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Breaking Down the Basics of Painting

What do a painting and a hot fudge sundae have in common besides being literal works of art? The order in which they’re built is critical, and totally makes or breaks the viewing (or eating) experience.

Whether you’re looking to paint like the next Picasso or speak like a seasoned docent on your next trip to the Met, we’ve broken down the process of building a painting so that even novices can sound like experts. The good news? Regardless of whether you master the brush, knowing these techniques yourself will better position you to appreciate the intricacies of others’ paintings—and the hard work that goes into them.

Just remember these three guidelines: do your research first, then draft a detailed plan, and when it comes to executing start big before you go small. Read on for more of the three basics of painting (cherry optional).