Painting as a hobby is a lot of fun and it can even be therapeutic. Being able to create something gives you a feeling of self-confidence and accomplishment. But you don't have to be an artistic genius in order to enjoy the many varieties of art painting. Go in knowing that you are going to make mistakes and get messy.
Choose a room to be your studio – one that won't suffer from a few splatters of paint or a spill of linseed oil. In fact, you may even enjoy getting messy when you don't have to worry about damaging any valuable objects in your home. Lay down some cloth or a thick layer of newspaper over any objects in the room that need special protection from any artistic accidents. Make sure that the room is well-ventilated, because the smell of your painting supplies – especially for oil painting – could cause you to faint.
When people hear the word painting, they tend to think of painting with oil paints. However, oil painting is one of the more expensive kinds of art painting in terms of painting supplies such as canvass, gesso, brushes and the paints themselves. This is one reason why some modern hobby painters prefer to learn the basics using less expensive acrylics before they move on to oils.
There are some advantages to oils. They're easier to fix any mistakes because the paint takes a long time to dry. Oil painting supplies are easy to get and resulting painting can take some abuse. Also, since this style of painting has been around for centuries, there is a lot of information available for those looking to learn about it.
Landscape painting is sometimes thought of as a lower class of art, but it is just as difficult to paint a landscape as it is to paint a figure. Essentially, landscape painting is like portrait painting – only the subject is a city or countryside rather than a person. Some art teachers prefer to have their students try landscape painting to learn painting techniques before attempting the intricate demands of figure painting. If you make a mistake in landscape painting, it's usually easier to fix than if you were painting a person's portrait.
Painting is not limited to canvass. You can also paint designs or huge swaths of color on furniture, utensils, picture frames or just about anything you can think of. This is called decorative painting and there's a lot less time involved to get a project done than with portrait painting, but it's still just as fun, rewarding and a great way to express your creativity.