Painting as a hobby can be a very satisfying and relaxing form of recreation. The hobby of oil painting or watercolor painting can help balance your life, especially if you are in a high-stress occupation or position. Winston Churchill had the fate of the world in his hands during the heady days of World War II, yet he found the time to paint, in fact, it helped him to relax and gave him an outlet that had nothing to do with politics or the problems of the world. Start painting.
But I’m not talented.
Baloney! People always say, “I can’t draw a straight line.” So what? Painting is not about drawing a straight line. It’s not even about drawing or painting anything accurately. Its more about how you’re feeling. Its more about what you might express if you had a brush in your hand. Just pick one up, dip it into a color that appeals to you and dab it on, swirl it around, jab it and swish it. Just paint and don’t worry if its art or not. Art will come later. Right now lets paint.
Painting in the great outdoors.
Painting scenes from nature is a great way to to combine creativity with the outdoors. It even has a name. In the art world its called “plein air,” a fancy French name for “in the open air.” It was the way the Impressionists painted. They had to get those brushstrokes down before the light changed, so there wasn’t a lot of time for details, just a quick impression, just the essence of the scene.
Of course you can always finish your painting when you get back home. Watercolor painting is a good way to get a scene rendered quickly, and watercolors dry faster than oils so you won’t have to worrry about carrying around a wet canvas. You’ll also need a portable easel. Of course, if you don’t like strangers watching you work, this kind of painting is not for you.
Painting from your imagination or a photograph.
You can always set up a small studio in a spare room or garage. Near a window is perfect for the natural light, but strategically placed lamps with special bulbs that mimic the light of the sun will also do. And painting a scene from your imagination or a photograph gives you all the time in the world to paint until your work pleases you. If you’re interested in portraits, sit in front of a mirror and start with yourself. Get the hang of the human face before you ask your neighbors to pose for you. So what are you waiting for? Start painting!