This is part of my guide for beginners learning to paint in acrylic, based on my own experiences as a self-taught painter. These are some mistakes I made when I was starting out, and how you can avoid them in your own paintings.
Mistake #1: Not modifying your photo composition
I strongly recommend working from photos as a way to improve technical skill. If left to my own devices, I would probably just paint the same landscapes over and over, but my work doing custom paintings from photos helped me learn new skills and find enjoyable subjects that I never would have tried. However, it’s important to think of the photo as a starting point, not your end goal. Many new artists get tripped up trying for photorealism. We have cameras for that. Move things around, take things out, change the sky, make it your own.
Mistake #2: Cleaning your brush too often
Taking care of your brushes between painting sessions is important, but while you’re painting, resist the urge to clean your brush thoroughly between each color. Instead of rinsing it off completely each time, just wipe off the excess paint on your apron or a rag, and let a bit of the color stay on your brush. This will help tie together the colors in your painting, and help you to discover new combinations you may not have tried.