basic painting

November 13, 2008

Acrylic is a plastic-based paint, so it dries quickly (as opposed to oils, which take 2 week+ to dry, depending on how thick you work). I like to use Liquitex Acrylics. I learned the following exercise in college; once you’ve tried this and gotten some experience with it, feel free to improvise or try other methods.


As for colors, start with a very limited palette, so you start getting a feel for mixing colors. I would recommend: Burnt Umber, Ultramarine, Burnt Sienna, Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow, and White or White Gesso. I prefer White Gesso over white paint; it’s more opaque and smoother than regular paint (it’s meant to coat canvases–that’s the stuff that makes your basic canvas white). Notice there is no black…that’s because you make black by mixing Burnt Umber and Ultramarine, thereby making your blacks slightly more complex and able to go warm or cool. From this color palette, you can mix most colors you’ll want to achieve.


Get a variety of brushes that feel good to you. I’d say get at least five, including a large flat brush (a #20 or bigger, depending on how big your canvas is) and a small detail brush (like a Winsor Newton #1). Cheap student grade brushes are good for beginners.


For a palette, I recommend the Masterson one with the sponge bottom and the pad of paper palettes to put paint on (above). ACRYLICS DRY QUICKLY–thin coats dry in minutes–so this palette keeps your paints wet and usable.

For beginners, I would recommend choosing a photo that you like, and try to copy it. Once you’ve mastered that, move on to live still life, live human poses, and landscapes–whatever interests you at the time. I did all of these in school. We also spent months of study on the live nude of all ages, colors, and shapes (drawing, sculpting, and painting), and studied and dissected cadavers from the USC medical lab. All of these things were amazing learning experiences.

For now, start like this: before you do any painting, “tone” the canvas with a coat of Burnt Sienna (or any medium range color), thinned on your palette by brush with water. Cover the whole canvas with the burnt sienna; once it’s dry, start your sketch in pencil, then paint. This is a good idea for many reasons: 1.) it gives your painting a warm glow, 2.) if your paint doesn’t completely cover the surface, the canvas showing through won’t be stark white, and 3.) from this color base, you’re able to build in both a light and a dark direction. Color-wise, you’re starting from a middle ground.

Also, don’t forget to use the most appropriate brush for the job…If you’re filling in a larger area with color, remember to switch to a larger brush, so your color fields look consistent and you don’t waste your time. And, of course, if you’re painting a detail part, don’t get lazy and forget to use a detail brush.

Traditional painters will say to start with a sketch and build your painting from dark to light. I just do whatever makes the painting look good to me ๐Ÿ™‚




  1. ร‰lida Badarรณ on November 16, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Hello Mike, is an immense pleasure to congratulate this here and admiring their talents, not only in music in the drawings as well. Congrats Glorious Excess, and you could bring to the Sao Paulo-Brazil this wonderful exhibition. While the article, thanks for the tips that was what he needed, soon I will send you some drawings. Hugs
    And remains so talented

  2. Stoffies:P on April 26, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Joh you learned this in college We have to learn this next year! And I’m in high school Dude please please please please pleas please come to Cape Town! You guys have so many fans here oh and why don’t the DCs come in size 3 and they’re so exspensive ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Anyways Keep on rockin and tell the rest of the guys I say hi haha cya xXx

  3. thamil on March 17, 2010 at 12:43 am

    wow i though ur good musician, pianist and guitarist now i realised ur a greatest artist, u been role model for me in music part (im pianist too :D) and now ur 1 of awesome role model for my arts

  4. Micosa on January 20, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    thank you very much for this information. It’ll help me a lot. Thank you for helping beginners. I sware all the LP fans who like drowing want to be like you and Mr.Hahn, honestly

  5. xandro on September 2, 2009 at 6:08 am

    Thank you Mike for your recommendations and advice it helps me and other people who wants to try painting.

    God bless you! Take care! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. JessicaHarper on February 12, 2009 at 7:40 am

    awesome, this was posted on my birthday ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. _AdRiFt_ on January 10, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Huh, wow. I’ve been painting for years and I never once thought to cover my canvas in a medium hue. That is a very great idea! Great…now I’m going to have to go try it out. Ha-ha. I love acrylics and I just started getting into tattooing and I bought this ink that happened to be very poor ink–so now I use it for painting. Tattoo ink is a very amazing medium: it covers well, is vibrant and great for detail. Just a little tid-bit of information for those of you who would like to try to a new medium. You can buy ink on the internet. It’s pricey but well worth the experience. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. ZackFair on December 29, 2008 at 9:45 am

    Just what are you not good at? You just made THE best starters guide to paints in the world. Very good points in there; many of which I had to learn the hard way whilst working on a artpiece for an important examination a year or two back. Making your own black and toning the canvas to name afew. A very very good post that I will definatly have people to take a look at if they’re working with paints for the first time.


