Unleash the artist within you – Learning to paint

We are in an interesting time of our lives. Most of us have used this time to either reconnect with our families, learn a few new skills, start a new venture, catch up on some well-deserved ‘me’-time or caught up with a few new hobbies just to bust the boredom and serve as a creative outlet.

In my 2020 review post, I told you about most of the shenanigans I was up to during the greater part of the lockdown period. Today I want to single out one of them out.


Backstory to my personal painting journey

Deep into the lockdown, I was trying to think of ways to connect with my friends. Especially since there was a mass movement between them to rekindle old friendships and I was very inspired to keep these spirits up. Well, I follow a couple of content creators on YouTube and through their uploads, a brilliant idea was brought forth. A wine and paint evening via Zoom (You have heard of this little platform called Zoom, right?). There was one obstacle to this, with South Africa being one of the few countries in the world who had a full blown ban on the sale of alcohol, this little get together had to wait until the ban was lifted. Coincidentally, as luck would have it, the ban was lifted the same week I moved to Johannesburg. Perfect timing. With my place being completely empty (my furniture arrived a week and a half late – Thank you Africa time), I had a clean canvas to work with (duh dum tsss). Prior to this I had not painted in about 15 years. Luckily one of my close friends is an artist… He was one of the first to be invited.


Leading up to the big event, I got a few supplies, just a few things as a starter pack for me to actually get things done. It ended up being only myself and my artist friend who painted (the rest were embracing the wine part or doing something else). Regardless, they were well entertained, I can guarantee that. The big night rolls by and with a half a bottle of Shiraz in, our Zoom painting session started. Let us just say, there were lessons to be learnt through this experience:

  1. Oil and acrylic paint does not mix… Yellow oil paint and orange acrylic paint will not make the orange more yellow… all it does is make a mess… Shampoo to the rescue… (I told you the others were well entertained, right?)
  2. Having a large platter filled with food will probably not be eaten during the painting session (which is probably why the wine knocked back the next morning), because you are painting, drinking, talking and laughing (mostly at the newbie) throughout the whole evening.
  3. Painting number one, if left undone, will never be completed, no matter how well it was coming along. I painted over my first attempt and could unfortunately not find a picture of it to show you. I knew it was going to be left undone, and thought I could put the canvas to better use.
  4. Wine and painting is fun, but personally I only enjoy it together when I am doing it with others. Beyond that, both are meant to be enjoyed by themselves.
  5. Read the labels of everything you buy… Carefully!

What do you need to start with your painting journey?

I cannot give you extensive advice, but I can share a bit. Because I was not sure if painting would be something that I would get into, my supply list was kept simple:

  • A few treated canvases (incase you irretrievably mess one up);
  • A lot of white and black paint;
  • A tray of colored paints (with primary colors and a handful of in between colors in);
  • A whole roll of cling film (budget painting – wrapped the cling firm over a plate and used it as a pallet);
  • A set of paint brushes of various sizes; and
  • A set of sponge brushes (honestly, these are not my favourite, as they absorb a majority of the paint. This happens unless you apply thick layers of paint).

That is all that was needed for the first few paintings. It is that simple.


Where are we now with the painting journey?

Well, the wine and paint evening described above is the first and last one we had (Guys! We need to make a plan to do another!). Since then, painting has really become one of those soul servicing hobbies I have been dabbling in. It gives immediate satisfaction. Four months down the line, I have gotten my own technique down to the T. It is stroke-like, it is what works for me.


To date, I have finished a piece of Paris (a little A3 one) and a massive one of the sunset in Betty’s Bay (I miss the ocean). I am currently busy with one of the canals in Venice (the covered A3 canvas mentioned earlier) and next up will be the streets of New York City (also an A3 canvas). I chose the three smaller pieces in honour of my bucket list places to visit. Sort of like constant reminders for working toward the things on my vision board.


If you are looking for a new hobby. I would definitely recommend painting as a new one for you. It is fun to do and most of the time it takes a lot of effort to have it be absolutely terrible – at least you can always apply a white coat over it and try again. There are people you can contact to give you painting classes if you do not feel comfortable messing up clean canvases. Most artists have also started rendering their services via platforms such as Zoom and Google Meet now! What a time to be alive!

I hope you enjoyed this post and that you are as inspired as I am right now to grab a paintbrush and paint your heart out.

Until next time. God bless!

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