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Painting: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
How to Paint a Pumpkin
Find out what to do if you want to paint a pumpkin rather than carve it this Halloween.
New to Watercolor Painting? Read These 10...
These 10 watercolor painting tips will help you avoid basic mistakes and get better results right from the start.
Free Stencils Collection: Halloween
A collection of free printable stencils to Halloween. Simple print, cut out (there's a link to instructions if you're unsure) and you're ready for some seasonal fun!
10 Acrylic Painting Tips for Beginners
My 10 best tips to help you avoid basic mistakes and get better results, right from the start, when painting with acrylics.
11 Essential Oil Painting Tips for Beginners
Read my best 10 tips for getting professional-looking results and never have another oil painting crack again.
Quiz: What Is the Best Paint For You?
Find out what kind of paint would best suit your personality with this quick, fun, 10-question quiz
7 Major Painting Styles, Ranked from Most to...
If all the various art -isms make your head spin, take a look at my easy-to-understand explanation of the different art styles that exist, from realism to abstract painting.
10 Techniques for Painting More Loosely
If you think your art is too stiff and rigid, try these tips and techniques which will help you paint in a looser style, to free up your painting.
Happy Halloween! 9 Free Printable Stencils
Another collection of free printable stencils for Halloween.
How to Cut Out Your Own Stencils
Save money by cutting out your own stencils following these step-by-step instructions to get the best results.
A Step-by-Step Explanation of How to Make Your...
A step-by-step explanation of how to make your own fluid acrylics from your 'normal' acrylics.
The 8 Elements of Composition in Art
An easy-to-understand explanation of what is meant by the elements of composition in a painting or artwork, with examples of each.
Right Brain Quiz for Artists
This right brain / left brain quiz for artists will help you determine which side of your creativity is dominant.
How to Use Acrylic Painting Texture Medium
A step-by-step demo showing how to create visually interesting texture in painting using acrylic texture medium or paste.
10 Practical Tips for Fabric Painting
Drawing on my fabric-painting experience, I've put together this list of tips to help make things easier for you!
Before You Paint Your Face, Read These 10...
Professional face painter Cindy Trusty shares her top safety tips for face painting, gleaned from years of experience.
Our 8 Favorite Watercolor Paints
My choice of the best watercolor paints from all the various brands available today.
Color Theory Quiz
Test your knowledge of basic color theory with this quiz
What Are the 12 Best Brands of Acrylic Paint?
With so many different brands of acrylic paint on the market, how do you know which is best? Here's my choice of my favorite acrylics.
Everything Painters Need to Know about Gilcee...
What are Giclee or Art Prints and how are they made? What kind of quality result do they give? Page 2.
What Painters Need to Know About Color Theory
Here you'll find all the essential info you need to know about color theory and mixing, arranged in easy-to-understand lessons.
Gestalt Theory and Composition in Art
These 6 Gestalt Theory Principles explain the human tendency to look for simplicity and order in images.
Fuel Your Creativity With This Collection of...
This is the master list of all my free stencil designs, arranged by subject so you can easily find what's of interest to you. Each stencil is designed to be easy to print, cut out and use.
Create Your Very First Painting with This Handy...
If you've the desire to start painting but don't know where to start, then this is the article for you, describing how to go about creating create your very first painting.
How to Hang Your Painting Using Wire and D-Rings
A step-by-step demo showing how to attach d-rings and wire to a painting so it's easy to hang.
The 10 Best Brands of Oil Paints
Find out what I think is the best brand of oil paint on the market in this list of my favorites.
15 Commonly Asked Questions of Absolute...
If you're completely new to painting, with lots of desire but also questions, this is the place to find some answers.
How to Paint on Hardboard and Wood
Find out what the advantages of painting on hardboard or wood are and how you prepare it.
Before You Paint Your Face, Read These 10 Handy...
If you're after tips for face painting to make the experience easier and faster, here's my list of the top 10 things to do.
How to Paint with a Knife Instead of a Brush
An introduction to using a painting knife rather than a brush, including selecting a suitable knife to get you started.
What You Need to Know About the Different Types...
Learn about the different types of canvas available for painting, and tips on how to decide what canvas to use.