  9. Phoenix_Alphie on December 16, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    Great tips! Do you have any on drwaing and portfolios? I seriously need the help.

  10. LPfeather on December 4, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    I do all my artwork with pencils and a bit with gouache.
    Have you some artwork made with color pencils like Faber Castell or other tools?
    Myself i’m pretty bad at painting but i’ve seen amazing pieces with color pencil and this is definitely my fav tool. =)

  11. Britta on November 22, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    well, I’ve got a question. in art class, the teacher always told us that when we start a new piece with acrylic paint, the first thing to do is painting each part in a different “basic” color. like the sky in a grey, the grass in a very bright pink, and so on, so the second layer of paint would look better. but I haven’t really figured out how this makes any sense. why do I have to paint the sky grey before over painting it with a blue tone?
    and I read in your post that you “tone” your canvas with one color. it’s sounds logical why you do that. but from what I was taught in art class, I am pretty confused now.
    thanks in advance. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. axrinekey on November 21, 2008 at 1:09 am

    Hmm, although I don’t study much about art, but drawings have always calm me a lot.

    Very good tips indeed, and these widen my knowledge a lot.
    I didn’t know they have that kind of pallete, I’m just using those really simple, normal retarded plastic pallete. D:

    You do really love acrylic, huh?

    Dark to light, huh?
    I’ve heard some of them saying light to dark, ‘coz it’s easier to colour…
    I shall try that out. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for the great tips, anyway!

  13. Charlotte_Jay on November 20, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    Mike, thank you very much for your great tips, they’re really useful and… I was wondering if you could give us some tips on songwriting, too.THANKS A LOT!

    Have a great weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. msgirl on November 20, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    I HAVE A QUESTION!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ mike? AS AN ARTIST,from ur perspective what is art???

  15. shinoda_fan on November 20, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    hey mike how much wold it cost me for you to paint on my xbox?
    im a big fan of your art and music,
    it would be an honor if you would!
    please reply.

  16. kate on November 19, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    holy crap, what class did you get to look at cadavers? thus far in 4 semesters at art center and a year at another college i’ve never had that opportunity. damn.

  17. AS_21 on November 19, 2008 at 6:39 am

    thank you so much! thanks to SQUISHY_HO who asked for these! I’m really gratefull ๐Ÿ˜‰ I love drawing and painting so those tips would be amazingly helpfull. once more THANK YOU!

  18. karma_capella on November 18, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    thanks a lot, Mike! but i have been drawing for many years (i don’t remember how much ^^) this is my hobby, THIS IS A PART OF MY LIFE. i love graphis arts and i usually draw it. i have acrilycs and sometimes i paint everything: pottery, glasses, furniture, vinyl toys (yes, i love drawing like a little child^^). i often draw manga

  19. rde on November 16, 2008 at 5:46 am

    Great tips thanks Mike!!!

  20. Illara on November 15, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    awesome tip on the palette. yeah acrylic tends to dry faster. maybe i could start trying. LOL! thanks for the post! ^^


  21. eirime on November 15, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    Hey:) I don’t understand one thing… The Acrylic mix with special diluent(like in Oil) or with water? Becouse when I painting with oil i use special diluent and my teacher said use diluent in Acrylic too… How you do?

  22. Squishy_Ho on November 15, 2008 at 9:52 am

    thank you very much =)

  23. missdunno on November 15, 2008 at 9:41 am

    Thank you for the tips, Mike. I really appreciate coming from you, you’re such a great artist! Actually I’m not very good at painting but I like it, so I really want to improve. The point is that sometimes I don’t know what to paint, maybe I haven’t got imagination enough… I would like to have my own style, even if it’s not great.

  24. clara110 on November 15, 2008 at 6:25 am

    hey mike!
    thx for the post.. i’ll try that! we’re working with oil paint in class at the moment…its’ great! xD
    now the thing is: could you explain me how i could get to a good arts school if i’m from switzerland? i mean, there are some here, but i can’t study GRAPHIC DESIGN.. switzerland seems to be to small for that..xP.. so do you have any good ideas or thougts for that problem? i’m quite pissed because of that at the moment, because i’d love to do that.. x'( .. and i can’t afford to go to an arts school in a foreign country just like that! xS

    have a nice day!

