What Are Painting Skills? (Examples And How To Develop Them)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 28 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

An excellent painting endeavour on any surface, object or building can cover its blemishes, enhance its durability and increase its value. A degree is not always necessary to get a painting job, especially when you have the essential skills and expertise, along with experience. Developing artistic skills can equip you to build a successful career in the creative industry. In this article, we discuss some skills essential for painting and explore ways you can develop these abilities.

What are painting skills?

Painting skills are the techniques and abilities that help you decorate surfaces with paint according to requisite specifications. These competencies make it easier to understand the requirements of specific tasks and execute them expertly. These skills can help you build a career outside of painting. With these abilities, you can also pursue a career in construction, education, interior decoration and renovations.

Related: Top Jobs In The Arts (With Duties And Earning Potential)

Essential painting skills

Together with talent and ambition, here are the essential competencies to develop to secure a creative role in an organisation:


One of the critical skills in painting is being a master at working with your hands. This ability involves using various tools and knowing diverse techniques in painting. Dexterity is a proficiency you learn with time. It is one of the critical abilities that distinguishes amateurs from professionals.

Appreciation for aesthetics

Having a superior aesthetic sense is recognising what beauty is and knowing what brings out the beauty in a painting endeavour. Paints can be expensive depending on the quality and making the best use can help you earn positive appraisals and recommendations. A paint job that significantly improves the appearance of a building or an object fulfils its purpose and serves as money well-spent.

Related: What Is Creative Design? Skills And Popular Careers

Attention to detail

Perhaps one of the essential skills for anyone seeking a job involving painting is performing their duties according to the directives of a superior. Most employers want to hire someone who paints according to the specifications they make. Attention to detail ensures that you note even the minutest information and instruction from a superior and apply them to your undertaking.

Computer literacy

Computer skills are crucial to virtually every profession, especially creative disciplines. Modern artistic activities start with a demonstration on a computer to give the client a glimpse of what to expect. The ability to use a gadget for creating original designs is vital. There are many software programmes for painters to help them produce quality prototypes and quickly develop design ideas. Some of these software packages also allow painters to create a profile, showcasing their catalogue of designs and how clients can contact them.


A regular day at work involves mixing paints and applying them to the ideal surfaces. These activities can sometimes get messy, so tidiness is an essential ability that shows organisation skills. The ability to maintain the cleanliness of your work area can enhance your productivity and reputation. It can help you receive positive reviews from colleagues, superiors and the organisation's clients.

Physical fitness and endurance

Some artistic jobs last for hours and this can require significant productivity stamina. Alongside having the knowledge and aesthetic awareness, you require strength and physical endurance to complete paintings, which results in a better reputation and can ensure work availability. Maintaining balance while applying strokes of paint to a surface takes immense diligence. This competency helps you stay safe when working on tall buildings and roofs.

Related: 9 Different Types Of Interior Design Jobs With Salary Info

How to improve your painting skills

While developing your career in painting, certain practices can help you master the art. Follow this step-by-step guide to improve your artistic talents:

1. Motivate yourself

Motivation is crucial to put the abilities you develop or learn to the best use. Like almost every career path, being an artist has challenges that may seem overwhelming. It may involve bearing responsibilities that require motivation to continue or even to maintain performance levels. Motivating yourself is crucial to persevering through difficult periods and maintaining efficiency and productivity. Remind yourself why you learned these techniques and develop an optimistic approach to your career.

2. Join an online community for artists

Finding a community of people with similar interests and talents can help you develop your creative techniques. In these online groups, talented artists with varying experience levels gather virtually to share knowledge, experiences and breaking news. The individuals in these groups disclose industry practices, the latest technologies and employment opportunities with other community members. By being active in these virtual groups, you may gain access to hundreds of art pieces daily. You can also explore different styles and connect with other artists for advice or support, or even share your own work idea to collaborate with them.

3. Expand your imagination

This is a creative profession, so clients usually expect unique and outstanding artwork. Imagination is crucial to expertly executing tasks that require painting as it helps you create original artworks. Besides bringing uniqueness to an ongoing project, creating original art pieces can help you avoid copyright issues. You can expand your imagination by seeking inspiration from other artists or by observing nature. Practise originality and find your preferred style, creative tools and influences. Develop your unique talents and create signature designs.

Related: Creating Thinking: Definition, Development And Advantages

4. Apply to a fine art school

Enrolling on a course in fine art can equip you with the essential skills and knowledge your artistic endeavours require. In an art degree program, you study art history, forms of art, techniques for painting, drawing, design and photography and how to use and care for artist equipment, such as paint, easels and brushes. You can also imbibe painting techniques by reading, watching videos or attending courses in painting.

5. Develop and improve your skills with social media

You can use social media to develop and promote your talents, find inspiration for improvement, discover opportunities and follow industry experts for industry updates. Create a social media account across the major platforms. Besides the conventional top social media platforms, there are social networks that are specifically for painters and other artists. Ensure to follow top creative accounts or pages on these platforms and communicate on artistic posts.

6. Find a creative role model

A creative role model or mentor is a professional who can guide you and help you develop professionally. They have the skill set, exposure and experience to identify areas for improvement in your craft. A mentor can teach you techniques and share crucial industry insights, which can give you an advantage over your peers.

You can find a mentor by networking. Try to attend art events such as exhibits or conferences, where you can meet professionals and discuss mentorship opportunities. Some of the top professionals in your field are active on social media platforms and you can contact your creative role model online before you can ask them for mentorship.

7. Practise your craft

Though learning is important to enhance your skills and expand your knowledge, practising is equally essential as it helps you improve your existing skills. Mastering proficiency in different tools for different techniques demands practice. This also helps you be more versatile and suitable for a more varying range of work.

8. Specialise in your favoured painting styles

Painting comprises many areas and techniques that you can apply, or you may develop a style of your own. Either way, it is necessary to know the basics of the different styles to ensure you make an informed decision that is suitable for your skills. Specialist experience also adds value to your candidature, as employers usually look for painters with experience in a specific style or technique.

9. Volunteer for free artistic projects

To test and improve your skills as a painter, volunteer to work for free. Volunteering makes you experience the realities of performing duties that require painting techniques and get exposure to real-life work scenarios. It also exposes your work to criticism, which may help you develop your skills better. Criticisms are an opportunity to get honest feedback and identify your weaknesses. Working on your weaknesses and learning from previous mistakes can help you improve as a professional and increase your chances of success in the field.

10. Compete in artistic contests

Another way to know if you are a competent candidate is by testing yourself against top talents and by joining online contests for artists and testing your mettle as a painter. Search the web for arts organisations and companies sponsoring campaigns or contests for artists. Locate your preferred category and apply accordingly. This helps you understand your capabilities and also identifies potential areas you require improvements. It also gives you exposure as a painter and how you fare compared to your fellow competitors and can help you connect with similar artists and grow your network.

Explore more articles