Gateways To Creativity

Gareways coaching for Artists & Printers


Every Picasso, DaVinci, and Monet each started at the fundamentals. At one point their skills were at where yours are today- the beginning. At Gateways to Creativity we have a special mission to coach the future talents of the worlds.

Artists and painters alike, we do our best to offer the newest tips, tricks, and industry secrets. There is a lot of hard work, long hours, and dedication that goes into the life of the artist. We want to see your success and be with you every step of the way.

Check out the rest of our website for more information on trends and current topics.

Oil painting has been a tradition of artists for centuries. It’s ability to produce quality, versatile, and colorful works will always increase its popularity compared to other certain mediums. Getting into oil painting is relatively easy, but there are a lot of small details that go into the works compared to acrylics and other styles of paint.

Here are our basic tips on how to get started with oil paint.

Organize Your Space
When working with oil paints, you need to be in a clean and well-ventilated area. Oil paints are a long process, and your ideal location will be somewhere where you can keep your palettes and supplies out and at the ready in your studio. Having your paintings out and on display where you don’t have to put them away also gives you the chance to think about your work even if you aren’t painting.

Prime Your Surface
No matter what type of surface you wish to complete your oil painting on it’s important to first put down primer. The primer for oil paints is called Gesso. Gesso stops oils from seeping into the different surfaces of what you’re trying to paint. It also has the bonus of protecting your chosen surface from the acids within the paint and provides a base coat that allows your oils to stick effortlessly. If you don’t wish to Gesso your surfaces yourself, pre-primed boards are an option for you to purchase.

Start With A Sketch
Much like any other painting, you’ll want to start with a sketch of what you’re doing. This is often referred to as an underpainting. Turpentine is added to the paint to dry quickly to help the artist lay out the composition and values of the piece.

Keep Your Brushes Clean
When moving between colors in your oil paints clean your brushes with soap and water. Oil painting is a very messy process. Having rags at the ready to wipe off paint from your brushes will come in handy. Consider having two containers at your painting desk available. One can be for turpentine while the other is used to mix with your paint.

Keep It Clean
Many new oil painters seem to forget that oil pants are a toxic substance if they are absorbed into the skin. It’s also not a good idea to paint within a non-ventilated area. Dispose of paints, rags, and palettes properly after use.

Watercoloring is said to be one of the more difficult paint mediums to work with. Unlike acrylics or oil painting, you can’t wait for a layer to dry or scrape off to re-do something you don’t like. Watercolors are even more permanent than markers, as whiteout or acrylics are still an option to make changes.

While watercolors are challenging to master, they aren’t impossible. Here are some of the basic supplies that you’ll need to start on your journey.

Item #1 – Watercolor Brushes
While we recommend getting a watercolor brush set if you are only trying out the medium at the moment and want one brush to go for a #8 round red sable. Overall, synthetic brushes are the best option for watercolors. Slightly larger types of brushes other than the #8 would be helpful for large, flat areas of color. Likewise, smaller brushes are great for fine details within your work.

Item #2 – Watercolor Paint
From cakes to tubes there are a lot of options when it comes to watercolor paints. A basic 12-color set will help you get through most of the paintings that you do at first. If choosing to go the route of watercolor tubed paint, here is a suggested primary palette: Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Cadmium Red Medium, Cadmium Yellow Light, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Hooker’s Green, Phthalocyanine Blue, Phthalocyanine Green. This mixture of cool and warm colors helps to create a bright and balanced palette of colors. Avoid pure white or black watercolor paint when possible unless necessary for your piece.

Item #3 – Watercolor Paper
Any type of watercolor paper that is block, loose paper, or pad of a #140 weight or higher will suffice. You want a heavy paper that can handle warping when damp. Larger sheets are preferable just because it then gives you the later opportunity of cutting them in half to what you need. Paper is also about texture. Try different surfaces to find what looks best to you.

Item #4 – Watercolor Palette
The paint sets out there for watercolors usually have built-in palettes. Depending on how many colors you need, this should be enough space. If you go the route of tube watercolors, any type of flat plastic or metal covered palette will suffice. Cakes are a little bit more difficult, especially if you want to build up and mix colors ahead of time. You’ll need a palette with indentations to be able to hold the different volumes of watered-down paint.

Contact Us

If you’re looking for more information on more types of personal instruction and training of our crafts, use the contact information listed on this page to get a hold of us. We have plenty of staff members that look forward to the opportunity of teaching you more about every type of painting skill.

Whether you’re aiming for creating highly details portraits or putting the next happy little tree on your canvas, we’re here to help.

Please give us three to four days to get back to any questions or concerns that you may have.

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United States