Painting for Beginners: Things to Do

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Let me also give you some “painting for beginners” suggestions about things to do, preparations that will put you in a position to do your best work. I’ll mention as many as come to mind, but there are bound to be others you yourself can identify, simply because they’re more pertinent to you.

To start off, you’ve simply got to have on hand all the equipment you need to address the circumstances you’ll encounter when doing outdoor painting.  I’m talking here more about peripheral equipment, stuff that’ll protect you from the elements, make you more comfortable and provide you a reasonable place to sit and proper access to your equipment. If it’s very cold, sit out in the sun. You’ll need a hat with brim to protect your face.  On the other hand, if it’s very hot, you’ll need to shed some clothing and apply some sunscreen.  A cushion would be nice to sit on, but also it’s good to have enough water on hand to paint with and drink.  And perhaps you should bring along something tasty to munch on.

Painting for Beginners 101 says be prepared to paint anytime it makes sense to do so… during the day at sunrise or sunset, or at night when there’s NO sun at all… but hopefully a moon.  Getting up before the sun rises so you can capture the early sun sweeping across the landscape… has inspired me to do some very creative work.  It’s quite different than painting at dusk or when the sun’s setting.  Check this out yourself, so you’ll see what I mean.

Each of the various situations I’ve described above requires different equipment. Night painting requires at least 3 lights: one for your palette and two for your easel.   Make sure you check out their operation beforehand to make certain they render the proper quality of light. This is crucial!

Douglas Stenhouse also wrote a book about watercolor painting.

“I decided to write about how I paint, not only to share my observations with others, but also, frankly, to do some self- examination. I wish I had done this earlier in my life! But then, how was I to know I’d benefit from doing so, certainly at a time when I had no aspirations of becoming a professional artist.” 

To learn more about Doug’s Watercolor Painting Book, click here. To purchase a signed copy, use the link below.


Douglas Simms Stenhouse, watercolor artist, transparent water color art, watercolor painter, painting with water colors