How to Decide Which Kind of Paint to Use
Want to start painting but not sure what paint to use? Here's help on deciding how to choose between the most popular types of paint used.
Your Complete Photo Guide to Watercolor Paper
The answer to the question "What color is watercolor paper?" is not a simple "White, of course." The
An Introduction to the Various Types of Acrylic...
An easy-to-understand explanation of the various types of mediums available for acrylic paints and what you can do with them.
Get Crafty With These Free Letter, Number, and...
Have creative fun with my collection of free, printable stencils of individual letters and numbers, as well as various words and phrases.
How to Find the Right Words to Talk About Art...
Find the right terms to talk about and critique paintings in this list of art words, grouped by topic such as composition, brushwork, or mood.
The Art Composition Rules You Should Be Using...
Learn about the basic art composition rules (such as the Rule of Thirds and the Rule of Odds), which when applied to your paintings will make for stronger and more interesting compositions.
How to Use Watercolor Pencils & Water-Solub...
Learn how to use watercolor pencils and water-soluble crayons in this tutorial, which starts right at the beginning by explaining what they are and how they differ from normal pencils.
Free Stencils Collection: Flower Stencils
Have some creative fun with my collection of flower stencils, which you're free to use for your personal craft projects.
The Top 10 Painting Tips for Creating Stronger...
Use these painting tips to create stronger compositions in your art.
7 Principles of Art and Design
Understanding the principles of art and design will help you improve your painting and know when it is finished, too!
Free Pumpkin Stencils to Print and Cut Out
A collection of free pumpkin stencils to print and cut out for Halloween designed exclusively for About.com by your Painting Guide.
Photo Gallery of Famous Paintings by Famous...
A gallery of famous paintings by famous artists (and some not quite so famous) to inspire you and to help you expand your painting knowledge.
Basic Techniques for Pastel Painting
An introduction to the various ways in which pastels can be used in a painting, whether by themselves or as mixed media.
What Is Tone and Why Is it Important to Painting?
What is a tone in a painting, how it tone different from color, and why is it important for artists? Find out in this article on painting tones or values.
Free Stencils Collection: Christmas
Get decorating for some festive fun with my collection of free Christmas stencils to print and cut out.
Acrylic Painting 101: How to Start Painting...
If you want to start using acrylic paint but don't know what art supplies you need or how to use them, then don't worry, here's what you need to know!
How to Choose the Right Watercolor Paper for...
Learn the differences between the basic types of watercolor paper, and what is best suited to which watercolor painting techniques.
How to Use a Stencil Brush
Using a stencil brush makes stenciling easier. The right tool for the job and all that. These step-by-step instructions explain exactly how to use one.
Painting Quiz: Oils or Acrylics?
Find out what kind of paint would best suit your personality with this quick, fun, 10-question quiz
Our Selection of Essential Colors of Acrylics...
With so many paint colors it's easy to be bewildered by choice, so here's my list of the essential ones to get when you first start painting with acrylics.
6 Steps on Painting a Background
See exactly how to paint a background for a still life or portrait in this step-by-step painting demo.
Artist's Copyright FAQ: Can You Legally Make a...
Find out whether it's okay to make a painting from someone else's photograph, or not, in the Artist's Copyright FAQ.
The Relevance of Right Brain Left Brain Theory...
An easy-to-understand explanation of the theory behind the right/left brain concepts and why it's relevant to painters.
The Top 7 Tips for Improving Your Landscape...
A list of practical, helpful tips to help you improve your landscape paintings.
What Is the Purpose of Making Art?
In this article a working artist explains his thoughts on what makes something art, whether it has a purpose, and why people paint.
The Top 5 Tips for Color Mixing
Tips to help you get the best results when mixing different paint colors.
The Top 10 Best-Selling Subjects for Paintings
If you want to sell lots of paintings, what subjects should you be painting? Here's the result of a survey.
5 Ways to Use a Fabric Marker or Fabric Paint Pen
Learn about what you can do with a fabric marker or paint pen when fabric painting. Quick and easy creative fun!
How to Stretch Your Watercolor Paper to Prevent...
