How to put together a beginner’s acrylic painting kit.
- Paint tubes: primary colours
- Acrylic medium
- Selection of synthetic bristle paintbrushes
- Surface to paint
- Palette for mixing paint
- Plastic containers
In order to achieve a full spectrum of colours by mixing a minimum of colours, have the following paint tubes on hand:
- Light cadmium yellow (or lemon yellow)
- Medium cadmium yellow
- Medium cadmium red
- Quinacridone crimson (or alizarin crimson)
- Phthalocyanine blue
- Ultramarine blue
- Ivory black
- Titanium white
Since every paintbrush has its own unique features, it is best to have a variety of different sizes on hand. It is preferable to choose long-handled, synthetic bristle paintbrushes.
There are a number of supports for acrylic painting. In addition to traditional mounted canvases, wood panels are an interesting alternative for creative works that combine collage and relief. Cardboard canvases and canvas paper pads are economical options for sketches and studies.
Disposable wax paper pads are very handy for mixing paint. Alternatively, a plastic palette is a more ecological choice. Once the paint is dry, it can be easily scratched off the smooth palette surface (dried acrylic on a porous surface is very difficult to clean).
A bit of soap and water is all you need to clean wet paint from a paintbrush and keep it in good condition. It is wise to place brushes directly in a container of water after use, before the paint dries and damages the bristles. Clean brushes as you go. Since acrylic paint contains water, you can add water to make it more fluid and transparent. It is therefore handy to keep a second container of clean water near your work space.
Acrylic mediums can be added to paint. These transparent liquids are available in a variety of consistencies and used to alter the transparency, finish and texture of paint. A medium with a glossy finish can be used for esthetic purposes. Gels and mediums can be used as binders in a collage or for adding small elements to a canvas.
Spatulas are used for mixing paint on a palette or for applying masses of paint directly to a canvas. There are a variety of spatulas and uniquely shaped accessories available for creating inspiring textures.
Although acrylic paint does not produce fumes, the paint pigments can be toxic. Avoid ingestion and prolonged skin contact (this paint is not recommended for young children). Acrylic paint is nevertheless one of the simplest and safest paints to use.