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Basic Acrylic Painting Supplies
You don’t need a lot of supplies to start painting with acrylics. In fact, you probably have some of these supplies already, so all you need is a few more affordable tools.
Here are the acrylic painting supplies you will need:
Pencil and Eraser
An essential drawing tool, pencils are great for sketching out your subject before the actual painting process. Starting with a light sketch allows you to work faster, as you already have an idea of where the colors need to go and what the final piece will look like.
While acrylic paint is fairly opaque, you still want to make sure that your sketch won’t show through in the final painting. For this reason, it’s best to use a hard-lead pencil that produces light lines. An eraser will also come in handy if you need to make changes to your sketch.
Paper or Canvas
Acrylic paint can be used on a wide variety of surfaces, but you can’t go wrong with canvas or paper. You can buy paper designed specifically for acrylic painting, but other heavy-weight papers will also work well. You can also use canvas panels primed with gesso, which lets you paint straight onto the surface. Without gesso, the paint would seep into the weaves of the canvas — so you want to make sure that your panels are primed and ready to go.
When buying brushes, you want to choose ones that are suited for the techniques you want to master. If you’re not sure yet, you can start with a basic paintbrush set, which you can easily find in art supply stores.
In general, you’ll find two main brush shapes: flat and round. Round brushes are the most versatile and can be used for making bold strokes or fine details, making them a must in any toolkit. Flat brushes, on the other hand, are effective for blending and filling in large areas — so you will want to have a few on hand if you work with large canvases.
You can also find angled, fan, and liner brushes suited for different techniques. As you hone your skills, you’ll learn which brushes you like best for your style of painting.
Palettes are useful not just for mixing colors but also for switching between them during painting. You can find plastic palettes in any art supply store, but glass and ceramic ones are also available if you want a higher-end option. If you’re working with soft body or fluid acrylics, you can use small cups instead of a palette to mix your colors.
Optional: Acrylic Medium
Acrylic mediums let you change the appearance, texture, and viscosity of the paint to achieve a certain finish. Some of the most popular mediums include flow (for pouring), gel (for glazing and staining), and slow-drying (for oil painting techniques). These will open up a whole new field of options for you to use in your acrylic paintings, so they’re definitely worth exploring.