Acrylic Canvas Painting Supplies – For Beginners
When you’re getting started with acrylic painting you may be wondering what supplies to get.
There’s so many brands, price points, brush sizes, etc.
All you really need to get started with acrylic painting are the basics: acrylic paint, something to paint on, something to hold your paint (palette) and brushes!
I will list out all the supplies that I use in my tutorials. If you like to use a different paint brush brand, brand of paint, etc. that is okay! This post is only meant to act as a guide to help you decide for yourself what supplies to get.
It’s also important to know that, while quality of product is great, what is more important is the artist using the tool.
YOU have the power to produce beautiful art no matter what tools you have and don’t have!
Sometimes that means dollar craft paints from Walmart, cheap brushes and a Mixed Media Pad – And that’s Okay!!!
The links on this page contain affiliate links. If you end up purchasing a product that I link to, I may receive a small profit but at no extra cost to you. Thank you!
List Of Supplies You’ll Need For Acrylic Canvas Painting:
The best deal that I have found for canvases are the bundle packs at Michaels in the Artist Loft brand OR the bundle packs on Amazon. I recommend the 11″ x 14″ size. Some tutorials were done on 16″ x 20″ but I now rarely use that size.
I also use and love canvas paper. It’s great for practicing on but it will “curl” when you paint on it.
I also love this Mixed Media Pad!
My favorites are the Royal & Langnickel Zen or the Majestic Royal Brushes. I find them to be great quality and frugal. They’re readily available at Michaels and a few other craft stores. There are a few other brands thrown in the mix that I like to use too!
Look for something that says synthetic and made for acrylics. The synthetic bristles are able to handle acrylics well.
My Recommended Brushes (With links!!):
3/4” Flat Wash Brush
12 Bright Brush
4 Round Brush
Tiny Round Brush
- Adi’s Pro Brushes (The filberts in this set are AMAZING)
Student Grade Acrylic Paints:
I use student grade quality acrylic paints for this website. The paints I use the most are Liquitex BASICS.
Liquitex BASICS Paint:
It is the PERFECT starter set for a beginner painter. The set includes all the colors that you could possible need and you won’t have to worry about mixing. <—Update!! Liquitex BASICS has recently added new colors to their line and not all of them are included in this set.
While the 48 piece is a GREAT STARTER SET, I do recommend that you eventually buy larger tubes of most common colors (like white, black, the primary colors, brown)
DecoArt Americana Premium
Another student quality option that I sometimes like to use is the DecoArt Americana Premium Paints.
These paints can be found at Michael’s and Amazon. Tip: check the craft paint aisle in Michael’s. They are surprisingly REALLY great paints! I do not use them as often as Liquitex BASICS, however, because they are not as easy to find.
Artist’s Loft Michael’s Brand Paint
Speaking of Michael’s, they have a line of acrylic paint called “Artist’s Loft”. They are similar to the BASICS but cheaper.
I have noticed, however, that the colors seem to be SLIGHTLY different. I often pick up tubes of these paints when I run out of specific colors or need a lot of one color like Titanium White.
Buy a gigantic tube of Titanium white because you’ll be using a lot of it!
Can I Use Craft Paint?
The short answer, yes!
Most craft paints are acrylic paints and in my experience they do fine on canvas. If you’re on a budget, working with kids or just want to test out this painting thing, the Apple Barrel Craft brand is great! In fact, I use craft paints with my kids when we paint.
While I don’t create any new tutorials using them, I still use these paints to practice with and I enjoy the fluidity of the paint. They also work GREAT for DIY paint parties!
Higher Quality Acrylic Paints
Above student grade there is artist and professional grade. These paints have less fillers and your painting will essentially last longer because the paint light-fastness is higher.
Three go to brands for high quality professional paints are Liquitex, Golden and Winsor and Newton.
I, personally, do not own an expensive easel. I’m kind of an oddball that likes to paint flat or with the canvas in my lap or at odd angles that I hold it!
If you’re looking for a “paint party” style easel, I use and love these that I found at Hobby Lobby!
If you’ve seen my videos, you may have noticed that I use paper plates or old coffee lids and sometimes I use those classic circle plastic palettes!
In my opinion, it really doesn’t matter what you use as a palette. You can even grab a piece of cardboard.
Or if you want to get really fancy, you can invest in a stay wet palette. These are actually REALLY nice because they keep the colors wet longer.
It’s really up to you and what you feel comfortable using!
I use glass Mason Jars! There’s something about the glass that makes it easier to rinse your brush off between colors! A glass jelly jar or Marinara Sauce Jar can work too. Just find something large enough to hold a lot of water.
Cleaning Your Brushes
I’m a huge fan of The Master’s Brush Cleaner! In fact, I wrote a whole post about it! I keep it at my sink where I wash my brushes and will use it every other time I rinse them out. It really keeps the brushes from getting too much dried paint build up and preserves the shape of the bristles.
If you’re using traceables, you’ll have to get graphite paper to transfer the image onto the canvas. Graphite paper is a very small investment because one sheet can be used multiple times.
They also make White Graphite paper for transferring on darker surfaces!
I love using T-square rulers! They are great for making nice crisp horizon lines and any straight line as needed.
Occasionally I use chalk to draw on the canvas, especially over dark areas of a painting. Chalk erases easily with a wet paint brush. It’s also a good way to “test out an idea” before painting over the object.
I use sketchbooks to practice with and sketch out ideas. I recommend that you get one as well! They are great for practicing brush strokes and techniques.
Having a DIY Paint Party?
You can see my post specifically about supplies for a paint party. They may be different from the ones in this post because you’ll be buying in bulk.