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    5 Essential Painting Supplies for Any Beginner Artist

    By on Last modified: November 30, 2022

    Are you looking to try out your painting skills? This fun hobby offers a lot of benefits, from boosting your memory and creativity to improving your problem-solving skills and expanding your social circle. Painting lowers your stress level, improves your motor skills, and helps you notice and appreciate the small things in life. To rephrase this, your decision to begin painting was a wise one.

    Now you’re probably asking yourself – where do I start? Well, you start by getting some art supplies. However, the number of different painting products on the market is enough to overwhelm any beginner artist. For this reason, I’ve put together a list of the five essential art supplies to get you started on your creative journey.

    Gesso to Prime the Surface

    Before you start painting or even sketching, you need to prime the surface with the right product. This will create a smooth or textured absorbent top layer to paint on. To prepare your surface for painting, buy gesso online suitable for acrylic and oil paints. This product makes sure the paint will stick and won’t eat through the canvas’s fibres and ruin it. You can also apply it to wooden surfaces and Masonite panels.


    Do I Have to Use Gesso?

    Beginner artists are often tempted to begin painting without priming their canvas. After all, applying a primer can take a while, and a lot of canvases available online are already primed. Even if that’s the case, priming your surface before painting is always a good practice.

    You’ll find high-quality gesso in Australia that creates a smooth surface for painting and helps the paint stick to the canvas more effectively. This primer acts as a shield between the surface and the paint. Due to its weaving, a canvas doesn’t offer a smooth surface to paint on. If you don’t prime it beforehand, you might waste your time, effort, and art supplies.

    You can either visit your local art store or even get gesso online, as there’s no way you can mess up and get the wrong product. This primer is available in clear, black, or white colour, so consider your painting surface and the artwork you’re planning to create before purchasing.

    Can I Use Paint Instead?

    Given that both gesso and white acrylic paint include white pigment and a polymer, some artists use paint instead of a primer. Acrylic paint produces a more “slippery” surface after drying than a primer does. As a result, your paints will have less texture to grab onto. In contrast, applying primer to the canvas will provide enough texture for the paint to stick. So, buy gesso online and prevent any paint wasting.

    Vibrant Acrylic Paints

    If you’re a beginner artist, I advise getting acrylic paints, as they’re easy to work with. To get started, you don’t need to buy a heap of different colours, you only need the fundamental colours – red, blue, and yellow, plus a few more that you plan to use. Avoid buying all the available colours, as you won’t use them as much. You can always expand your palette somewhere down the line.

    vibrant acrylic paints

    If you don’t feel confident about choosing your own colours, consider getting a beginner’s acrylic kit. This should have all the colours you need to produce your first masterpiece.

    Brushes in Different Sizes

    Natural bristle brushes are the best choice for beginner artists. Look for brushes that have long bristles with some spring to them. The ideal one should be able to carry a lot of paint, have a sturdy handle (the longer, the better), and keep its edge and form even after extensive use. Quality is crucial for these art supplies since inexpensive brushes sometimes lose their form after usage and can even curl up.

    Synthetic brushes are also acceptable, as long as they’re of good quality. These are often softer, which makes them suitable for glazing and delicate mixing. Just keep in mind that you won’t be doing this when you initially start off.

    Depending on the type, brushes for acrylic painting are either flat or round. Flat brushes have a nimble end and carry a lot of paint. They’re useful for mixing and painting over wide areas when applied flat because they create lengthy strokes. On the other hand, round brushes have a big belly and a pointy tip. They can portray delicate lines and details and make stronger strokes.

    Start off with medium-sized brushes (sizes 6-8) and work your way up as you improve your painting style. Get a house paintbrush for applying gesso to your surface!

    A Sturdy Painting Surface

    Non-porous surfaces are ideal for painting with acrylics. Good options are canvas, wood, or paper made specifically for acrylic painting. Given that you’re still a beginner, keep in mind that your surface shouldn’t be too expensive.

    sturdy painting surface

    Most of the time, canvas panels or stretched canvases are the most cost-effective and preferred painting surfaces for beginners. It’s best to buy a pre-primed surface or use gesso before painting on it with acrylics.

    When it comes to wood surfaces, you can either choose pre-made boards such as MDF boards, wooden palettes, or artist panels or make your own by priming wooden boards with gesso.

    Acrylic paper is a great option because it has a smooth surface that’s designed to allow the paint to stay on the paper’s surface and not soak into it. This type of paper is usually pre-primed, so it doesn’t need to be gessoed before you start painting.

    Durable Sketching Pencils

    Ideally, you should sketch out your subject before beginning your painting. For basic drawing and shading, a 2B pencil will do, while a 4H pencil is ideal for sketching out bright areas. Get a set of sketching pencils for different purposes and don’t forget to add a white kneaded eraser that doesn’t leave residue behind.