  25. Shinodabestfriend on November 15, 2008 at 12:54 am

    heeey you little expert! ๐Ÿ˜€ you’re a genius man… by the way, I prefere oil, for my little art works like… 32 * 40 … or more… for the big ones… well… it depends… I use everything.. ^^ lol make great art work Mike!! kisses ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. maria on November 15, 2008 at 12:50 am

    A very informative post. I’m not a good painter, actually, I don’t paint good but your advice is useful.

  27. isa_p_lp on November 14, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    Hey Mike!! Thank you a lot for this post. ๐Ÿ˜€ I used to paint with oils, but i just quit because i decided to learn by my own trying with other tecniques. My problem is related with imagination development. How can I improve my creativity? I want to be more original and not only copy things that already exist. So how can I do it? “/
    Thanks a lot again. Greetings from Ecuador!

  28. fichan_cruel on November 14, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    mike…thax 4 the tips,,
    but,,im kind a girl who cant painting…
    everytime our art teacher give us painting assignment,,i almost failed..

    is there any way for person who didnt have art skill become skilled??
    like you maybe??

    im jealous to my friend who can draw,,they drew manga character,,scenery,,sometimes sketch..

  29. erippe on November 14, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    Hello,Mike!!Thank you for telling about many art!I liked drawing a picture before,too.(it isn’t real by the sketch degree..)I felt like drawing!!Thank you!!:)

  30. linkinparc on November 14, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    dearest mike,

    this has been one of the most interesting posts of your blog.
    Thank You very much Im very very thankful for this post, coz I admire you and your paintings and loads of acrylic painters (such as Luke Chueh)

    Ill appreciate if you could post a bit of Luke coz his art is so amazing and Im sure loads of LP fans will apprecciate that too and etc.

    Sunny greetings from under the Ozone hole, Southisland New Zealand, queenstown

  31. Zip on November 14, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Dear Mike!
    I just wanted to say You BIG BIG BIG THANKS! Because you’re the only one person I know in music-art-show biz, who allways finds the time for his fans, to answer our questions, and even give such useful tips!! I know, you should be very busy man, you’re the best rock band’s frontman and co-producer, you are doing so much for your music…You draw and make exibitions, which takes a lot of effort and time…Im just…Im just in total amazement. I’m listening to LP for so many years, and never thougth about that before, about HOW F*CKIN’ MUCH YOU DO FOR US, MIKE!

    THANX AGAIN, xxx Zip

  32. tpbarbosa on November 14, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    lol I really didn’t know there wasn’t black O.O
    I used to think paiting was boring, but after seeing your results I’ve just got so excited to do something like it
    I’ll surely try it out, of course it’ll never be better than the ones you’ve done
    But oh well :p
    Thanks a lot Mike!

  33. TiffTiff33LP on November 14, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    Yo dude,thats cool,in my art class right now at school my art teacher is teaching us how to mix colors,we’re going to start an acrylic landscape painting of a country of our choice,i picked japan!!!^^We should start monday,i think!!!!!^^ P.S i painted a portrit of myself,well i tricked it out and he loved it,and he put it on the wall 4 everyone 2 c!!!^^im like wow u like it u really like it..!!!^^Thanks 4 da tips dude u rock^^

  34. Melinahites on November 14, 2008 at 10:39 am

    Last year in my art 10 (grade 10) class. i did a canvas with acriyc. and we didnt paint the base white we left it the way it is. we streched it and everything ourselves. It started out look absolutly awsome and by the end i had put two much paint on the background. its now cracking and ya its in the back of my closet, because i dont want to look at it….. it would have been in my shcools art show but i messed up. my pricipial is not alowing me to take art 20(grade 11) because she says i need to take physics…. but ya….. whatever life goes on i guess…

    i wish someone would have told me the things u told us…. Thanx dude.

  35. Trip on November 14, 2008 at 8:53 am

    thanks 4 da tips! i kindda cheat because i like 2 paint ‘paint by numbers’ i know its nothing like doing da real thing but its good pratice 4 mixing colours!!! sorry… i do do some paints from fresh but i prefer 2 draw! Who influenced u 2 paint?
    Oh btw just wondering (as r a lot of people) r u going 2 do another album wid ‘Fort Minor’? I like da music on there and it would be cool 2 have another one come out… just wondering. Look after urself!!! bui

  36. zahra on November 14, 2008 at 6:57 am

    VERY VERY HELP FUL!!!!! THANX SOOO MUCH!!!!!i’ve been painting 4 2 years now and i’m really good ppl keep telling that i should have gone to art school but i didn’t!!!! i study hard and next to that i paint and play my guitars!!!! and the guitar part and the art is mostly influenced by u mike…i dont know if i would find love with any of this without u…THANX…..and the info was great …THANX AGAIN

  37. drpd1 on November 14, 2008 at 6:11 am

    unfortunately i can’t paint at all….. all i was ok at was drawing diagrams in school and college…. really nice post though…… ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. Annie on November 14, 2008 at 6:01 am

    Thank you for tips, I’ll try them ๐Ÿ™‚ Do you think you could also write something about drawing with pencil or charcoal? Thx a lot

  39. Kalini on November 14, 2008 at 3:04 am

    Thanks for the lesson! It’s so nice from you to share your knowledge and experience from college with your fans, interested in painting! It would be very useful to them, for sure! Krassie K.

