Intermediate Painting Tips: 5 Tips to Take Your Painting to the Next Level

So you’re a pretty good painter – but you’re ready to take things to the next level. Today, we’re highlighting some of the best tips for intermediate painters, including the strategies you can use to take your painting skills to the next level.

September 21, 2020
Mike Jr.

So you’re a pretty good painter – but you’re ready to take things to the next level.

Today, we’re highlighting some of the best tips for intermediate painters, including the strategies you can use to take your painting skills to the next level.

Plan your Painting

Many beginner painters just start painting. They have a rough idea of where things will go, but they don’t formally plan everything.

As an intermediate or advanced painter, you can’t always “just paint”. Instead, we recommend planning basic features of your painting in advance.

If you’re serious about painting, then invest in a viewfinder. Viewfinders help artists determine composition, crop images, and identify color values, among other useful things.

In many cases, the difference between a good painting and an average painting is layout. You might be a skillful painter, but if your painting is laid out improperly, then you’ll look like an amateur.

Buy Artist Quality Paints

When buying paints, you can choose student or artist quality paints. For many beginners (especially paint and sip class beginners), student paints are perfectly fine. You’re painting to have fun and enjoy some wine – not to discover a new career.

If you’re serious about painting, however, then artist quality paints are a smart investment. Quality paint is more expensive, but it has more pigment and it produces better quality artwork. If you feel your paintings look amateurish, or if you feel your cheap paint is holding your back, then invest in artist quality paints. They make a difference.

Paint Things You Want to Paint

This tip sounds obvious, but it’s not as obvious as you think. Many beginner painters are stuck painting things they see in guides online. You might copy the same flower or sunset, for example, to hone your painting skills.

Instead, consider painting things you want to paint.

Choose a subject you like. Paint a landscape you know and love. Copy a mountain sunset near your hometown. Paint a photo using your favorite beach, city, or person, as inspiration. Paint a self-portrait.

When you paint subjects you know, it makes the paintings more meaningful. You’re an intermediate painter – and that means you can move past the flowers and sunsets seen in beginner painting classes.  

Take a Step Back

Yes, painters can get lost in the moment and heavily focused on painting. However, we recommend taking a step back periodically. Analyze the scene, review your work, and make sure you’re painting towards a singular vision.

Some people get lost in painting and go off track. You might get wrapped up in a minute detail, for example, and miss the big picture. Intermediate and advanced artists know when to take a step back.

Follow YouTube Tutorials and Other Online Painting Classes

There’s more information on the internet than at any previous point in history. In fact, you could feasibly go from a clueless artist to a master artist exclusively through free online tutorials.

YouTube and other sites have a wealth of painting tutorials. Follow some of the best-known painters on social media. Check their step-by-step painting tutorials and guides.

With so much information out there, we recommend focusing on one or two artists you like. Do you like painting landscapes? Nature scenes? People? Cities? Animals? Babies?

Whatever you like to paint, you’ll find one expert on the internet who shares your passion. Hey, you can even stream episodes of Boss Ross’s The Joy of Painting online  through Prime Video or Twitch.

By following painters you know, like, and respect, you can start painting things you like. Some painters are really good at painting the perfect tree. Others painters create jaw-droppingly realistic cityscapes. By following painters through social media, YouTube, and other channels, you can see the painting techniques that take your intermediate skills to the next level.

Try Different Types of Paints

Most beginners start using acrylics – and that’s okay. As you become more advanced, however, you’ll want to try different media.

Oils: Oils are slow-drying paints made with ground pigment (colors) suspended in a natural drying oil (a binder). Many oil-based paints use linseed oil, although some paints use walnut oil, poppy seed oil, or other plant-based oils.

Tempera: Tempera is a type of paint made from egg yolk and water. Egg tempera dries quickly, making it unique from oils and acrylics.

Watercolor: With watercolor paints, the pigment is suspended in a binder (like natural gum. Watercolors are moist paints that come in tubes, and you thin the paints using water and mix them on a dish or palette.

Drink Fancier Wine

You’re an intermediate or advanced painter – so that means you should enjoy fancier wine with your paint and sip class, right?

Consider splurging on a better bottle of wine for your next painting class. Some of our Paint and Sip Live students swear it makes them a better painter – we’ll leave that up to you to judge.

Final Word

What separates beginner painters from intermediate or advanced painters? A lot of it is time. The more time you spend painting, the better you get.

However, good painting is about more than just time. By following the tips above, you can transform yourself from a beginner painter to an advanced painter.