Trying a New Art Medium

I never considered myself to be a visually creative person. I always wished I was, but brushed it off, thinking, “I have other talents, it’s fine.” But I watched my very visually talented friends and fiance, and wished that I could have a little bit of what they have.

So when it came time for trying a new art medium for my 101 in 1001 list, I knew that I wanted to try something visual. I’ve been dabbling in photography, and while I enjoy it, it wasn’t making my heart sing. I decided to try something else: painting.

After Christmas, Bryan and I headed to Michael’s. I didn’t have a super clear idea of what exactly I wanted to do, but my friend had told me that acrylics were the easiest to start with, so I bought a set of acrylics, a paint brush, and a pad of acrylics paper. I was practically buzzing with excitement, so eager was I to get home and start on my masterpieces.

I sat down, having no idea where to begin. I threw caution to the wind, loaded my brush up with some paint, and just started. This was my first painting:


And while it is (quite clearly) no masterpiece, it was so fun. I have been painting non-stop ever since. We just went to Michael’s the other day so I could buy more supplies (including a paint knife and palette, which makes me feel like a serious artist), depleting my bank account more than I anticipated, but I’m not worried. Painting is therapeutic to me; nothing clears my head quite like sitting down to paint. That, to me, is worth a bit of moolah.

Here are a few more paintings:





As you can see, I am never going to be a famous artist or anything. But I have discovered something that I really love, something that I am interested in learning more about, and I challenged a notion that I have held about myself for a very long time.

I would say that this particular goal was a major major win.

More Info

If you want to try painting, I definitely recommend starting with acrylics. They have been so easy to use! Grab a couple of paintbrushes, nothing special. I bought a pack of 12 different ones, but I’m still not sure what some of them are specifically for. A palette is nice, too, but I used scraps of cardboard until I realized that having a palette would be waaaaay easier. Decide if you are going to use canvas or a pad. I buy pads specifically for acrylic paint, with ten sheets per pad. Both times I have bought them, they have been on sale at Michael’s, so maybe they will be for you too! Then, just…start. Don’t get caught up in how it’s going to look, or if you are going to be able to transfer the image from your head to the paper. I have yet to manage that extraordinary feat, and still, painting is my sanctuary. Oh, and if you are looking for a couple of books for techniques and the like, the two that I used were The Complete Drawing and Painting Handbook and Easy Acrylics: A Step-by-Step Course Complete with Techniques and Projects.

Have you ever tried an art medium – or anything else! – that you thought for sure you were going to be rubbish at? How did it work out for you?

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Jessica can most often be found with her nose in a book, or writing her newest short story/screenplay/novel, but she also has a passion for travel, child-care & development, psychology, feminism (and other forms of equality), and making the world a better place in general. Email Me