  40. GreenPheonix on November 14, 2008 at 2:56 am

    Hey Mike, I painted two pisces about 2 months ago and with the tip’s and pointers you gave us, i’ll paint more often.

    Thanks> DB

  41. Shadow on November 14, 2008 at 2:29 am

    Thanks for the tips. Maybe I should finally just try and start, I’m just not sure if I have any talent, lol. My problem is that I can picture in my head what I wanna paint but don’t get my hands to do it…lol. But ok, I don’t have much of experience so… I tried to start some time ago when I did basically what you said: take something and copy it for the beginning. It was an album cover of Sting back then and I did it with aquarell pencils. Still have it on my wall ๐Ÿ™‚ Whatever, most important is maybe like my collegue (she’s a painter) recently told me: one just has to start and see where it leeds to. Just do it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  42. ms_shock on November 14, 2008 at 1:51 am

    I always use pencil…… But last week i though about colours. I even asked my mum to buy me some paint. She knows that i’m good in drawing, so she asked me abt paint i want. I didn’t know what to say and you partly answered my question, lol

    Thank you for your responses!

  43. jerunia_chaz07 on November 14, 2008 at 1:28 am

    wow!…thank you so much for the pointers… this is really useful for aspiring painters…^^ thank you and God Bless…^^

  44. Lolo on November 14, 2008 at 1:28 am

    Thanks a lot Mike for your tips ^_^
    I was wondering if you could give feedback of some paintings of your fans out here and out there, like you do with questions? I started to paint last year without any help and without taking any classes and I feel that sometimes I miss the techniques to make a painting. I feel like I’m wasting time at times. Well I’ve seen a lot of Bob Ross shows :P, but I don’t really make landscapes, I like to make portraits.
    For starters here are two paintings of my nephews: and Sorry if you can’t click on them! Don’t really understand the help…

  45. MissNatalie1984 on November 14, 2008 at 12:52 am

    cheers for the tutorial mike. you wouldn’t believe how many talented artists there are on the lpmb. you should go check out some people’s work in the workshop.

  46. tacos_on_tuesday on November 13, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    SAY WHAT???- Lars Ulrich- my fave music download vigilante sold a Basquiat piece for $14 million. HOLY SHIT!!!! Can you please send him a text & ask if this now means FREE MUSIC FOR ALL? Okay I think I can OFFICIALLY say -“That dude does not need my 99 cents.” ๐Ÿ˜› – Various agencies report the figures, differently it could actually be a mere $13.5 million.

    Fuck this!!!! I couldn’t post a pic of the damn piece. HELP WITH FORMATTING WAS NO HELP AT ALL!!!

  47. KATHYxx on November 13, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    This is very useful information Mike. I can get fustrated with my paints drying too soon and the pallette is good info.

    I apologize for going offtopic, but i feel this needs to be addressed. Your fan club is very disrespectful to its members. Whoever is in charge of it treats everyone like stupid small idiots. There is nothing the LPU offers that is offered better cheaper or faster in other places. Every aspect of it is deeply flawed and I am insulted to be a part of it. I love Linkin Park but i cannot continue to be shafted. And I am not a vocal minority please read the forums


  48. Girl_X on November 13, 2008 at 8:59 pm

  49. Joanna on November 13, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    Hey Mike. I have a qestion. I know how some people hate LP and think theyre emo and what not. And I am the complete opposite of that. I hate how this person below on this link said how LP sucks and all. But the one question I have about this video is when it hits the 30 second mark onward.
    Does the band really change the lyrics that easily if someone like Don says to change it?
    I can understand on ppl giving their opinions on the songs the band writes..but I guess the video cut too short to show the whole story.Because I remember in the M2M [Bonus MVI] it said that you guys as a band/as a whole go over the lyrics first before u change it around

  50. TEQUILA on November 13, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    thank u sooo much…if someone asks me “who tought u how to paint”,i’ll say Mike Shinoda xD

  51. _mYfOrGiVeNeSs_ on November 13, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    Hey Mike! That is really awesome that you know sooo much. Have you ever thought about going to high schools? That’d be really cool if you came and show what you know with people even younger than college students. It’s amazing what you can find with an even younger crowd. You would defintely inspire A LOT of high schoolers, as you have inspired me. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Stay Sweet.

