type of acrylic to start with. This will give you plenty to work with when it comes to techniques and mixing colors.
If you have a Micheal's craft store near you, they have the paints- and may even have a class you can attend. They will probably want you to buy a specific brand- but that's just to get your $.
The basic colors you want are cool red, Alizarin, cool yellow, Lemon, and a cool blue, aquamarine- and then warm colors- gamboge red, gamboge yellow deep, and phalo blue. And white and black of course, though with those sets of warm and cool primary colors, you can make all kinds of different blacks. The craft paints won't have these names, but you can find the colors in watercolor, acrylics & oils- and then match them to the craft paints.
For brushes, just get an assortment pack of soft bristles, hair or synthetic. With water color, only two brushes are all that is really needed, a #8 round and a 1" flat, but it's nice having others.

Watercolor painting is the hardest to master because there are so many variables and techniques. But it is also the most fun. If you venture into watercolor, buy tube and not cake paints. Cake is the paints that are dry, not great for mixing.

When you get down to painting, just play! Don't try and make your paintings look exact or like a photo. There is no character in work like that.

And a big fat yes to learning the colorwheel. It is common to think that when one wants to darken a color to add black- this is not a good practice. If you have a image of someone wearing a red shirt and there are shadows, you want to darken the red with a touch of green- which is the opposite color of red.
Also, when mixing colors, start with your lighter color first and add small tiny amounts of the dark color until you get the hue you want. To start with the dark, you will be mixing until you have a massive amount of paint that you may not need.
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:34 PM
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paint by numbers would be a terrible way to learn. the sections to paint are so very tiny, it would be frustrating. it also doesn't teach you about blending colors either. buy a sample/student pack of acrylic colors at the craft store. they are under twenty dollars. some canvas boards. also buy some drawing paper and some pencils. practice drawing what you see. there are tons of videos on you tube that are very informative.

there is a book by mona brooks teaching children to draw that you can buy used on amazon. if you can draw a series of lines and shapes which she outlines, you can draw anything. it's about training your eyes to see what is there and also to see the negative space. all you do is draw the shapes which then turn into the object.

there is a very easy paint style where you paint the picture color book style, just all one color with acrylic paint. then you outline all the shapes. to add depth you "wash" the entire painting with black WATERCOLOR then take a wet rag and wipe away the black everywhere except by the edges which gives you shadow and dept. there is a book on it that you might find used, authored by the old movie star elke sommers.

there is also a website called wetcanvas that has tone of information and helpful posters. have fun. practice practice practice
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Old 11-28-2013, 09:47 PM
Location: Old Mother Idaho
19,374 posts, read 13,036,682 times
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Hi, Owl…
Can you draw? If you can, why not try to draw in color?
A set of colored pencils can be very inexpensive, and is a good way to see how colors work.
There are essentially two types of color, in any of the mediums. One is opaque, where one color covers another color. The secondr is transparent, where one color over another color produces a third color.

Colored pencils are transparent, the more difficult of the types to understand and learn, but the difficulty is not so hard as to be daunting.
They aren't messy, they don't dry up in the tube, can be taken anywhere, and are considered a permanent medium because they don't fade or change color over time. Best of all, they need no cleanup. Colored pencil sketches can always be redone later in paint.

This is just a suggestion. I paint, but I use colored pencils a lot too.
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Old 11-28-2013, 11:49 PM
Location: Under the Redwoods
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Hi Banjomike-
I'm not the one asking about painting. But I do like colored pencils. I have quite the collection in fact. Even have watercolor pencils.
I like chalk pastels as well....those as you probably know are quite messy....but fun.
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Old 12-03-2013, 10:17 PM
3,070 posts, read 4,178,038 times
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No for paint by numbers.
Yes for Oil paints to start with.
Make sure the Oil paints are Professional Grade, not Student Grade. Student Grade Oil paint does not mix and create proper colors, fade over time and are a waste of time.
BEYOND THE ARTIST'S WAY by julie susanne: Oil Paint : Student Grade or Professional Grade?
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Old 12-03-2013, 10:45 PM
Location: Port St Lucie Florida
1,263 posts, read 2,900,585 times
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Thank all that have posted to the subject. Since I am not mobile and recovering from knee replacement PAIN IS MY CONSTANT COMPANION. I want to relax and drift into another level. My mother was an artist at Newcomb College 50 years ago so maybe there is a little DNA to help me get started.
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:38 AM
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alsidw I hope things get better soon, have fun painting. I am getting my knees done soon as well. This knee forum has been very helpful for me, it might be worth looking at for you: Knee Replacement Recovery Area | Knee & Hip Replacement Patient Forum

