Paintings can make amazing decor for your home, as well as perfect gifts. Unfortunately, many artists end up with stacks of paintings around their studio that they just don’t know what to do with. Many times, producing a painting for a bespoke purpose, such as to hang on your own wall or to give to a friend, can help inspire you and make sure your work goes to good use!
Why Make Your Own Paintings?
If you aren’t an experienced painter, you might be wondering if it would be easier to just purchase a painting for yourself or as a gift. However, as anybody who has ever decorated a room will tell you, it can be exhausting trying to find a piece that fits the vision in your head. Plus, art can be extremely pricey.
When you make your own art, you can express your exact vision and create the perfect piece to fit your space. When you give a handmade painting as a gift, it carries extra sentimental value, and you can customize every aspect of the piece to fit your loved ones’ personality. Creating paintings for yourself, your family, and your friends is extremely rewarding, heartfelt, and cost effective.
If you’re a painting novice and you’re not using an awesome service like Paint Your Numbers (yet), you’ll need to pay a visit to your local craft store before you begin creating custom artwork. We recommend choosing acrylic paint as your medium if you’re a complete beginner. Acrylic paint is easy to work with and relatively cheap compared to oil paints or watercolors. You can also purchase a wide variety of colors to suit your project.
Next, you’ll need a canvas. Canvases make a painting look professional and finished. Measure your space before you shop so you can buy the perfect size. Canvases are available in both stretched and flat varieties, so you can decide what look you like better.
Finally, you’ll need brushes. We recommend synthetic brushes for beginners, as they are more resilient and less expensive than bristle. Grab a set with a variety of a few different sizes, and you’re good to go!
Painting for Yourself
Producing paintings for yourself and your own home can be a bit more difficult than it sounds. Where do you start? What should you make? The possibilities seem overwhelming. Taking the process step-by-step instead of diving right in will help you make sure you don’t end up with a piece you hate!
Decide Where You Want The Painting To Go
The first step is deciding where you want the painting to hang in your house. This will help you make sure your art matches the color scheme of the room, as well as the style. This will also help you choose your canvas size, whether you want a large statement piece or you decide to create a gallery wall of smaller paintings.
Next, you can decide what sort of colors you want to incorporate into your art. If your room is more neutral, you can be a little crazier with the colors. If you already have tons of color in the room, a more neutral piece might look better. And if your room already has a color scheme, matching your painting to the theme will help the whole room look cohesive. Certain colors can actually have an impact on our moods, so decide on the vibe you want the room to have and go from there. Learn more about colors and how they can be used as therapy here.
Learning basic color theory will help you out a ton. Pull up a photo of the color wheel online. You can create a piece that is monochromatic, using different shades of the same hue, like pinks and reds. Or you can incorporate complementary colors, such as blue and yellow, for contrast. Use color to inspire you.
Now, you can decide what style you want your painting to be in. Think about the type of art you typically like. Are you a huge fan of Jackson Pollock’s splatter painting, or do you like more simple floral paintings? Are you a more abstract or realistic kind of person?
If you’re a beginner, simple shapes and abstract lines might be a good place to start. If you want to create a more realistic piece from a photo reference, paint by numbers is a great place to start.
Decide On a Subject
Finally, decide what you want to paint! Let your color scheme and style guide you. For example, if you’ve chosen a green color scheme, you could paint a nature scene. Now is the time to really get creative. You can choose something with sentimental value, or just some shapes you like!
Painting for Loved Ones
Producing a painting for a loved one can be a little trickier since you have to imagine what they might like. Here are a few simple ways to make sure they’ll love your piece.
Notice Their Home Decor
If you can, take a look around the person’s home and see what colors they like to decorate with. You can apply the same color theory we discussed earlier in the article to decide what you want the color scheme of your painting to be. If you notice any rooms with large empty spaces on the walls, think about what might look good there.
Look at Art They Already Own
Look arounds at what your friend or family member already has on their walls and let that inspire you. You don’t have to copy it exactly, but it will give you a better idea of what kind of art styles they like.
When painting a custom gift for someone you love, it’s a great idea to pick a subject that is sentimental to them or reminds you of your relationship with that person. It could be a painting of their pet, a place you like to go together, or an object that has sentimental value to you both. This way, every time they look at the painting, it will remind them of you!
If you don’t mind running the surprise, sometimes the best way to know what somebody would like is to just ask! Let them know you’re planning on making some custom paintings and ask what colors or subjects you should incorporate.
Time To Paint
Now that you know what you want to paint and you’ve gathered all your materials, it’s time to get to work.
Set Up a Work Space
Choose a spot in your home or outdoors that is bright, where you’ll have room to spread out. Lay down some newspaper or a tarp to avoid staining any surfaces with paint. Make sure you have all your materials handy.
Pull Up a Reference
References are the best way to guide yourself if you’ve never painted before. Pull up a photo of your subject or a painting that’s similar to your vision.
Relax and Have Fun
Remember, at the end of the day, art is about fun and creative expression. Making art has even been shown in scientific studies to reduce stress hormones in the body. Don’t take yourself too seriously! Put on some music and enjoy the process. And remember, if you don’t like the way your painting is coming out, you can always let it dry, then paint over with a few coats of white acrylic paint and start again.
Let It Dry
Once you’re satisfied with your work, remember to let it dry fully before you hang it in your home or give it away. Depending on the thickness of your paint, it can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours to dry.
Hang it Up
Once your painting is dry, it’s time to hang it on the wall. Make sure it is centered in the space and hangs level on the nail or hook. If you’re creating a gallery wall with multiple pieces, it can help to arrange them on the ground first so you can find the most aesthetically pleasing composition.
Producing paintings for your home or as gifts for your loved ones is fun, rewarding, and cost effective. It may be intimidating to think that something you created will hang in your home or the home of a friend, but if you take your time and properly plan what you want to create, you’re sure to end up with a masterpiece that fits perfectly in your space.
If you need a bit more help and guidance painting something to hang in your home, try one of our customizable Paint By Number Canvases! They are fun and easy to follow for even the most beginner artists. Just upload an image to our site, and we’ll send you a detailed paint by number canvas, so you can create beautiful, realistic portraits for yourself or for the people you love.