  52. asaulp on November 13, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    Thanks for the very helpful tips! Our AP Studio Art class recently started oil-painting, and as a beginner, it’s frustrating to not do so well with oil-painting right away, especially since it LOOKS and seems fairly simple; judging from what we’ve been introduced to so far, acrylic and oil paints present very different opportunities for working with sharp contrast and blending templates. It’s a difficult process, starting out, but every mistake made is all part of the learning process, and it’s greatly appreciated that you’re bringing emphasis to your initial passion, art. With hopes that your future art shows will expose a deeper value of you as an artist, I thank you (:

  53. ShadowerLiltani on November 13, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    This is very helpful to me, since I just started experimenting with acrylics in my painting class. My professor suggested to me, since acrylics dry fast to layer the colors rather than put on one thick coat like you would with oils. Makes for a great blending effect, especially if done on smooth bristal paper. (The water does not disintegrate the paper). Burnt Sienna and Burnt Umber are my favorites for skin tones, and for doing gray/white hair, Burnt Umber with Titanium White makes fantastic warm grays. I don’t draw on canvas, cause oil/water based paint mixes with the graphite to make mud. I do everything freehand, since we work in very dim light to provoke us into doing sharp contrasts.

  54. mike_n_LP_4ever on November 13, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    I used to paint ut now, I use pencils and pastels!!!! =]:


    ~ N~




  55. murry on November 13, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    I can’t get to my comment on the previous post to amend it, and I can’t add another to that post, so I’m putting this here. Yeah, it’s off-topic. Deal with it.
    JOIN THE IMPACT NATIONWIDE PROTEST OF PROP 8 is this Saturday at your local state capitol. I’ll be there in Oklahoma City. Here’s your chance to make your opinion heard on the subject of gay rights.

  56. Ezza on November 13, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    making my own black huh? i would never have thought of that because im lazy and just buy it XD. i thought that the way i was painting people was changing since starting nusing( yes nurses do get to look and touch cadavas) the only thing i dont like about wet labs the smell of the formaldahyde that they use to preserve the cadavas XP. but it is pretty cool…once curiosity gets the better of you XD i cant believe that you sketch the image on the canvas first i thought that was only an amature thing to do because i suck at painting! thanx for the tips:)

  57. vdo21 on November 13, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    Hey Mike,
    I was wondering if you know anything about a Linkin Park CD to be released through Best Buy entitled, ‘Songs from the Underground’? It’s been advertised in Best Buy flyers. Thanks.

  58. Hawaii_LP_fan on November 13, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    Great Art 101 tutorial Mr. Mike, thank you! Love working with acrylics too. Medium viscosity instead of oils. Never developed a love for oils (messy, long dry time, etc.). Whereas acrylics, you can use h20 to balance out depth on your canvas. I haven’t painted in ages so thanks for inspiring me! :o) Miss the paint on my hands. It gives me a warm feeling, can’t explain it.(Hah, no I’m not a Van Gogh out-there kind of artist!) Brushes, I like using red sable. Winsor is a good choice too! Noticed you experienced a little CSI action with cadavers. Now that’s extreme! Ever add a little Gesso primer+h20 to your paint before washing your canvas? Or just straight up acrylic+h20? What about sponges?

  59. ErbseLP on November 13, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    I have never painted with acrylics. :/
    But I love the paintings that you and other people have painted. =)

    I think I will continue do my drawings… (I don’t know, if it is a right sentence, but i have 5 people asked how they would say it xD)

    And I have only one “good” painting…. :/ (two colors xD)

  60. Eamer on November 13, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    Thanks for this dude, its a great help to everyone starting out painting, and even to people like me who have been painting for a little while. I have just started playing the keyboard recently and have been playing Linkin Park songs from piano tabletures i found on the net, but some of them arent right. Think maybe you could post a few linkin park piano tabletures? that would be awesome dude, but if not i know your a very busy man so thats cool!! Cant wait for new LP album hope we dont have to wait, tooooooooooooooo long dude!

  61. Carla on November 13, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    YOU ARE MY SAVIOR. (really) National Portfolio Day hits NYC this Saturday and I’m trying to fill in the two blank canvases my AP Art History teacher gave me because I finally bought some paint today. Turns out my Color and Design class really did help me out after all. My teacher didn’t explain anything to us, but rather gave us our prompts and forced me into mediums I had never touched until that course. Alot of the stuff you mentioned, I actually did in that class and recognize. Once again, thank you so much for posting this. You should make more art lesson related blogs like this. They’re helpful for beginners or anyone interested.

