An Artist’s Guide

Kaelyn P., Blogger

Being a beginning artist can be confusing and quite intimidating. Any tips at all are usually very appreciated. Here are a few tips that would have definitely helped me when I was first starting out.


This seems like such a common and well-known piece of advice, but having different values of pencils is a lifesaver. What I would suggest for just starting out is to get three pencils, 2b, 4b, and 6b. 2b is the value of a regular writing pencil, 4b is a medium darkness, and 6b is the darkest of the three. Having these values will cover most of the shading that you will need.


Painting with watercolors is what I personally struggled with the most. What I found really helpful though was to look up videos on youtube that show you specific techniques. My personal favorite technique was to put some clean water onto the paper with the paintbrush where you want your paint to go. After you have the thin layer of clean water, you get some paint on the brush and dab it into the places where you have the water. The paint will spread throughout the water, but will not go passed where the water is. This helps you get clean lines and to not put paint where you don’t want it.

Oil Pastels

This last tip sounds unoriginal and obvious, but it is what helped me to be able to work with oil pastels. Treat them like paint. Oil pastels are a paint product, which means they essentially work the same way. You can blend them and layer them just like paint. Don’t treat them like a crayon, because it will not come out as well as it could.