Top 100+ Painting Tips for Artists

A collection of useful painting tips to help you improve your painting.

Painter's Brushes
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This collection of 100+ painting tips covers a variety of media - watercolor, oil, acrylic, and pastel - and all sorts of things that come up when you're painting, preparing to paint, cleaning up after a painting session, or thinking about framing and exhibiting.

Tips for Dealing with Paint Tubes

  1. Dealing With Stuck Paint Tube Caps
  2. How to Get a Messy Paint Tube Cap Back On
  3. What To Do If a Paint Tube Cap Breaks
  1. Get the Last Bit of Paint Out a Tube
  2. How to Soften Hard Watercolor Tube Paint

Paint Brush Tips

  1. Fixing Rough Hairs in a Paint Brush
  2. Extend the Life of Sable Brushes
  3. Painting Wet-on-Wet: Get Two Strokes from a Brush
  4. Organize Your Brushes and Paints
  5. How To Clean Your Paint Brushes
  6. Know Your Painting Brush Hairs and Bristles

Painting Technique Tips

  1. Painting Straight Lines
  2. Finishing a Painting
  3. How to Paint Abstractly
  4. Creating the Illusion of Depth and Space
  5. Direct and Indirect Painting
  6. Painting From Photographs
  7. How to Paint Metallic and Shiny Surfaces in Oil and Acrylic
  8. How to Mix a Copper Colored Paint in Oil or Acrylic
  9. Secrets to Painting Realism

Practical Painting Tips

  1. Cleaning an Eraser
  2. Converting a Stepladder into an Easel
  3. Cleaning a Palette 
  4. What a Deckle Edge is and How to Make One
  5. Traveling or Camping: What Art Supplies to Bring
  6. A Checklist for Determining When Your Painting is Finished
  7. How Scale Impacts the Viewer
  1. Creating Studies
  2. How to Paint a Background
  3. How to Paint with a Knife Rather Than a Brush
  4. Create Your Own Ready-to-Go Art Travel Pack

Canvas Tips

  1. Removing a Dent in a Canvas
  2. Canvas Keys: What Are They For?
  3. How to Repair a Tear in a Canvas Painting

Color Theory and Color Mixing Tips

  1. Understanding Color and Color Mixing
  1. Mixing Black
  2. How to Paint Landscape Greens
  3. The Temperature of Blue
  4. Mix Your Own Flesh Tones
  5. Use Daylight Bulbs in Your Studio for True Colors
  6. How to Determine What a Color Is
  7. Color Mixing Quiz
  8. Is it Okay to Use Black in a Painting?
  9. Tertiary Colors and Color Mixing
  10. How to Mix the Color Maroon
  11. How to Use Simultaneous Contrast in a Painting
  12. How to Mix Cream Colors
  13. Seeing Color: Local, Perceived, and Pictorial
  14. The Colors of Snow

Creativity Tips

  1. How to Overcome the Fear of a Blank Canvas
  2. What to Paint When You're Uninspired
  3. 10 Tips for Loosening Up
  4. Creativity Exercises for Artists
  5. Self Imposed Limits in Painting can Fuel Creativity
  6. Ways to Generate Painting Ideas

Portrait and Figure Painting Tips

  1. Figure Painting: Proportions of the Body and Face
  2. Painting Skin Tones
  3. How to Start a Portrait Painting

Still Life Painting Tips

  1. How to Set Up a Successful Still Life
  2. Tips for Setting Up a Still Life Part I
  3. Tips for Setting Up a Still Life Part II

Landscape Painting Tips

  1. Tips for Landscape Painting
  2. How to Paint Clouds
  3. Tips for Painting Water
  4. Painting the Landscape in Series
  5. Techniques for Painting Snow
  6. How to Paint a Garden
  7. How to Paint Landscape Greens
  8. Painting Spring in the Style of the Impressionists
  9. Tips for Painting Night Scenes (Nocturnes)
  1. Tree Painting Mistakes
  2. Limited Color Palettes for Plein Air painting

Framing and Exhibiting Tips

  1. Use Standard Size Canvasses if You're Framing
  2. Make Your Own Strip Frames
  3. Paint the Edges of the Canvas Instead of Framing
  4. Making a Frame to Mail a Painting Safely
  5. How to Hang an Art Show
  6. How to Photograph Paintings Using a Compact Point and Shoot Camera
  7. How to Photograph Paintings Using a Digital SLR Camera
  8. How to Hang a Painting with Wire and D-Rings
  9. How to Frame a Painting Done on Canvas

Perspective, Value, and Composition Painting Tips

  1. Top 10 Tips for Painting Compositions
  2. Thinking About Composition
  3. Composition: Rule of Thirds and Rule of Odds
  4. Tints, Tones, and Shades
  5. All About Focal Points in Painting

Acrylic Painting Tips

  1. Cleaning Dried Acrylic Paint off a Palette
  2. Storing Excess or Leftover Acrylic Paint
  3. Top 10 Tips for Beginner Acrylic Painters
  1. Brushes for Acrylic Painting
  2. Painting with Acrylic for the Beginner: Part I
  3. Painting with Acrylic for the Beginner: Part II
  4. Acrylic Painting Mediums for Glazing and Thinning
  5. Painting on Paper with Acrylics
  6. How to Make Your Own Fluid Acrylics
  7. Tips for Keeping Acrylics From Drying While Plein Air Painting
  8. Advantages of Acrylic Paint

Oil Painting Tips

  1. Stuck Oil Paint Tube Caps
  2. Top 10 Tips for Beginner Oil Painters
  3. 10 Tips for the Intermediate Oil Painter
  4. Painting on Paper with Oils
  5. The Basics of Oil Painting on Canvas

Watercolor Painting Tips

  1. Watercolor Techniques: Overlaying Washes (Glazing)
  2. Watercolor Techniques for Painting Snow
  3. Watercolor Techniques: Two-color washes and Variegated Washes
  4. Watercolor Techniques: Washes
  5. Watercolor Techniques: Stippling, Spattering, Splashing
  6. How to Fix Mistakes and Make Changes in Watercolor
  7. How to Choose Between Pan and Tube Watercolors
  8. How to Choose a Watercolor Paper

Pastel Painting Tips

  1. Oil Pastel Techniques
  2. Characteristics of Oil Pastel
  3. Oil Pastels and Oil Sticks: Characteristics and Uses
  4. Basic Techniques for Pastels

Updated by Lisa Marder 10/28/16