  62. AliceXD on November 13, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    since i had alot to write heres the page where i put my comment for this post

  63. NoMoreSorrowGirl on November 13, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    So sweet of you :)) Thats why I love you :)Ha!ha!…I love arts but arts doesn’t like me :(…When I was in high school they offer summer art class at school but i ended up on a karate class…HA!HA!HA!…I can’t even draw a trees or even simple flower God I always suck when it comes to arts…I guess even if you took a fine arts course and if your not gifted it sucks…thats what i thought…BTW, you dissect cadavers!?awesome thats why your very good when it comes to the skulls and skeletons…Ha!Ha!…and the best part study of live nudes of all ages :)) Take Care :)) Love Ya! :))

  64. ninguem on November 13, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    thanks for the tips, but we need start draw, without draw how we will paint? ok you started draw while was a boy, but you can teach us how to draw before of paint, the basic strokes to make a nice draw
    and tell more about this “dissected cadavers from the USC medical lab. All of these things were amazing learning experiences.”
    you really did this ๐Ÿ˜ฎ how was your experience doing this?

  65. faiintx on November 13, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    seriously…who else would care to their fans so much?? i asked this same question about a month ago…glad to see that i got it answered. i suck at art and stuff like that because i NEVER knew where to start. this has helped me a lot. ur the BEST mike! ur my idol! – Pallavi

  66. Wello on November 13, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    That’s really cool that you posted those tips!! ๐Ÿ˜€ Awesome. Painting is fun :3 I did a Michael Jackson portrait the other day and it turned out pretty good considering i’ve never taken actual art classes. I did it on the back of a shoebox after painting the box completely black and letting it dry. It was fun using some old little broken, mangled paintbrushes. ๐Ÿ˜€

  67. Treviun on November 13, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    Very interesting post, I hope you’ll put out more ๐Ÿ™‚

    I was wondering, if I was to paint a blue layer under my painting (instead of the Burnt Sienna), would it make the painting appear colder? What about if I paint a shade of green?

    Just a hope, but could you also put out some stuff on how you got into rap (like, your story), and maybe some tips for people that would like to start out but do not know how? If you’re too busy or something, it’s ok…what you’re already posting is a great read!

  68. Sepol on November 13, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    I’m not in any art-related school (science for the win!), but I love to paint, so I try to learn the basics by myself, on books and the almighty web. So, finding some tips from you is awesome.
    And, thanks specially for the palette tip, I always get frustrated when using acrylics because they dry too fast on my “improvised palette” (a piece of paper card, lol); i might try to make one of those palettes you mentioned!

    Thanks for this post ๐Ÿ™‚
    (and thanks for setting the character limit back to 700, 140 was too little :P)

  69. sasummsumm on November 13, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    YAHY i’ve waited for this wohooo^^… thank you for the tips…goes away painting ^^

  70. YourConscience on November 13, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    NICE, dude. I never even consdidered using Gesso as a means to paint, but I’m definitely curious to try it out now. Haha. Another note for beginners (something I always do) is to try and work from the “back” to the “front”. In other words, think of a landscape: I’d paint the sky first, then water/land, and then add whatever clouds/plants/animals/ect over that. I’m no pro, but if anyone has questions about art that Mike may not have time to cover, I’d be more than happy to offer what little knowledge I have. ( Ugh, I miss my art… Mike, someday, you and I are going to do a collaboration together. Haha. Good luck to all the new painters. ^_^ Take care lovlies.

  71. EpilepticChickenScratch on November 13, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    That had to have been the most informative post I’ve read on here; which is awesome because I love to paint. However, my problem is the fact that I can’t seem to paint/draw anything that has any kind of depth to it whatsoever. I’m more of a “calligraphy,” and random shapes type of person. For example, LEAVE LOVE BLEEDING, ACRYLIC ID, and ALTER EGO (the ugliest collab piece ever), were all done in acrylic but nothing spectacular like what you do =). Do you have tips for stuff like that? Thanks =)

  72. LP_Fan on November 13, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    Thank you, that was agood idea ๐Ÿ™‚
    I’ve onely one question:
    Which colors i have to mike, to get a good skin color?
    I tryed everything, but it allwys looks too pink, brown or yellow ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  73. rockermeg on November 13, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    …I think I’ll just stick to manga (-: I can draw but I can’t paint to save my life
    We just did Batik in art,have you ever tried that?? Its strange and I haven’t seen my work since its last dye…but it was a great experiment. We used flowers and plants but mine had a very small range of colours: Yellow, white and green…because I find that more natural but we couldn’t do white so I put some orange and pink in…I want to see how it comes out.
    You can tell just how much you enjoy art…and you’re really talented!