Find out how to stretch watercolor paper so it won't buckle or warp when you paint on it.
Amazing Advice for Painting Skin Tones
An in-depth look at how to paint skin tones (both realistic and expressionist), what pigment colors to use, and how to mix suitable colours.
Art Glossary: Mark Making
An easy-to-understand explanation of what is meant by mark making in a painting, from the About.com Art Glossary.
Perspective in Paintings
An easy-to-understand explanation of what perspective in art is, and how to implement it in your own paintings.
Art Glossary: Positive Space
An easy-to-understand explanation of what is meant by positive space in a painting or artwork.
Elements of Composition: Balance
See what is meant by balance in composition in this analysis of the underlying structure of the famous Mona Lisa painting.
Art Glossary: Horizon Line
An easy-to-understand explanation of what the term horizon line means when talking about perspective in a painting.
Painting Dog Portraits: How to Take Reference...
Painting dog portraits is fun and challenging, and greatly appreciated by the dog owner. Here are some tips to getting the perfect reference photos.
How Do I Transfer a Drawing from Paper to Canvas?
There are various methods you can use to transfer a drawing from a piece of paper to a canvas. Find out what they are here.
The Right Way to Clean Your Paint Brushes
Cleaning your paint brushes at the end of a painting session will make them last longer, but only if you do it properly. Find out what to do here.
How to Paint Wet-on-Dry and Wet-on-Wet with...
Understand and learn how to do the two fundamental watercolor painting techniques: wet-on-dry and wet-on-wet.
Number Stencils: No. 2
The second in my set of printable number stencils, which you're free to use in your craft projects. Page 2.
The 8 Best Art Materials Shops in London
If you're looking for art materials or art supplies in London, you've got quite a few choices of shops. This is a list of my favorites.
Palettes and Techniques of the Impressionist...
A look at the painting techniques and colors used by that most famous of Impressionists, Claude Monet.
How Do I Heat Set Fabric Paint with an Iron?
Find out exactly what you need to do to heat set fabric paint using a domestic iron.
Acrylic Painting Techniques: Pouring Paints
Instead of using a brush or knife to apply painting, this painting technique involves pouring it onto and cross a canvas.
Where, How, and Why to Add a Signature to Your...
Find out where, how and why you should add your signature to a painting when you've finished it.
The Meanings Associated with Various Flowers...
Learn how to add hidden meaning to your paintings by including flower to symbolize love, jealous, and more.
Free Christmas Stencil: Snowflake 2
A snowflake stencil from the collection of free Christmas stencils to print and cut out for personal use. Page 26.
Free Stencils Collection: Dog Stencils
A collection of free dog stencils to print and cut out.
Which was the First and Only Painting Van Gogh...
Details of the one and only painting Van Gogh sold during his lifetime.
Can I Finish a Painting in Oils that I Started...
If you've been wondering whether it's okay to paint with oils over acrylics, you'll find the answer in my Oil Painting Problem Solver.
Art Quiz on Vincent van Gogh
Test your knowledge of Vincent van Gogh's life with this quick quiz.
Tips for Perfectly Mixing Skin Tones for Your...
Find out what colors to use to mix skin tones for a figure painting or portrait.
How Fast Does Acrylic Paint Dry Once It's Out...
Find out how quickly acrylic paint dries once you've squeezed it out a tube in the Acrylic Painting Problem Solver.
How to Fix Mistakes and Remove Errors in a...
If you make a mistake in a watercolor painting, you either need to react fast and remove it almost instantaneously, or wait for the painting to dry.
Things to Know About Watercolor Paints
Here are some characteristics of watercolor paint that are useful to know and that make it a great medium for many genres.
Places You Can Find Reference Photos For...
Find out where you can obtain reference photos you can freely use in your paintings without worrying about infringing copyright.
Why Do You Get Those Little Bits of Wood with a...
Why you get those little bits of wood or plastic with a canvas, known as canvas keys or canvas wedges.
Free Christmas Stencil: Star
A star stencil from the collection of free Christmas stencils to print and cut out for personal use. Page 11.
What Is Perspective?
An easy-to-understand definition of what perspective in a painting means, from the About.com Art Glossary.
