View Full Version : Newbie question help!!

12-05-2007, 07:50 AM
I'm new to painting. Last night I painting on canvas for the first time ever. My question is how many coats do you guys average on an abstract? and how many days does it take? If you could show me pics it would be great.
Also, what brush do most of you use when painting it?

12-05-2007, 01:19 PM
I am not sure what you mean about how many coats? Do you mean of paint, gesso or something else? What medium are you using?

Do you want to know how many days it takes to do a complete painting?

The type of brush one uses, if one uses a brush at all, would depend on what they were trying to achieve with the work, what size it is, etc.

What kind of photos do you want to see? Of people working?

I understand having questions, but I am not sure of the answers.

12-05-2007, 02:56 PM
I'd like to see/read the start to finish process of ones work. Which brush to use for this and that? Do you paint the background first, let it dry so that your colors don't mix, etc....

12-05-2007, 03:16 PM
Painting is such a broad subject that its hard to answer your general questions. Techniques and tools (like brushes) vary based on what medium you are using, what subject you are painting, and what style you are trying to achieve...as well as many other aspects. It is hard to say how many coats a painting takes, because that varies so much from artist to artist. It can be however many you want it to be to achieve the effect you are going for. The same thing goes for the amount of time a painting will take you. Some people can complete a painting within hours--others take months. The bottom line is that many artists use many different techniques and if you are just starting out I would recommend getting some good beginner painting books like "The Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques" by Ralph Mayer. A good book for abstract techniques is "Abstract Painting Concepts and Techniques" by Vicky Perry and Barry Schwabsky. Practice all the techniques to see what works for you and what you are interested in. Good art takes a LOT of practice and education!

12-05-2007, 06:32 PM
I'm not an authority by any stretch of the word, but here's my two cents.

As others have already said, there is no set way of creating a piece of art. I like to say art is what you make it. The best way to learn is to practice. Go out and buy a bunch of cheap practice boards and a few different brushes, maybe even a knife or two, and then go to it. Paint as much and as often as you can. Some of my old practice boards have five or six paintings buried in the layers. In the process I've made some hideous discoveries about what doesn't work, and somewhere in there I like to think I might have learned a little bit about what does work.

Besides practice, learn to really look at paintings. There are a lot of really good artists here and I'd be lying if I said I haven't tried to duplicate some of the techniques I've seen in this forum just to see if I could. If you see something you like, look closer. Try to discover how the artist achieved it. Every medium has it's pros and cons; try a little of all of them and then pick the one that sings to you. Later you may decide to try another round with the ones you didn't concentrate on. Art, like life, isn't a race, it's a journey. Have fun with it.

12-05-2007, 06:48 PM
when I started out I used to spring for the expensive sable brushes, the expensive watercolors, the best hot press paper, the linen canvases. Now I use a hardware store brush and all sorts of paints, including some Wal-Mart flat interior latex paints, canvas duck, tableau rice paper. I discovered it's not the materials, or the fancy brush that makes it work, but the nut at the end of the brush.
and what Thurman said. look and look and copy the masters. You'll learn a LOT from them about design and paint application. Lots of them started with stains...thinned down paint to lay in their design and go thicker and more impasto as they built the painting. Now glazes with acrylics, collages, applying paint and then stripping it off, well everything goes as long as the finished product is wonderful to look at.

12-05-2007, 08:51 PM
I discovered it's not the materials, or the fancy brush that makes it work, but the nut at the end of the brush.

Priceless! :)


12-06-2007, 12:36 AM
agreeing with Deb!! :lol: Bev, those are words of wisdom...my 'best' two brushes are some of the first I bought and they both look like they were run over by a Mac truck!! :D

12-06-2007, 01:12 AM
I'll make another suggestion. Take a look on Youtube for art videos. There is no guarantee that the resulting art will impress you, but you may find some "ways to work" that you can try. Also your local library may have some video recordings.

Have fun!

12-06-2007, 06:53 AM
Hi, and welcome to abstract art :wave:

The wonderful thing about art, at least in the world we live in now, is that there is no "right" or "wrong" way to do it. It's up to you to find your own way. I know it sounds frightening, but it's not as hard as it sounds: just take a brush, dip it into paint, and start painting :D

You don't have to start with canvas, unless you feel comfortable about it of course, but to many people it is a bit intimidating, so you can use paper instead if you want. But the medium doesn't matter all that much. Just use whatever you feel comfortable with and can get your hands on: paper, wood, canvas, old socks, whatever :p

So my advice is: forget about how other people do it, forget about your preconcieved ideas of what a painting should be like, just go ahead and do it, and surprise yourself :D

And of course don't forget to show us the result!

12-06-2007, 08:13 AM
Florence, this is very good advice. Artists figuring out their own way of doing something or seeing something often finds success.

Beverly, this quote is going above my work table! I have smiled a lot since reading it.

12-06-2007, 01:24 PM
Grab some paint, grab some canvas, grab an implement and just start splashing. Ask later.