  74. durg on November 13, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    yay for this post ๐Ÿ˜€ i love painting & drawing, & even though im going to school for graphic design, its always going to be a big help.
    & in school im always going to the art room & painting haha, my teacher has so many of the little bottles of paint its insane.
    hmm.. never wouldve thought of using gesso instead of the white paint.. ive always just used that as a base coat for things but ill have to try it instead of white. ๐Ÿ™‚
    thanks for the post mike ๐Ÿ˜€

  75. JPkaukonen on November 13, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Hello Mike, thanx for the advices I really apprecciate it. I love your work and you got me into painting as well. If you’ve got some time, check out my work from my website: You’ll like it, I know.Take good care man. I love you.

  76. Janni_Loves_LP on November 13, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    Hey Mike! Thank you very much for the great advice..! I’m actually getting started with acrylic painting these days (I’ve been drawing for a long time) so your timing couldn’t have been better, hehe.. ๐Ÿ˜› Thank you, it was really helpful! ๐Ÿ™‚

  77. Henna on November 13, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    Thanks for that post Mike. I’ve chosen to do Art at school and that certainly helped. I won’t have access to the different colours but other than that, I think your advice will come in handy. When i used acrylic, i find that it can become quite thick should I need to add layers of differentt shades of colours to get the right tone (sometimes making the right tone on your palette can be quite difficult as it often looks wrong to me when it touches canvas). Any tips? And your right,I’ve been lazy and not bothered to change my brush when needed, and a smaller brush really does make all the difference when you’re painting in tiny detail.
    Henna (England) xx

  78. cuz on November 13, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    Thanks much for all the tips! It’s very helpful. You’re great. Plus it’s always nice to know how your favourite painter works ๐Ÿ™‚ Take care.

  79. ritzifying on November 13, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    I’m not even artistic enough to draw a decent looking stick figure.
    I think it’s great that you took time to make a post like this for all the budding artists. : )

  80. Lori on November 13, 2008 at 11:40 am

    dude i actually found that really helpful, thanks ๐Ÿ™‚ when you’re a wee old man you can go off and be a tutor ๐Ÿ˜› i know th is might sound kind of silly or whatever, but how do you get creative? what inspires the things you draw?? :S ps cadavers? nice…im doing life drawing just now and find it hugely helpful for drawing….im really bad at proportions :S

  81. SdwOTD on November 13, 2008 at 11:34 am

    Mike, youโ€™re so wonderful. Thanks for all the tips.

    =O I didnโ€™t know you could make black! ::must try::

    Wow, you got to study cadavers? That is so unusual/cool. Iโ€™ll have to ask my friend in art school if she gets to do that.

  82. sterilepoon on November 13, 2008 at 11:12 am

    I really appreciate this post. My painting teacher in high school hated students and didn’t care if we learned and excelled, or crashed and burned. And then I ended up having her for my studio course, too, so I never had someone work with me on painting. I feel inadequate now as a studio art major in college so every little bit of knowledge helps ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks again, and please, MOAR art posts! P.S. How often do you use a palette knife? Does it just depend on whether or not the complete blending of acrylics is beneficial to the piece at large? Does blending with the brush give it some sort of special awesomeness vs. the anal retentive use of the palette knife? Burnt Sienna here I come~

  83. karolp on November 13, 2008 at 11:08 am

    I paint too, but it’s with oil, and I draw too. I just have some in my lpn site :

    I have more than it, but I don’t put there !!

    is good you do something that you like and I love your paints, you’re really artist in all the senses !!
    I don’t speak it cause I’m fan of your musics, I can speak it cause a understand I make class of paint and draw, and I like everything is diferent !! and this is your case !!

    kisses from Brazil, Carol ๐Ÿ˜‰

  84. Lvix on November 13, 2008 at 11:02 am

    If you go to you see that there is coming a new album…
    But first on lptv you and busta were saying that his album will called ‘blessed’
    and now a this website there is standing ‘back on my B.S’

    Do you know more about this? I don’t understand…

  85. dianlucas on November 13, 2008 at 11:02 am

    Teacher Mike! รต

  86. lp_fm_fan on November 13, 2008 at 10:57 am

    omg, thank you for this, Mike!!! Last summer I tired to paint, well it didn’t turn out too well. I did kinda copying the painting you painted….heh. i did it twice and the first time it looked horrible but the second time it improved!

    but the brushes are rather expensive. i’m using small canvases. and small acrylic paint tubes…so i don’t have too much paint. I had an art class in HS and that helped a lot cuz my teacher told us the correct way but when i started about 3 years later i completely forgot how. i drew some anime, it was very hard, lol. i messed up the skin color. >_<

    i wanted to go to art school a while back. graphic design. โค but methinks it's not for me.