How Much Water and/or Medium Can I Add to...
Find out how much you can dilute acrylic paint before it looses its adhesive properties in my Acrylic Painting Problem Solver.
Art Glossary: Still Life Painting
An easy-to-understand explanation of what is meant by a still life painting, and what objects are typically included.
What Does the Term 'Medium' Mean?
An easy-to-understand explanation of what the term
How to Turn Your Acrylics Into Fabric Paint
Turn your acrylic paints into fabric paints using the GAC900 acrylic medium from Golden which leaves the fabric soft.
How Do I Mix Cream Colors?
Here is advice on how to mix cream colors, detailing the base to start with as well as sharing tips for achieving the tone you want.
Free Words Stencils: Merry Christmas
From the collection of free Christmas stencils to print and cut out for personal use. Page 31.
How to Prime Your Canvas for Acrylics and Oils
Find out how to successfully prime a canvas you've stretched so it's reading to paint on. It's not tricky, especially if you're using a suitable for both acrylic and oil painting.
Scumbling Painting Technique
Find out what scumbling in a painting is, and how to do this art technique yourself.
9 Things You Need before Starting to Fabric Paint
A list of the supplies you'll need to start fabric painting, things that are essential and things that are handy.
How to Use a Waterbrush
An illustrated, step-by-step tutorial on how to use a waterbrush with watercolor paints and pencils.
Negative Space in a Painting
A tutorial on what negative space in a painting is, how and why to use it, and why it's so useful.
Free Christmas Stencil: Snowflake 3
A snowflake stencil from the collection of free Christmas designs to print and cut out for personal use. Page 27.
Number Stencils: No. 3
The third in my set of printable number stencils, which you're free to use in your craft projects. Page 3.
Making Sense of Abstract Painting
Are you confused and puzzled by abstract paintings? Here are some suggestions that will help you make more sense out of them.
A Look at the Properties of Various Drying Oils...
A look at the properties of the various drying oils or mediums used in oil painting to change the consistency of the paint, to make it thinner and spread more readily.
Paint a Mondrian-Style Geometric Abstract
Use this free art worksheet to paint your own geometric abstract in the style of Mondrian. Rectangles, squares, blue, red, white, and black are what you need. Page 11.
Is It Okay to Use Hairspray to Fix Pastels or...
A scientist answers the question whether it's okay to use hairspray to fix pastels or whether should you use only artist's pastel fixative.
Painting Clouds Wet-on-Wet Using Acrylic or Oil...
A step-by-step tutorial explaining how to paint clouds working wet-on-wet using acrylics or oil paints.
Free Dog Stencils Collection: Paw Prints
A pawprint stencil from the collection of free dog stencils to print and cut out. Page 4.
Art Supplies Shopping List for Acrylic Painting
If you're wanting to start painting with acrylics, here's a list of the supplies I think are essential, plus a few that are nice to have.
10 Practical Stenciling Tips to Get Professiona...
Stencils allow you to reproduce a pattern or design over and over again, as many times as you like. These tips will help you get good results.
What Is Mod Podge?
An explanation of what mod podge is.
Characteristics of Acrylic Paint
Acrylic paint is great for both fine art and crafts due to its versatility and durability. You can even use it to create works of art on pumpkins!
Kolinsky Sable Brushes
Find out what the big deal is about using a top quality Kolinsky sable brush, why these brushes are worth the money.
Free Christmas Stencil: Snowflake 6
A snowflake stencil from the collection of free Christmas stencils to print and cut out for personal use. Page 30.
Art Glossary: Focal Point
An easy-to-understand explanation of what is meant by a focal point in a painting, from the About.com Art Glossary.
7 Ways to Price a Painting (Depending on Your...
There are different ways to set the prices on your paintings; which is right for you depends on your personality. Here's a list of what I see the choices as being.
Painting Techniques: Sgraffito
An easy-to-understand explanation of what the painting technique known as sgraffito is and how to use it. (You'll probably find you're already doing it!)
Free Christmas Stencil: Snowflake 4
A snowflake stencil from the collection of free Christmas stencils to print and cut out for personal use. Page 28.
