How to Make a Painting - the Dummies' Guide
The way I started
When I was in Secondary School, my arts teacher made a comment that stuck in my head and up till now, I remember it each time I want to make a painting. He said: In Art, there is no singular interpretation. Every interpretation is right because everyone sees art from his/her own perspective .
Let me digress a little and start with moms who want their kids to be great. As a kid, I used to love drawing. My parents (God rest their souls) saw in me a desire to draw and they gave me every encouragement. So they bought crayons, pencils, coloured chalk and allowed me to draw myself silly and whatever I drew and brought for their scrutiny, they showered me with accolades and made feel on top of the world. It didn't take long for me to believe I could draw anything.
Now back to my arts teacher's word of wisdom. I learnt that since every interpretation to art was correct, I needed to learn how to add expression to whatever feeling I had inside. You see, that is where it begins - INSIDE. Every person who does any of the arts, learns quickly enough that the skills are not the primary ingredient. No, siree. The skills are useful, yes but they certainly are not what make a painting, a drawing, a song, a poem or any art form exceptional. That is why even dummies can make an exceptional drawing or painting while a skilled and talented painter will not have the same response to his works.
The first thing you need to know is that any painting or drawing is first finished in the mind before it is done on canvas or whatever surface one wants to use. Therefore, one is encouraged to broaden the mind and pique one's imaginations. One is encouraged to push the limits of the mind in order to bring out something good. I knew of a painter who exhibited a painting in her gallery that sold millions but to the normal eye, it was a splash of nonsense colours. All she did was to imagine anger in her mind and ask herself what colours would represent anger. Then she splashed the colours on canvas in no particular orderly fashion and made her money from it. That is how art is. Now imagine what you want to accomplish on canvas or paper or whatever and finish it in your mind.
The second thing, is to draw or paint exactly (or as near enough as possible) what you painted in your mind. If the skills are not there, do not bother. Just do the best you can.
Thirdly, make your drawing or painting or whatever it is PRESENTABLE and NEAT. Nobody loves a dirty presentation. Use quality frames and make it as beautiful as you possibly can.
Finally, make it available for people to see and criticize. You will be amazed at some of the things you will hear. Some interpretations will astound you and build your self esteem. Some will criticize but if you listen beyond the scathing remarks, you will hear suggestions on what to do to improve the work.
Now, get that painting/drawing started.