  87. Ash75 on November 13, 2008 at 10:56 am

    Nice. That would be useful. Big thx Mike ๐Ÿ™‚ I wish I could go to the art school…..

  88. lilyjulia on November 13, 2008 at 10:47 am

    you just made me wanna go and start painting again, mike ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks for the pre-toning-advice!

  89. miKer0cks on November 13, 2008 at 10:46 am

    o.O yeah!!! LOVE this post!!! Thx so much Mike!!! โค Why dont you make a section in where we can post our art for you to see and maybe give us some advise and opinion on them? It would be so cool ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyway…here are 2 of my drawings…the first one is from your glorious excess adnd the second one is YOU!!!! Hope you like them ๐Ÿ˜€ *fingers crossed* ๐Ÿ˜› ….Thx again….Teacher Mike ๐Ÿ˜›

  90. Mikeshi_Linkfort on November 13, 2008 at 10:38 am

    And I draw simply a pencil and the handle, but for serious work the canvas and paints is undoubtedly necessary, also I like to use acrylic a spray of a paint. It is a pity only at us do not sell Montana = (

  91. PinkWater3 on November 13, 2008 at 10:34 am

    That was very interesting Mike. Thank you for taking some of your time for this, I’m sure a lot of people will appreciate it.

  92. Jaclyn on November 13, 2008 at 10:27 am

    God,so wonderful post! it makes me feel like starting to draw. I used to draw but only copy fotos. Thanx a lot for what you’re doing for us โค you're an amazing man!

  93. Madlen on November 13, 2008 at 10:23 am

    You dissected people?That is so cool:)I guess I’ll be doing that too but with animals (i wanna be a vet).Anyway you’re really good at explaining to people…you should really write a book on that or something.I’ve always known that i suck at paining (you have no idea how much).For me people who can draw are just gifted and I don’t really think that someone like me how’s terrible at it could learn how to do it.But I’m really gonna try and do something now…and I don’t care how ugly it’s going to be:D

  94. quarky on November 13, 2008 at 10:16 am

    i went to the cadaver lab in high school, i loved it….so cool that you actually got to dissect them, we just looked. i never though you to have medical experience, defiantly points in my book ๐Ÿ™‚

  95. skindesbous on November 13, 2008 at 10:07 am

    DID YOU DISSECTED CADAVERS? Here we just paint people, preferably alive HA! Thanks for the information, I’ll use it in my art classes (I’m really bad with acrylics รน_รบ)

  96. FeelToForget on November 13, 2008 at 10:07 am

    Thanks for the tips, mike!
    I think Liquitex Acrylics is great. I had a question about “Diamonds Spades Hearts And Clubs” but i forgot it on my way to school…
    If you want to you can check out me and my best freind Yoe’s blog, we’re not very active on the blog, and it’s on swedish, but I hope you might check it out.
    And I wonder, I know Art Center is expencive, but how much does it actually cost?
    Thanks in advance!

  97. marilou on November 13, 2008 at 9:58 am

    so unfair! im in an art program in college and our teacher does not give us any of those tips or explanations… we just have to… learn by ourself.

    thanks a lot for those tips mike! actually…. i think i just got an idea for my next painting!

  98. Helene on November 13, 2008 at 9:55 am

    thank you a lot for those tips! i usually draw people with pencil, because i like different emotions of people and wtih pencil i can finish my work very quickly. but i also like to paint with acrylic. recently i finished painting on my kitchen wall (i mixed some of your art with my own). i think it looks cool, even my mom liked it ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks again for the tips, ill definitely use them in the future! have a nice day! -helene

  99. YuN_RoCks on November 13, 2008 at 9:55 am

    we can vote posts! YAY! that’s really cool ๐Ÿ˜€ but what’s more and more cool is the repetition of the post above the comment section, so we can answer to everything you say without going back to the page.
    I guess you had a wonderful time in college huh? STUDYING DISSECTED CADAVERS? awesome! it can be very usefull to learn anatomy well. and I really thank you for this acrylic-lesson, it is so interesting to see how you work, all your tricks and stuff!

  100. raven_of_sorrow on November 13, 2008 at 9:46 am

    perty kick ass advice im actly trying to get more involved in art but cant find something i would like to draw yet

  101. Raiden on November 13, 2008 at 9:46 am

    Wish I could draw well. I’m so jealous who can do that. Oh well…guess I will be the guy who buy the paints :).

  102. Raspberry on November 13, 2008 at 9:31 am

    Thanks for the advice, my daughter is a budding artist … she is 15 and here is one of her pics.

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