What is the Difference Between Different Paint Types?

Before you start painting it is useful to consider the different paint types and the characteristics of each.  If you are complete beginner, here is a summary of each type of paint and their key features:


Watercolour is a challenging medium for beginners but that shouldn’t put you off trying it.  If you make a mistake in watercolour, it usually means starting a new painting unlike other mediums such as oil and acrylic where you can paint over the paint underneath and make adjustments.

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Do I Need to Varnish My Painting?

Some of my learners ask me if they need to varnish their paintings.  I don’t think varnishing is necessary for beginners, but some like the idea of protecting their work for the future or like the look of the varnished finish.

The main reason I don’t suggest varnishing your painting as a beginner is because you are still learning and producing work that is improving all the time.  It can also get expensive to varnish every piece of work.  I like to save varnishing for the one off pieces of work that I am very proud of or if I know the work is going into an exhibition.  However if you are still keen to varnish your work, I will offer some tips on how to go about it.

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