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Loadsa arty stuff, the June McEwan way: Painting instructions for beginners

Updated on March 28, 2011
My class out and about! St. Fillans, Scotland. (See map below)
My class out and about! St. Fillans, Scotland. (See map below) | Source

Outline instructions for starting drawing and painting

June McEwan 8 Mitchell St Crieff PH7 3AG

Mob: 0777 187 5443


  1. Practise drawing /sketching every day. Draw whatever you like – pots and pans, garden tools, trees, flowers, houses, fruit and vegetables, pets, dolls – your skills will improve in all aspects of drawing and get yourself a sketchbook.

  2. Use simple tools for drawing – a soft pencil, 4B is ideal. Don't look for detail, represent big masses first – the hills and fields, then trees and houses, paths and so on.

  3. Initially, buy cheaper quality materials so that you develop a loose attitude to equipment which will lead to less worry about the finish of a sketch and freer expression.

  4. To contradict myself, I would however, buy decent brushes. 3 good brushes are better than 10 poor ones. Buy a large flat, a medium round and a thin rigger type to cover all angles!

  5. Along with small quick sketches in your sketchbook, try to practise on large sheets too. Perhaps wrapping paper or cardboard. Lining paper can be ideal because you can work your way along it, cutting the roll after the drawing is done, rather than fitting a sketch into a space.

  6. Try out lots of different mediums, acrylic, watercolour, charcoal, pen & ink.... This is the day of the Multi–Media artist.

  7. As an artist, you have to learn about 4 things;

    * Form and shape

    *Tones and tonal values

    *Light and shadow


You learn all these through pencil drawing, so try that first.

You can break down any complex shape into simple shapes – cube, cone, cylinder – Look for bulk forms, don't worry about small objects or shapes in your early efforts.

The most important part of training is to see tonal values. You should squint your eyes to see the dark areas first and draw them. Tones go from pitch dark, to dark, to light dark, slghtly dark to light. Try to see the areas that have these values and record them first through shading. Dark values first.

Note the direction(s) of the light, note the source(s), look for the shadows, they have shapes, then look closer, note their tonal value, it may not be a simple pitch dark it may go from very dark to just dark.

Perspective is the technique to depict 3 dimensional form on 2 dimensional surfaces. Practise drawing street scenes and you'll learn a lot!

  1. Visit Art Galleries and Museums. Discover your favourite artist and you'll begin to develop your own style.

  2. A classic method of learning is to copy pictures. Select pictures and artists that appeal to you. Simplify their picture, look for the major objects in their pictures.

  3. There are plenty art books. Work your way through a simple 'how to' one. You may want to and enjoy studying theories, but keep the theory in the back of your mind when drawing. Don't spoil a heartfelt response to a subject. You are working your way towards your own original style. Practise and feel your way there. Good luck!

Pencil sketch, from one of my sketch books. You have to work quickly to capture a musician's movement, but it's great practice!
Pencil sketch, from one of my sketch books. You have to work quickly to capture a musician's movement, but it's great practice! | Source

The outdoor sketching group at St Fillan's

Drummond Hotel, St Fillans Scotland UK:
St Fillans, Drummond Arms Hotel (opp), Perth and Kinross PH6 2, UK

get directions

Beautiful area to paint in


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    • June McEwan profile imageAUTHOR

      June McEwan 

      7 years ago from The Works 8 Mitchell Street Crieff Scotland PH7 3AG

      Yes.sorry about that! I dont talk like this though! Especially as I'm Scottish! I usually advise people to buy decent brushes to begin, but student quality paint. This is because you can spend lots of money before discovering that you only use a few favourite colours. I have a hub page about 1st purchases - Loadsa arty stuff the June McEwan way; Painting: Basic Materials and First Purchases.

    • Ian Hudson profile image

      Ian Hudson 

      7 years ago from Sheffield, England

      You sound like my lecturer at college. haha

      This is good information for people who want to improve their drawing skills also use decent materials. :)

    • June McEwan profile imageAUTHOR

      June McEwan 

      7 years ago from The Works 8 Mitchell Street Crieff Scotland PH7 3AG

      Yes, I added a picture, but it doesnt seem to come up on other peoples computers. I'll try again...

    • fetty profile image


      7 years ago from South Jersey

      All this needs is some pictures. Good hub!


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