The 6 Secrets to Painting Realism
Realism is a style everyone can paint, but you need patience not be looking for instant gratification. These essential
How to Paint a Sunset
Tips on how to paint a sunset working quickly and decisively.
7 Resources for Learning How to Paint Shadows
If you're after information about how to paint convincing shadows, this is a list of all my articles on the subject.
The 8 Best Brands of Art Pastels
Given all the choice on the market, which is the best brand of art pastels available? Here's my personal selection, with reasons why.
Best 10 Painting Easels
If you're thinking of getting a painting easel, this list will help you choose what's best for you from the different types available. I explain the reasons for my choices, and my particular favorite.
Know Your Reds: A Look at All the Red Paint...
A look at the various reds paint pigments available to artists, their characteristics and differences.
What Makes a Painting Good or Bad?
What makes a painting good or bad, acceptable as fine art or not? Here are various opinions from artists.
Free Christmas Stencil: Snowflake 5
A snowflake stencil from the collection of free Christmas stencils to print and cut out for personal use. Page 29.
Free Christmas Stencil: Bell
From the collection of free Christmas stencils to print and cut out for personal use. Page 32.
Which Is Better? Arguments For and Against...
How to decide whether acrylics or oils would suit you best. Advice from experienced artists working in both mediums.
Number Stencils: No. 1
The first in my set of printable number stencils, which you're free to use in your craft projects.
"The Mona Lisa" by Leonardo da Vinci
Find out more about Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa painting and her world-famous smile, while avoiding the art jargon. Page 5.
12 Ways to Find Original Painting Ideas
If you haven't got painting ideas, then all the technical skills in the world will do you no good. This list tells you where to find painting ideas and how to develop them into your own, original paintings.
Art Glossary: Complementary Colors
An easy-to-understand definition of what complementary colors in a painting are, from the About.con Art Glossary.
Free Stencils to Print and Cut Out - Alphabet...
Free stencil designs for personal use - alphabet 1
Art Glossary: Foreshortening
An easy-to-understand explanation of what the technical art term foreshortening means, from the About.com Art Glossary.
How to Blend Paint Colors
Learn how to successfully mix multiple colors where they meet in this step-by-step tutorial on blending paint.
Stretching Your Own Canvas: It's Easier than...
Stretching your own canvas is easier than you may think, and can cheaper than buying ready-made canvases, and certainly means you get just the size canvas you're after.
Decorative Painting Photo Album
Photos of decorative painting projects submitted by About.com Painting readers.
Acrylic Paint Drying Time (by Brand)
Which brand of acrylic paint dries the slowest or faster in this list of drying times. You may be surprised to discover not all acrylics dry within minutes.
How to Paint Reflections in Water, Using...
A watercolor painting tutorial that teaches you three different way to paint reflections in water.
Art Worksheet: Linocut Christmas Tree
A printable art worksheet for creating a linocut Christmas tree. Page 12.
Free Christmas Stencil: Holly
A holly stencil from the collection of free Christmas stencils to print and cut out for personal use. Page 12.
What Does 'Fat Over Lean' Mean?
Find out what fat-over-lean is about and why it's an essential technique for oil painting. It's a rule you ignore at your peril!
Learn How to Paint Like Claude Monet
Learn how to paint like the Impressionist Claude Monet, starting with the colors on his palette and using broken color as a painting technique.
7 Techniques for Creating Your Painting
A look at the different ways you can create a painting, with a photo showing an example of each.
Get Started with Lino Printing: A Beginner's...
Find out what lino printing is and what's involved in making linoprints in this step-by-step tutorial.
Which Types of Hairs and Bristles are Used in...
An easy-to-understand introduction to the types of hairs and bristles used in painting (art) brushes and which are the best for what.
Painting Dog Portraits: Styles and Techniques
There are many ways you could approach painting dog portraits, from realistic to abstract. Here are some styles to try and some examples to inspire you!
Art Glossary: Tone or Value
An easy-to-understand explanation of what tone or value is in painting, from the About.com Art Glossary.
How to Read the Label on a Tube of Paint
Find out what the 'small print' on a paint tube label means.

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