Basic Art Supplies: All the Things You Need to Get Started with Painting
Finding and selecting the right art supplies can be an overwhelming challenge. Here’s a list of some basic, must-have art supplies you can get without spending a fortune.
Have you always wanted to learn how to paint but not sure about a few things, like what are the materials used in painting art, how much do they cost or where to get them from?
Have you been bested out by the tons of different options available in the market and can’t decide which one to pick and which to not? If yes, then this article is for you!
When going to shop for art supplies, it’s perfectly normal to feel confused and overwhelmed by the endless options, but what’s important to remember is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to get your hands on some pretty basic painting supplies, especially when looking for painting materials for beginners. It’s always a better idea to go for more affordable options instead of professional grade supplies that might actually blow your budget!
Keep reading (or watch my video below) to find out all the supplies, tools and materials used in painting art that you will need to get started with. This article is the ultimate suppliers list for artists that are new to painting.
For acrylic painting, you will need synthetic brushes, referred to as taklon brushes. Also you will need a selection of brushes of different sizes and shapes. Some absolute must-haves are:
• Small brushes for detail. These mostly cost 50 cents to a dollar
• Round brushes (of small, medium & large size) for filling large areas
• Flat/square brushes to get into small corners
• Bristle brushes for texture. These can cost from anywhere between $3 to $10
• Fan/squirrel brushes for even more texture. These are optional, but SO FUN to paint with!! (it’s my favourite brush).
Instead of getting individual brushes, a great idea is to buy a complete brush set that can be as cheap as $10 to $15.
Watch my video below to see the main brushes and sizes I use.
Click here to learn more about the different types of brushes you can add to your collection and how to use them.
One of the most important materials used in painting art is the paint itself!
For a beginner, acrylic paints and test pots are an ideal starting point - they dry quickly, blend easily and you get great results!
Best of all you don't have to buy the best quality or most professional grades, they're always the most expensive too. If you're just starting out, the student grade paints are great quality, and a more affordable option, so you will still get awesome results.
Although any student grade craft paint can work (bottles or tubes), here are a few paint options you can look into:
• FAS Student Grade Acrylic Paint: $10 to $15 (per paint bottle)
• Acrylic Paint Tube Sets: $15 to $30
• Resene Test pots: $4 to $5
• Colour wheel
When buying painting materials for beginners, you don’t necessarily have to get every paint under the sky! Instead get 5 basic paints and mix them to get more colours.
These are the 3 primary colours: yellow, red and blue, and also black and white. Use a colour wheel to mix paints and get the right shade and other colours. A colour wheel is a super handy tool to help you learn how to mix colours. You can get them for around $15 to $20 from anywhere that stocks art materials.
Don’t know how to use a colour wheel? Click here to learn!
Extra tip: I recommend avoiding cheaper craft paint, poster paint or anything designed for kids as the quality is not as good so you may find you don't get the results you want.
Now that you have the paint and the paint brushes, you need something to put it on, right? Here are some canvases you can get your hands on:
• Stretched Canvases on Frame: These are available in a variety of different colours, shapes, sizes and depth. A great starting point would be a 16x20 canvas which would cost around $10 to $15. This is also the size of canvas we use at our studio paint parties.
• Canvas Boards: This one’s a cheaper option than a framed canvas and is great if you want to do lots of painting. You can usually get these individually or in packs of 3 or more, at places like Warehouse Stationery, Uncle Pete’s, Uncle Bill’s or any two-dollar store.
• Canvas Art Pads: If you’re new to painting, canvas art pads are great for practice. An A3 12-sheet art pad will cost you $30 to $35 so definitely a whole lot cheaper than canvas boards. They come in different sizes too. You can get the smaller ones for $5 to $10.
• Matte Boards: Stuck on a really tight budget? Get a matte board from any art supplies store like Warehouse Stationery or Spotlight. They are not only insanely cheap but also don’t soak paint as much as canvas does.
No matter what canvas you get, make sure it’s well primed so it doesn't soak up too much paint. Buy multi-packs of canvases and always be on a lookout for sales and deals to bag the best at the lowest!
Pro-tip: Instead of hoarding canvases, re-use them. Don’t like what you painted? Paint over it and start again! Click here to learn more about re-using canvases and going that extra mile to save some bucks … so you can paint more!!
4. Paint Palette
Before you transfer the paint onto the canvas you need something to put it on, and mix it on. Paint palettes are one of the most basic materials used in painting art but there’s absolutely no pressure to buy anything fancy.
A Tear Off Paint Palette works well because you get 30-40 tear-off sheets for $15 to $20, and no cleaning up afterwards! Uncle Bill’s often has them for only $5.
My favourite that I love to use is actually an ice-cube tray with a lid. It’s so handy because you can put the lid on when you’re done painting and pop it in the fridge so the paint wont dry out. It will stay ready to us for weeks and will help you save tons of paint for use in future.
If you don’t have time to shop, an ice-cream lid, a piece of wood or recyclable plastic can do the job, as well.
Places to Get Art Supplies From
Now that you know some of the basic materials used in painting art and have a complete shopping list, let’s talk about some of the places you can purchase these items from.
Here’s a list of place I like to shop for my art materials:
• Warehouse Stationery/ Spotlight: You can go in store or shop online. Besides having a large selection of brushes, paints and canvases, Warehouse Stationery and Spotlight always have great sales you can take advantage of. Nothing sounds better than getting a canvas at half off!
• Emporium Shops: Places like Uncle Bill’s and Uncle Pete’s have tons of cheap options for art supplies. Perfect for beginners who need tons of practice and don’t want to waste money on more expensive supplies.
• Two-dollar shops: These tend to have some of the best paintbrush sets. You can easily bag a set of 6-7 brushes for only $2 to $3. Just watch the quality isn't too low.
• Op shopping: This is once of my favourite things to do, especially with my Mum. Nothing is better than thrifting for some extra brushes or a practice canvas!
So there you have it, your complete getting started painting supplies list for artists!
Now that you know everything you need and where to get it from, it’s time to go shopping! If you’re stuck at home or can’t get out, just order your art supplies online and have them delivered!
Once you have all your supplies, you’ll need something to paint!
And I have just the thing! Grab yourself one of my easy On Demand Painting Tutorials and let me show you step by step how to create your masterpiece! All my paintings are designed especially for beginner artists. There’s loads of easy step by step paintings to choose from HERE
Watch my video below to see all the basic supplies you need to get started painting and a few extra art supply buying tips!