When you decide that you want to start painting as a hobby, it's not quite as simple as purchasing some art supplies like paints and brushes because there are so many methods of painting out there.
Fundamentally, you will have to decide what kind of paint you would like to use. For most people starting out with painting, this means choosing between watercolours, acrylics, and oil paints.
Each method has its own advantages, but for the beginner painter watercolours are the best choice. Here's why:
Easy to clean. When you start out painting, you are likely to make a bit of a mess, getting splashes of paint on your clothes – and that is totally fine, it's all part of the process and part of the fun. But it suddenly seems like less fun when you find that ordinary detergent won't get oil paint stains out of your clothes. Because watercolour paints are water soluble, you shouldn't have to worry about splatters of paint on your clothes not coming out in the washing machine.
Easy to clean brushes. It's not only your clothes that oil paints like to cling to, but also your brushes. In the beginning stages of learning to paint, you might sometimes forget to wash your brushes. With oil painting, this is a big deal because the paint can harden and actually destroy the quality of the brushes, which can often be expensive. But this is not something to worry about with watercolour paints. No special solvents are needed to strip the paint from the brush – just clean water.
Cheaper materials. Because you don't need any special items like solvent paint cleaners, watercolour painting is often a cheaper beginners' hobby than oil painting. With oil painting, the paint is very thick, and this means that you will usually require canvas to paint on. But with watercolour painting, you can simply purchase some sheets of watercolour paper from your local art supplies shop, which will end up being less expensive.
Watercolour is a good teacher. Using watercolour really makes a beginner painter think about their brush strokes because there is less room for error. With oil painting, the paint can be layered because it is opaque, but with watercolours this is not an option, and this means that every single brush stroke has to count. As well as being transparent, the paint dries very quickly so there is little scope to change a brush stroke once it is one the paper.