Expert Advice Before Your First Time Painting

Welcome to the #365Firsts Podcast and the Expert Advice Before Your First Time Series. The show aims to encourage, prepare, and inspire you to do things you’ve never done before and complete your #365FirstsChallenge list. 

In each episode of this series, we give you tips and advice to set you up for success, for specific firsts and new experiences. The guests and topics are as varied as the options and possibilities of new experiences. 

Whether you’re trying to learn a new skill, improve your health and happiness, work on your self-development, add excitement and adventure to your life, or simply have first times, you’re going to love our podcast.

In This Episode

When people discuss doing things for the first time and picking up new hobbies, they often talk about creative ventures. In today’s episode, we’re going to be taking a dive into the world of arts and crafts, and looking at everything that you need to know about painting for the first time.

We’re joined by Rebecca Noelle – an expert artist who creates beautiful work in every medium from oil painting and piano, to set design and Irish dancing. She’s had an incredibly vibrant career so far, and has a wealth of experience in the creative industries. 

The Guest Expert

Rebecca is an incredibly creative person, who’s been working in the artistic industries since a very early age. She spent her school years at Clare Cherry School, learning about every kind of art form. She also studied a multitude of dance styles at the Looking Glass Studio. 

In her education, she learned how to play piano, how to drum, draw, paint, sculpt, sing, act and dance. Her dancing ability covers many styles, including ballet and Irish dancing.

Rebecca started oil painting at 16, where she was inspired heavily by black and white portraits of classic film stars. When she worked as a professional ballroom and tango dancer, she also sketched a lot and worked in costuming, set design, art direction, theater and film production.

To put it plainly, her artistic abilities seem to be limitless. Rebecca traces her artistic inspiration back to her love of her homeland, California. She is also heavily inspired by humans, nature, beauty, magic and stories.

Rebecca has been working as a plein air painter since 2012, and spends a lot of her time outdoors, painting on location. The gardens, landscapes and architecture of San Diego are frequent focal points in her work, as are the places where she travels. She works on location frequently, and in her two studios on an abundance of different projects.

What You Need To Know About Painting For The First Time

Don’t Limit Yourself – Explore all your Options

Right off the bat, Rebecca discusses her artistic history and her experience with starting off as a painter. She’s cycled through countless mediums, and has attended a huge range of classes, seminars and workshops in order to find the art style that works for her.

She notes there are hundreds of styles of painting, and encourages anyone who considers themselves to be ‘unartistic’ to look into finding one that works for them. Trying out painting in just one style, would be like watching an action movie, and deciding you dislike nature documentaries.

There will be a painting style that suits you perfectly, you just have to be willing to try new things out and explore different avenues. 

Don’t Listen to Your Inner Critic

Rebecca notes it’s important to remain non-judgemental about your work. It’s easy to be heavily critical about your own art, especially if you’re new to a medium. Remaining open minded and non-judgemental is key to finding success with painting. Additionally, she notes it’s important to create for yourself. Make what makes your brain happy.

Consume Art to Create It

Another important point that Rebecca brings up is that it’s vital to always keep consuming art. View as much of it as you can – go to galleries, visit local classes, watch art history documentaries online and read books. Keep yourself inspired and involved with a variety of different art styles wherever possible, as this will help improve your own work immensely.

Start with the Basics

In terms of the technical side of painting, Rebecca advises to start small with your equipment. You don’t need a fancy studio or table, or even an expensive set of oil paints. Grab yourself a sketchbook, some pencils and a marker, and get outside to start sketching. Try not to sink your money into just one venture, only to find out it’s something that you don’t enjoy doing.

In general, Rebecca’s advice for first time painters is to simply start creating and consuming art. Don’t compare your work to others, and don’t feel the need to spend tons of money on the best brushes you can buy. Simply create, evaluate and try to continue learning at all times. 

Rebecca’s Current Projects

To wrap up this post, we wanted to note some of Rebecca’s current projects, as they are simply stunning pieces of work. As we said earlier, she’s working on a huge variety of pieces right now. 

‘Elements of Nature’ is a beautiful project that layers transparent watercolor shapes and pen drawings of found items in nature. It aims to depict the interconnectedness of every single element in our universe.

‘Palette Knife Desserts’ is fairly self explanatory, and it’s wonderful to look at. Donuts, cakes, pastries…you name it. They are all painted in thick oil paint with just a palette knife, and almost certainly going to make you hungry. 

‘Dreams, Myths and Stories’ is a stunning project. This collection of work features large, colorful, illustrative oil paintings that blend humans, animals and landscapes together into depictions of ancient stories, dreams and visions.  

Balboa Park in Every Season is a gorgeous collection of oil paintings of San Diego’s Balboa Park, mostly painted on location. The paintings are currently on display at the Hotel Solamar in the Gaslamp Quarter.

Get In Touch With Rebecca

We had a lot of fun recording this episode, and it was great to chat with Rebecca about her work in more depth. Her website and her social media links are;

If you want to get in touch with her to find out more about her latest work or to keep up to date with her exhibits, we’re sure that she would be more than happy to speak with you.

How To Reach Us

Listener feedback and topic suggestions are always incredibly welcome for this show, and we would love to hear from you. Community is at the heart of what we do as a business, so we always love hearing what you guys think about the show.

Are there particular topics that you’d like to see, or something you want advice on? Is there something that you think we could be doing better? Feel free to get in touch with a member of our team at today.

What’s Coming Up Next Time?

New episodes of Expert Advice Before Your First Time are released each Tuesday and Thursday, and we’ve got a fantastic roster of expert guests lined up to give you more advice. 

In our next episode, we’ll be speaking with Collyn Warner on the 23rd about volunteering for a political campaign for the first time. After that, we’ll be speaking with Dave Jackson on the 28th about starting up a podcast for the first time.

Make sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode, you can listen and subscribe on Apple, Google, or Spotify. While you’re there – please leave a review if you can. It really does help us out with our work, and each review is truly appreciated.

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