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as a hobby

Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is.

Jackson Pollock

Painting as a hobby is a fun and rewarding way to express yourself and explore your creativity. Painting can also reduce stress, boost your self-esteem, and enhance your cognitive skills. To get started, you only need some basic supplies, such as paints, brushes, canvas, and a palette. You can also find online tutorials, courses, books, and communities to help you learn and improve.

Helpful content to start painting as a hobby

We aim to provide accurate information, but errors might be found. Always exercise judgment and discretion.

📼 Videos

Short visual inspiration.

Vimeo | Jim Carrey: I Needed Color
YouTube Playlist | Acrylic Painting for Beginners
Acrylic Painting for Beginners
YouTube | The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Watercolor
The Complete Beginner's Guide to Watercolor
YouTube | Oil Painting for Beginners – Basic Techniques + Step by Step Demonstration
Oil Painting for Beginners - Basic Techniques + Step by Step Demonstration

🎙️ Podcasts

Play an episode while exploring the page.

Spotify | Acrylic Painting for Beginners – The Course (#2)
Spotify Embed: Acrylic Painting for Beginners - The Course (#2)
Spotify | Episode 0: An Introduction to the Learn to Paint Pdocast
Spotify Embed: Episode 0: An Introduction to the Learn to Paint Pdocast
Spotify | The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross
Spotify Embed: The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross

Results indicate that art making resulted in statistically significant lowering of cortisol levels [a stress hormone].

Girija Kaimal, Kendra Ray & Juan Muniz (2016) Reduction of Cortisol Levels and Participants’ Responses Following Art Making, Art Therapy, 33:2, 74-80, DOI: 10.1080/07421656.2016.1166832

📜 Terms

Basic lingo for orientation.

  • Medium: A substance that alters the properties of paint, such as its consistency, drying time, or glossiness. Mediums can be oil-based, water-based, or acrylic-based.
  • Acrylic paint: A type of paint made from pigments suspended in a synthetic resin. It dries quickly and can be used on various surfaces.
  • Oil paint: A type of paint made from pigments mixed with oil, usually linseed oil. It dries slowly and can be blended and layered easily.
  • Watercolor paint: A type of paint made from pigments dissolved in water. It dries quickly and creates transparent washes of color.
  • Canvas: A fabric stretched over a wooden frame that serves as a support for painting. Canvas can be primed or unprimed, depending on the type of paint used.
  • Color wheel: A circular diagram that shows the relationships between primary, secondary, and tertiary colors, as well as complementary, analogous, and triadic color schemes.
  • Easel: A stand that holds a canvas or a board at an angle for painting. Easels can be adjustable, portable, or fixed.
  • Gesso: A white primer that prepares a surface for painting. Gesso can be applied to canvas, wood, paper, or metal to create a smooth and even base.
  • Glaze: A thin layer of transparent or semi-transparent paint that modifies the color or value of the underlying layer. Glazing can create depth and luminosity in a painting.
  • Palette: A surface used to mix paints. Palettes can be made of wood, plastic, metal, or paper. They can also have wells or compartments for holding paints.
  • Palette knife: A tool used to mix paints or apply them directly to a surface. Palette knives have a flat blade with a handle and come in various shapes and sizes.
  • Pigment: A substance that gives color to paint. Pigments can be natural or synthetic, organic or inorganic, opaque or transparent.

How to start painting as a hobby

First moves for getting acquainted and breaking the ice.

  • Consider starting with acrylic paint, as it is easy to use and does not require any special supplies.
  • Buy a painting kit.
  • Watch YouTube tutorials.
  • If you feel like you need more structured and in-depth guidance, there are great books and courses available.
  • Also, consider finding a painting class near you.

📚 Books

Get read-y.

🪜 How-tos

Step-by-step tutorials.

📄 Articles

Further reading.

🌐 Websites

Go-tos for information.

Painting can reduce stress and anxiety by allowing you to focus on something positive and relaxing.

🍿 Movies

Nothing like a film for inspiration.

YouTube | Bob Ross – The Joy of Painting (Teaser)
Bob Ross - The Joy of Painting (Teaser)


Get a clue.

What are the major types of paints?

The major types of paints are oil, acrylic, and watercolor. They differ in their binder, drying time, consistency, color, and supplies.

What type of paint should I use as a beginner?

There is no definitive answer, but acrylics are widely favored by beginners as they are easy to use and do not require any special supplies. The downside is they dry very fast, which can make blending and correcting difficult. You can also try watercolors, which are clean and simple to use, but require more control and precision. Oil paints are more challenging to use and require more supplies and resources, but they offer more flexibility and richness.

What kind of surface do I paint on?

The surface you paint on is called a support or a substrate. The most common supports are canvas and paper. Canvas is durable, textured, and suitable for acrylics and oils. Paper is cheaper, smoother, and suitable for watercolors and other paints. You can also paint on other supports, such as wood, metal, glass, or fabric. However, you may need to prepare them with a primer or a gesso before painting. There are great painting kits with paints and canvases.

How do I learn the basics of painting?

You can follow online tutorials, watch videos, read books, take classes, or join workshops.

📱 Apps

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📦 Products

Essentials to have.

🎓 Courses

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📍 Near You

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Painting can enhance your cognitive abilities and memory by stimulating your brain and improving your problem-solving skills.

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💡 Tips

Additional advice for beginners.