Acrylic Canvas Painting Supplies – For Beginners
Shop on Amazon? I have an “Amazon Storefront”. You can find that here:
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! No harm, no foul, you can still follow these tutorials with the supplies that you like to use.
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. BUT it does help knowing that you are using what I’m using.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Step By Step Painting is a member of the Amazon Associates Program. That means that I may receive a small commission for qualifying purchases. This is not a paid or sponsored post by any of the recommended brands and retailers and all opinions listed here are my own!
List Of Supplies:
LOOK for sales at Michael’s especially around holidays!
What about Size?
MOST of my tutorials are done on an 11″ x 14″ canvas. I find that to be the perfect size, not too small but not too big. But I do have several that were done with 16″ x 20″. If you ever need to enlarge a traceable, you can check out my post here.
Both of the packs pictured below are packs that I have personally ordered from Amazon and had luck with:
I also use and love canvas paper/ canvas pads, especially when I’m just painting for practice. This canvas paper is perfect for practicing!
I am a fan of Royal & Langnickel. I’ve been using their various variety packs ever since I started this blog. Variety packs are great, you can pick them up anywhere like at Walmart, Michaels, Amazon, etc. However, you may have a hard time getting the exact brush shape and size I’m using (although you will get pretty close!).
Here are some variety packs:
BUT I have decided to pick specific brushes to make it easier for you to find the exact brush I am using. I have chosen to use the Zen brushes from Royal & Langnickel and you can get them individually or in packs at Michaels, Amazon and other Art Retailers like Blick.
Note that although I list my most used brushes, occasionally I’ll grab a special size if the painting would benefit from it.
Michael’s Links to the individual brushes:
- 3/4″ Flat Wash
- #4 Bright (I also call this a 1/4″ flat in some tutorials)
- #10/0 liner (or 20/0 liner)
- Small Round: #0, 1 or 2 Round
- Medium Round: #4, #5 or #6 Round
- Large Round: #8 Round
- #2 Fan Brush or #4 Fan
Amazon sells the Royal & Langnickel Zen brushes in 5 packs:
You can also get the Zen brushes at Blick!
I use and love these pouncers! They are basically a sponge in a plastic cylinder handle. They produce perfect circles for acrylic paintings. I like to use them for decorative borders, polka dot backgrounds, suns, wheels, etc.
I love using T-square rulers! They are great for making nice crisp horizon lines and any straight line as needed.
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.
As of mid November 2018, in an effort to standardize the materials I am using and make it easier for you to follow, I am going to start exclusively using the Liquitex BASICS. That doesn’t mean I don’t recommend the other brands and, for the most part, the colors are labeled the same in “artist color terms” so you can easily find the right match! I may occasionally grab my Americana Premium if I’m after a certain color that BASICS doesn’t have.
—>Will the colors convert across brands? Certainly! And I created a color chart. You can find that here.
Liquitex BASICS Paint:
These are my fav! I’ve been a fan of Liquitex BASICS for a LONG time now. I used these paints in college and have grown comfortable using them. I absolutely love this 48 piece set! It has all the colors that BASICS makes.
However, the tubes are small so the common colors won’t last past 4-5 paintings (depending on how conservative you are with paint and what size canvas you’re using). I do recommend that you buy a full 4 or 8 oz tube of titanium white and mars black because those two colors go the fastest.
DecoArt Americana Premium
Another option that I like to use is the DecoArt Americana Premium Paints. There are some colors that Americana has that BASICS does not have (like Prussian Blue). I’d say they are similar to the Liquitex BASICS but slightly thinner. The colors are beautiful on these tubes with a nice flow!
Where to get them? I’ve seen them at Michaels, Joann and Amazon! One thing I noticed at the Michaels I shop at is these tubes are NOT by the acrylic paints. They are in a completely different aisle where the craft paints are.
Artist’s Loft Michael’s Brand Paint
Speaking of Michael’s, they have a line of acrylic paint called “Artist’s Loft”. They are very similar to the BASICS but cheaper. 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!
I like craft paints and they do fine on canvas! I personally do not use them anymore for any of my “newer” tutorials (as of around May 2018) because I don’t like the chalky finish and they don’t blend and mix as well.
If you’re on a budget or just want to test out this painting thing, the Apple Barrel Craft brand is great! In fact some of my older (and still most popular tutorials) were done with Apple Barrel!
I like using this paint when I’m painting with my kids or doing a big paint night gathering. It’s friendly, they are ready and available in the bottles and there are many colors to choose from!
I believe that cost of material should not inhibit artistic desire. I personally am a frugal person and when I started this blog, all I could afford was Apple Barrel! It didn’t stop me from persevering and creating what I loved! Try it, if you love it then upgrade as you go!
Hobby Lobby! Okay, I’m not an easel expert because I actually don’t use easels that often. I’m so accustomed to painting flat because when I do demos for this blog, I’m painting flat!
BUT I use and LOVE these that I found at Hobby Lobby! I own 15 of them for when I do paint parties. Simple!
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!
It’s really up to you and what you feel comfortable using!
I personally have not invested in any high quality stay wet palette because if I’m painting, I am painting for one session and then cleaning up and changing to a new palette for the next session.
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 my 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!
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.
It’s on my bucket list to start exploring other mediums in 2019! I’ve never been a medium type of painter but I know so many of you are curious because I get requests a lot about this.
I do have one tutorial where I used a gel medium to apply glitter to my painting! You can see that here. I used the DecoArt Americana Premium Medium for that and really liked it!
I still have questions about art supplies! I’d be happy to help! You can contact me here!