16 Mediums and Their Characteristics | How to Paint for Beginners

Editor’s Note: In this free excerpt from Nita Leland’s Exploring Color Workshop (a great resource on how to paint for beginners!), you’ll discover inspiration for working with color throughout your painting adventures. Also, click the image below for a free download on 16 mediums and their characteristics so that you can save time and money by understanding what will work best for your next painting.

For a limited time, you can take advantage of the Exploring Color Workshop 30-year Celebration Bundle. It includes Nita’s timeless Exploring Color Workshop plus Confident Color: An Artist’s Guide to Harmony, Contrast and Unity (hardcover, by Nita Leland) and a CMY Primary Mixing Wheel.

Enjoy! ~Cherie

How to paint for beginners | Nita Leland, ArtistsNetwork.com

From Exploring Color Workshop: This chart is a handy reference to characteristics of the most popular art mediums. For more information, browse a manufacturer’s website and email or call their technical support team. ~Nita (Click the image or HERE to see the full version of this chart and start learning how to paint for beginners and experienced artists.)

How to Paint for Beginners: Understanding Color

by Nita Leland

How to paint for beginners | Nita Leland, ArtistsNetwork.com

Dream On (watercolor on paper, 9×6) by Nita Leland

If you’re an artist and don’t understand color, you’re like a traveler who left your luggage at home. Sooner or later you’ll have to go back and get it if you want to get very far.

Art without color? Inconceivable! But why settle for ordinary color when you can create radiant works of color? Beautiful color is no happy accident. You can have fantastic color, too. Color can be learned.

To explore color, you can use any type of artists’ paint, pastel, oil pastel, colored pencil, yarn, fabric or paper collage—whatever medium you work with. Make collages with colored papers to plan your paintings; make watercolor or acrylic sketches to design your oil canvases. Color knows no boundaries in art media.

Once you learn how to mix and arrange colors, exploring harmonious color triads and expanded palettes along the way, you’ll have the tools to build a solid foundation for creative color. In no time, you’ll start solving the mysteries of color and be well on your way to becoming a master colorist. That means that, if you love color, you can unlock its secrets—if you work at it. So, begin your travels now in the wonderful world of color, and have a great trip.

How to paint for beginners | Nita Leland, ArtistsNetwork.com

Aquarium (mixed media acrylic collage on illustration board, 15×20) by Nita Leland

How to Paint for Beginners

Exploring Color Workshop will help you:

  • Build your color vocabulary.
  • Explore your paints or medium of choice.
  • Master color mixing with a split-primary palette.
  • Use harmonious triads and color schemes.
  • Apply color contrast and design.
  • Discover distinctive ways of using color.
  • Expand your appreciation of color science, history and theory.
How to paint for beginners | Art by Paul St Denis, ArtistsNetwork.com

Marketplace (watercolor with collage, 18×22) by Paul St. Denis, featured in Exploring Color Workshop

Within these pages you’ll find fabulous artwork by top artists to inspire you in your color journey. The illustrated glossary in chapter two (and many more terms defined throughout the book) will help you build your color vocabulary. You’ll also have a brief introduction to some newer paints and media: interference and iridescent colors in acrylics, PrimaTek mineral pigments, and alcohol-based inks for the adventuresome. Triads and color schemes have been expanded with modern pigments.

Order “Creating Confident Color with Nita Leland” with Nita Leland at NorthLightShop.com and watch a free preview here:

The post 16 Mediums and Their Characteristics | How to Paint for Beginners appeared first on Artist's Network.


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I am obsessed with water colours and have been painting since I could hold my first brush, I have a huge passion for my own work and others, I love to teach and inspeier others. I'm a very proud Dad with 3 girls and amazing wife who shares my passion for painting.

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