Scroll down the page, it has a lot of empty space on the page. This is diary's of recovering knee replacements. Very informative and a nice bunch of people.
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Old 12-04-2013, 11:34 AM
Location: Port St Lucie Florida
1,263 posts, read 2,900,585 times
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Thank you, the thread is very welcomed. I am two weeks out. Using CPM machine and pain pills, sleeping is a major concern. I am looking forward to getting some paints and brushes- maybe Santa will visit.
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:10 PM
3,070 posts, read 4,178,038 times
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I'm sure you will like the forum and you have a good recovery. One thing they say is
Never stand when you can sit
Never sit when you can lay down
Keep that leg elevated
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Old 12-09-2013, 11:11 AM
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
321 posts, read 442,053 times
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Originally Posted by alsidw View Post
Thank you for the post. A neighbor here suggested paint by numbers too as did my sister-in-law but when I telephoned a friend when I used to live in New Orleans that is a graphic artist and painter he pooh-pooed the idea and said it will develop bad habits
Unlikely. Far more likely that you don't do enough painting and develop no habits at all. Don't worry about the "badness" of an activity until you've proven that you're in fact doing a lot of the activity.

and I should start with oils because it is easier to use than acrylics or watercolor and eventually I will need to go with oils anyway.
As an acrylic painter myself, I will say that's total baloney / complete bull. There's nothing wrong with acrylics; you can go to any art museum to see various acrylic paintings, some of them valued in multi-millions of dollars. The main advantages of acrylics IMO are that they're much cleaner than oils and easier to keep neat in a modest apartment or on the road. They don't smell bad and they don't tend to get all over your clothes and furniture the way oils do. They're easier to make strongly textured effects with. The main disadvantage is they don't quite have the vibrancy or luminescence of oil. It's not important to have that in a painting, but it is a difference, and you should spend some time at museums to see what the difference is. Acrylics probably have other visual properties that oils don't have, so maybe there's an advantage in some cases or it-just-doesn't-matter.

A "neutral / matter of taste" is that most acrylics dry much faster than oils. This can be a good thing if you like working quickly, as you can get more layers done faster. This can be a bad thing if you wanted to take more time blending layers; oils are more amenable to lots of poking and prodding over a longer time. You can buy acrylics with more "open time" but they still aren't going to behave like oils, just less like typical acrylics.

Be aware that the grade of paint you buy, whether acrylic or oil, is going to affect the vibrancy of your colors. It's nothing that a beginner should worry about as you'll have plenty of other issues on your mind, but those craft / hobby grades of acrylic are not the real deal. Even with "normal" tubes of acrylic paint, there's student grade and professional grade. Just use less expensive stuff until you figure out what actually matters about cobalt blue and cadmium red, etc.

I agree that watercolors are difficult to use. You put them down, and once you do, you're pretty much done. You don't have much scope for correcting mistakes or planning in layers. Instead you have to turn things into "happy accidents." You use the white of the paper as your white, so you have to respect a certain order in how you paint, and not kill your white. If you spend too much time swishing your brush around over and over again, your colors will become muddy; there's only so much you can work a given area. Now having said all of this, I like watercolors, in fact I started with them, and I wouldn't tell someone to avoid them. It did, however, take me years to get comfortable with acrylics, because I was so used to *not* covering things up. Watercolor however has built in me an instinct for immediacy, which is probably why I don't see the rapid dry times of acrylics as any kind of a big deal. I prefer to paint somewhat fast.

I don't agree that oils are easier than acrylics. Oils are more MALLEABLE than acrylics. The acrylic dries, you're done. That's bad if you wanted to keep working, good if you wanted to call that area DONE and move on to the next, possibly overlapping or covering the old area slightly. Sort of like working with quick drying cement. You might want to get the foundation of your building done in a hurry, and you might get better results having a firm, finished basis for what you're doing. Oils allow you to work things for much longer, but that also means you can RUIN things for much longer. Your mileage may vary as to which works out better for you.
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