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acrylic painting supplies

Gathering the right acrylic painting art supplies is the first step in learning how to paint with acrylics. This page provides a list of essential acrylic art supplies that you'll need to get started painting with acrylics. I've also included a list of some extra artist supplies you may want to have on hand.

If you're a total beginner who is just getting started with acrylics, be sure to look through the list of artist supplies for acrylic painting that are listed below. You can also read an overview of these basic art supplies for acrylic painting.

The 3 most important artist supplies you will need are acrylic paint, paintbrushes, and a painting surface such as canvas or wood panels. But if you've never used them before, how do you know what to get? Read through the descriptions below to learn more about what to look acrylic paints. You can also consult my detailed Guide to Buying Acrylic Painting Supplies.

essential
acrylic painting supplies
extra
acrylic painting supplies

 

acrylic paint

Winsor Newton Artists Acrylic

There are many brands of acrylic paints available. Not all are created equal, however. I personally use Golden, Liquitex, and Winsor-Newton. Lascaux is also another good (but expensive!) brand. The good thing about acrylic paint is that you can mix the paint from any brand. So if you're unsure of which brand to get, buy a tube from every brand to give them a try.

How do I know what kind of paint to get?

Most brands offer two different versions: Student Quality and Artist Quality. What's the difference? Price and quality. Artist Quality paints have better coverage and more punch, therefore it's more expensive than Student Quality paints. Yep, it's tempting to go for the Student Quality paints, because they are cheaper... however, I would generally suggest that you avoid the Student paints. They contain more filler and less pigment, so the results will be less satisfactory than the more superior Artist Quality paints. With that said, if budget is an issue, then go with what you can afford. But if you can, buy a tube or two of the Artist Quality paints as well, so that you can see and feel the difference for yourself.

Acrylic paints come in tubes, bottles and jars. They also come in a range of sizes, from 2oz to 32oz. If you're just starting out, stick with the 2oz size. That way you can decide if you like the brand before investing in more. Those 2oz tubes can last a loooong time, depending on whether you paint large or small. I have had many of my 2oz tubes for years. Therefore, if you're a total beginner trying out acrylics, go for the smaller tubes or jars!

You can also buy acrylic paints in sets, which might reduce the price per tube. Because of this, buying an acrylic paint set might be a good buy for beginners, since you'll be starting from scratch with your collection of paint colors.

What acrylic colors should I get to start with?

You might be surprised to learn that you don't need a while lot of colors to get started with acrylic painting. I would recommend that you have these 10 basic colors to start out with:

Titanium White
Cadmium Yellow Medium Hue
Cadmium Orange
Cadmium Red Medium
Alizarin Crimson
Titanium White
Cadmium Yellow Medium Hue
Cadmium Orange
Cadmium Red Medium
Alizarin Crimson
Phthalo Green
Phthalo Blue
Dioxazine Purple
Burnt Sienna
Ivory Black
Phthalo Green
Phthalo Blue
Dioxazine Purple
Burnt Sienna
Ivory Black

You can freely mix these 10 basic colors to create many of the other colors you will need.

Most brands of acrylic paint offer dozens of different colors to choose from. This can be overwhelming at first, as you might feel that you need every single color in order to paint what you want! This isn't true, however. For instance, Golden makes 8 different shades of grey. But all you need to do is mix white and black, and voila! Who needs to buy grey paint?

If you need to mix a specific color, always try to make it using the paints that you have on hand. If you try and the resulting colors aren't up to snuff, then go out and buy the color that most closely matches what you need. This tactic will save you money in the long run.

To learn about acrylic paints and other acrylic painting supplies, such as canvas, paintbrushes and accessories, check out my In-Depth Guide to Acrylic Painting Supplies

acrylic painting sets

If you're a bit overwhelmed at this point, don't be! There are a few different acrylic painting sets that come with pretty much everything you need to get started with acrylics. The best thing is that they are quite affordable and contain all the acrylic painting supplies that you need in one compact set. They also make great gifts for budding artists who would like to explore acrylics!

The only downside is that most acrylic paint sets will contain Student Quality paint rather than Artist Quality. (If you don't remember the difference, click here for a refresher.) These sets will be helpful in getting your feet wet, but if you want to get serious with acrylics, you'll need to get good quality acrylic paint. If you want to buy an acrylic paint set, be sure to check whether the paint is Student Quality or Artist Quality, and get the one you feel would suit you best.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Painting with Acrylics

Do you have any questions about painting with acrylics? If so, ask here! Your question, along with the answer(s), will be posted online as part of a FAQ about using acrylics.

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Click here to go back to the main Acrylic Table of Contents page.


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