How to Paint Guide
A FEW SIMPLE TIPS ON PAINTING WITH LOW VISION
By Barrie Goodfellow,registered blind artist.
Painting is a very enjoyable pastime and should be developed slowly to obtain maximum enjoyment.
- Select a bright part of your home preferably a quiet corner away from the main living area
- You will need a dust sheet or similar to protect the furniture etc from elements of paint that may go astray
- It is also advisable to have a good table lamp with a daylight bulb that will help you with close up work
- You will need a good coil magnifier at arms length. It is also a good idea to have the magnifying glass on a string for easy location.
- Keep magnifier at arm’s length
- Contrasts are very important at all times, therefore I would recommend you use old coloured plastic plates as mixing pallets. This is because most pallets sold in art shops are white and as your main mixing colour will probably be white, there will not be a strong enough contrast. Therefore have two different coloured plastic plates handy at all times so you have a good contrast
- It is recommended that a shallow jar is used as your water pot as this is not so difficult to knock over even for a VIP
- Use a shallow water vase and stick down with blue tack
- All your accessories should be set out in clockwise order ie paints at 12 o’clock etc. Also have an old saucer or similar at arms length which can be used as a transit point as strict discipline on how things are laid down is important. Return everything to its original place after use.
- Keep equipment in clockwise order
Selecting the correct medium
There are several types of paint available being watercolour, acrylic, gouache and oil. For the sake of simplicity I would recommend any beginning to start by using watercolour as it is easier to get used to the colours and the general application throughout. You may however want to progress to acrylic, gouache or oil at a later date.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO GET STARTED WITH WATERCOLOUR
- Box of block watercolours or a box of 24 tubes of watercolour
- 3 Brushes – I suggest a No 1, a No 3 and a half inch flathead wash brush
- Pad – 24 gummed watercolour paper 12 ins x 9 ins
- Small scrap pad – to be used to test colours before application
- Medium charcoal pencil
- 2 different coloured plastic plates – I suggest red, yellow or green for mixing colours.
- Good contrast is essential
Footnote If you decide to buy tubes, the excess paint left on the plate is reusable even weeks after; just rub over with a wet brush.
Practise on the scrap pad first. Select a few colours and play about with them stretching them as far as you can in a circle. This will give you some idea of how they can be applied on a main painting. When selecting your main painting, keep it simple; seascapes, landscapes are nice to start with and use bright colours; plenty of cadmium yellow, cadmium orange and azure blue and just follow your heart. You will find it helpful if in the first instance you cover your entire canvass with a thin coat of yellow or blue mixed with water; this will enable you to have a better contrast throughout . Do not worry if your first few paintings are not a success, it is only for relaxation and enjoyment.
- Cover your board with a bright colour prior to use.
- A lemon background will give you a good contrast and can be painted over at any time.
Now enjoy your painting you will improve with practice and you will learn from your own mistakes. Just enjoy painting.