Has painting a therapeutic effect on us? How can we test if it has?
Many of us would love to paint but we don´t always know where to start.
My experience of painting is that I have felt a lot happier after starting painting, so it seems to have a therapeutic effect that helps us to cope with the challenges we meet in life.
Acrylics are a lot easier to work with compared with oil painting.
Yes, for those who are new, acrylics might be the absolutely easiest alternative to start with. So why not test and see!
Acrylics are water based and watersoluble, so you only need water to make the paint thinner - and they dry fast, actually in minutes if you use a hairdryer to blow warm air on the painting.
If you want to use oil colors, you could test to make the background in acrylics and then make the motive in oil. Or just make it all in acrylics of course..
Acrylic could be used on many surfaces, masonite, canvas, wood, paper, etc.
I like to paint on masonite, the smooth side, that is first prepared with water soluble white coating. It is called primer.
Then i take a brush or sponge or a spray bottle and wet all the surface.
The playground is ready for whatever colors I feel like using - the water makes them mix with each other and I can help with the sponge or move the painting so that I get the desired pattern.
Also the hairdryer works great - it is easy to blow on the colors and they will move following the nature´s laws, and make their own mixtures with each other. Or why not take your painting out if it is raining and let the raindrops give it the pattern?
When the background is dry, and ready for the motives, it is better to paint the contours in white first and fill the surface with white.
In this stage it is possible to plan some shadows and paint thinner where the shadows should be. Use soft paper or a brush to remove the paint carefully. It will dry fast with the hairdryer or even without it.
After that I add colors to the motive - many thin layers give a better effect than one thick.
The color is transparent and the first layers shine through the ones above so it might be good to test first on another piece of masonite and see what it looks like. But don´t worry - it is very easy to change an acrylic painting.
When the motive is ready, I place the shadows on the opposite side where the light comes from and white color to show the reflections of light. - This can also be made with thin paint
You can make a special effect by putting just a little color on a dry brush, then brush away the most of it on a paper and then spread what is left on the brush very gently on some dark parts to give an impression of shining. I use this method when I paint flowers.
You can make an acrylic painting ready in a few hours or even a shorter time, but if you choose to make a part in oil, it will dry much slower. But always remember that the oil should be used AFTER the acrylics - NEVER the other way.
If you have fun and test, you will find your own ways to create your paintings, but acrylics are very fast and easy to make changes with, so they are great for experimenting.
You can of course use it as water color on paper too... Blocks with paper for water color work well for acrylic painting. It can be good to wet the paper with a spray bottle and then let it dry for some time before starting to paint.
If you feel insecure, why not go to a course, if you can find one where you live, and have fun together with others!
We have been created to create, haven´t we. It is a great therapy when we can do something that we like very much. Some of us like to write, work in a garden, take photos or decorate our home. We can also learn to like painting when we learn how to do it.
Whatever you choose to do, I wish you great pleasure when you make your own works of art! Creativity is a gift from God - use it and you will feel great!