Acrylic Painting Supply Picks
If you are just getting started with acrylic painting, I hope I can help guide you with this list and come to a conclusion about what supplies to get.
My favorite art supply stores to physically shop at are Hobby Lobby and Michaels. I can spend hours in those two stores making my dream wish list for all my next art projects.
However, most of the time I shop online to buy what I need without the hassle of going to the store. Not to mention, taking my three little kids with me into a craft store always turns into a big head ache…
Do I have to get the expensive stuff?
Not necessarily! Buying art supplies does not have to be expensive. If all you can afford are dollar store art supplies, you can still create fabulous art! Get what you can afford! If you can afford to get the high quality paint, then get that! Most of you are on this website because you are doing this just for fun or it might even be your first painting ever. So I am presenting economical options for that case. But…if you want to dive deeper into acrylic painting, I would encourage you to invest in the professional stuff!
I’ve noticed that Amazon.com actually does have great deals on art supplies! You can’t beat the free 2 day shipping if you have Prime.
These are all listings from Amazon.com. All the supplies are personally picked out by me because I think they are great for beginners and all fairly economical options! This page does contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.
What size should I get? That depends on personal preference and what you’re painting! Most of my tutorials are on a 16″ x 20″ or 11″ x 14″. Any of the tutorial designs can and do fit on different sizes, even squares! If you’re painting with kids, smaller is better.
Do I need to prime a canvas? All canvases that you purchase at an arts & crafts store or on Amazon “should be” primed and ready to go! That means they don’t need any gesso or primer on them. If they are bright white color, then they are gessoed!
Where do I get the best canvas deals at? A 16″x20″ canvas will run about $3-$4 in a craft store.
Michaels has phenomenal sales on canvases during the year so if you want to “stock up” that is a great place to go! Look out for those sales! They tend to happen around the major holidays.
Amazon sells packs of canvases and they aren’t a bad deal either! I’ve seen five packs about $20 on Amazon. I use this canvas pad a lot! It’s $20 for 10 sheets of 16″x20″, which isn’t bad for $2 a piece!
By the way I LOVE canvas paper! Trust me when I say this…every painting you see on this website was NOT the first time I painted it! I paint my rough drafts at least two times on this canvas paper before I even touch the real canvas. I love this pad because it’s cheap! Amazon doesn’t always have it in stock but I’ve seen it at other art stores like Blick!
My Brush Picks:
What brushes do you use? There’s not one particular brand that I sponsor or am partial to. Although…I do tend to have luck with the Royal brand.
I usually buy a variety pack that has multiple shapes and sizes of brushes but try to shoot for a medium price range.
Make sure the pack says “meant for acrylics” or “synthetic”. The soft synthetic bristles are ideal for acrylic paint.
My Paint Picks:
Leveling up in acrylic painting?
What paints do you use? For these tutorials, I like the Liquitex Basics Studio Quality brand and I also like to use craft paints.
The Liquitex Basics is a “soft body” acrylic paint, meaning it flows easily and drys fast. It’s a great studio quality paint for students and beginners.
I also like to use craft paints either in the Plaid or DecoArt brand. There’s different lines of acrylic craft paints in those two brands but I’ve personally use and like both Plaid Apple Barrel and DecoArt Americana.
My Table Easel Picks:
Is an Easel Necessary? Well it makes a huge difference to paint on an easel!
I paint flat all the time when I’m recording video and I’ve just grown accustomed to painting that way.
But when I’m painting for leisure, I do use a table top easel. It’s nice to get an upright perspective of the painting. I don’t use anything fancy. I actually use these because I have a whole bunch for the private paint parties that I do!
As for table top vs. floor, that is a personal opinion. I’d rather sit down to paint than stand!
I use paper plates or a washable palette like this one! Sometimes…I use a coffee can lid, piece of cardboard, ceramic plate…. Whatever I grab at the time! Lately, washing palettes is something I always put off doing so I much prefer disposable.
I don’t know why I just discovered “palette paper” but I’m going to be trying this from Amazon soon! I like how it comes with 40 sheets.
I use old Large Tupperware or a glass Mason Jar! Make sure you’re using a large container so your water doesn’t get muddy fast and affect the color of the paint you’re applying on the canvas!
You don’t have to varnish your painting but it adds a nice finishing seal to your work! I use varnish when I am going to sell something or if I really like the painting and want it to have a nice sheen. I like to use Liquitex varnish in either the Satin or the Gloss. Applying it to your finished acrylic paintings will make the colors look richer and deeper.
If you are a practicing artist (actually all of you art artists so this goes for everyone), a sketchbook is a must! I have three laying around my house and grab it at a moment’s notice when an idea pops in my head. Every great painting starts with a great sketch! I also use my sketchbook to practice new brush stroke techniques, see if a combo of colors look good together, etc.
See More Info in my FAQ Section!
I still have questions about art supplies! I’d be happy to help! You can contact me here!