Acrylics are one of the most popular types of paints because they dry very quickly and can be diluted with water to create a watercolour effect. They are very good at protecting a piece of art because they resist water very well, despite the fact that they can be diluted with it. They also show no signs of discolouring, fading or cracking. Beginners often start off with acrylics and take it from there. This article will look at the basic supplies a beginner will need to start painting.
So much choice!
The main problem is that there are so many different supplies available. It can be overwhelming for a beginner to decide what to buy and how much of each item is needed. As long as you have the essentials, you should be all sorted. Basic supplies work just fine for beginners, whether the budget is big or small. As artists get more accustomed to acrylic painting and become more adventurous in their work, they tend to then get specialist supplies that meet their exact needs.
What you'll need
The most important basic tools you will need are acrylic paint, a paintbrush and a surface to paint on. You'll also need an easel, a palette, an empty jar, a spray bottle and some paper towels. As well as these you might also need some running water and some protective materials. All of these basic supplies can be found at any good art supplies store and there are loads of websites offering good deals for supplies as well. Note that online shopping tends to have cheaper prices and a bigger variety of products.
How many colours will I need?
It can be difficult determining exactly how many colours are going to go on your palette. It's probably harder deciding what colours are going to go on it. For a basic, beginner's palette you should probably have white and the primary colours, red, blue and yellow. Add a few different shades in if you can, but if not, the three primary colours plus white should do just fine. Experiment with mixing and finding new colours. As you become more advanced, you can move away from mixing primary colours and focus on more specialist colours.
What type of paintbrush?
There are loads of different types of paintbrushes to choose from. The only way you're going to find the one best suited to you is by giving several a go. Try out some different shapes, makes and sizes and see which one you feel most comfortable with. You should only need a few brushes to complete your painting. Brushes that shed their bristles easily tend to be cheaper, while the more expensive ones don't shed their bristles that easily.
What do I paint on?
The best painting surface for a beginner is a canvas. You don't necessarily need an easel if you're prepared to paint on a flat, horizontal surface, but it's much easier having your canvas face you on an easel.
What's everything else for?
Have a spray bottle handy and every so often spray a bit of water over your palette. This keeps it from drying out faster. You'll need a jar to store brushes and another, bigger one with plenty of water in to wash and rinse off your brushes. Before you get started, make sure all surfaces close by protective materials that you don't mind getting paint on, such as an old cloth. Have access to water so you can prime your jar and wash your hands. Paper towels are handy for wiping brushes and washing your hands with.
Get the basics and go from there
Don't let yourself get overwhelmed by the vast amount of different products out there. When you go shopping for supplies, just choose the basics and go from there. Once you've got the hang of it, be adventurous: try different types of paintbrush, new colours and new surfaces to paint on. There are so many options, but it's always good to start off with the basics.
Joanne Perkins is a Berkshire-based artist with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art and specialises in painting Berkshire landscapes. She is happy to accept all queries and questions. For more information about Joanne, her work and her current projects visit: http://joannesberkshirescenes.com/default.aspx