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 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! So don’t feel like you have to get the exact tool. I’ve been painting all my life and I always used what I had available. Sometimes that meant dollar store paints and cheap brushes but that didn’t stop my artistic desire to create!
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 use Royal & Langnickel Zen or the Majestic Royal Brushes. I find them to be great quality and frugal.
You can get other brands of brushes and achieve the exact same results! I do recommend you at least look for synthetic bristle brushes with a medium to soft firmness. The synthetic bristles are able to handle acrylics well.
Here are the Michael’s Links to the individual brushes I use often:
- 3/4″ Flat Wash
- #12 Flat (I’ve also called this a 1/2″ flat)
- #4 Bright (I also call this a 1/4″ flat in some tutorials)
- #10/0 liner (or 20/0 liner)
- Medium Round: #4, #5 or #6 Round
- #2 Fan Brush or #4 Fan
You can also get variety packs of brushes:
A good starter brush set is this Royal And Langnickel 5 Piece Zen Brushes. You can get individual brushes easily at Michael’s.
Royal & Langnickel also sells many types of variety packs. I’ve used a few of these. They are also easy to get at Walmart and other places that sell craft supplies.
Student Grade Acrylic Paints:
I use student grade quality acrylic paints for this website.
The paints I use interchangeably are: Liquitex BASICS, DecoArt Americana Premium and sometimes Artist’s Loft. You’ll also see quite a few tutorials from 2017 done in Apple Barrel Craft Paint. BUT, the paint I use the most is the Liquitex BASICS and it is what I’ll be using for 2019 tutorials.
—>Will the colors convert across brands? Yes, maybe, sort of! I created a color chart that may help you out. You can find that here. I can also help you convert a color if needed. Just comment on a tutorial and I will reply back!
Liquitex BASICS Paint:
These are my favorite! I’ve been a fan of Liquitex BASICS for a LONG time now. I absolutely love this 48 piece set! 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. I use this set often! In fact, it has lasted me 8 months of constant painting before needing to buy new tubes of the most common colors.
DecoArt Americana Premium
Another student quality option that I sometimes like to use is the DecoArt Americana Premium Paints. There are some colors that Americana has that BASICS does not have (like Prussian Blue and Golden Green and Cobalt Turquoise Hue) so I grab these. 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! The colors are vibrant and I love how they flow!
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 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.
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 or just want to test out this painting thing, the Apple Barrel Craft brand is great! 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. There are others but these three are more common.
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.
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 can work too. Just find something large enough to hold a lot of water.
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.