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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Acrylic Painters Buyer's Guide

Putting Together an Art Kit Gift
(say that three times)

Why put together an art kit, and not just go buy one of those neatly packaged sets in the art store?

Here's your answer.  PRICE!   You can probably buy twice the supplies in any size kit for the price you'll pay for a pre-packaged set.  There's lots of packaging involved in buying a kit and they usually come with small, cheap sizes of paints and brushes.  Buy your own supplies, make it into a gift basket and stand back and prepared to be loved.  


If you have a budding artist on your shopping list or you would like to learn to paint and don't have a clue what to buy or where, here's some great info.
Acrylic paint is a most forgiving paint in that you can give it 15-20 minutes to dry and then you can paint over it or put a wash over an area.  It also cleans up with soap and water.  No fumes!!!!!
In the beginning it is really good to limit your palette so you learn how to mix colors, that's why in my beginning painting classes, I usually only use Cadmium yellow light, Alizarin Crimson, and Ultramarine Blue.  Then I add Burnt Sienna and white.  You can make Burnt Sienna by using all 3 primary colors, but getting it consistent is a challenge.  
If I were putting together an artist kit, I'd get student grade tubes of the 5 colors I listed.  Student grade is less expensive than artist or professional grade, and for a beginner, the difference in thickness would not be an issue.

For brushes as well as for paint, you should always get the best you can afford, without going into debt.  A good pack of brushes can be purchased for between $15-20.  Or you can create your own pack.  You need several synthetic flats, sizes 3, 7, 12, a few bristle brushes, the same size as the flats, a script liner, and maybe a 0 & 3 round brushes.  (I seldom use a round brush, but they are handy).  

Supports are just what you paint on.  A beginner could use several small stretched canvases like 8" x 10" and 11" x 14".  You can also purchase packs of canvas covered boards, masonite boards, cradled boards, and then there's paper.  I would go with a few canvases and a package of canvas paper.  It has the took like a canvas, but is actually paper.    If you're going to get paper, you will also need some painters tape to tape the paper down to another board.  It will keep it from warping.

Water basin
Paper towels
Soft Vine Charcoal
Table top easel
Boxed palette or large pack of styrofoam paper plates
Palette paper (same size as the box)
Palette box sponge
Color Wheel 
Palette knife (knives)

Use the palette box as the container for the gift.  It's a very thin box, but you could open it up, lay out the other items and then use the top as the back and use a cellophane wrap to encase it.  

Any of the components of this list would make a great gift for someone who want s to learn to paint.  You could make a super gift of some nice brushes and a wrap to store them in, a table top easel and some canvases, and the list could go on and on.   Don't get overwhelmed in the art store.  Pick a budget and do your best to stick with it.  Get good quality basic items to get your artist started and you can branch out in the future.  

 Click HERE to see my online beginning painting course.


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About Me

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Ghent, Kentucky, United States
I'm a nature artist and I love to paint old barns, rivers and lakes, trees and fence rows and flowers. I work almost daily. You can purchase paintings by contacting me at and there is also a tab across the top of my blog for available paintings and one for small paintings with buy now buttons. You can also purchase through my Etsy shop using the name of Fine Nature Art. . Thank you so much for stopping by.