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What Materials Do I Need to Get Started Painting?

So you're ready to finally get started painting, but you don't know what you need or how to get started. As a former high school art teacher, I can hook you up and save you some of the headache of buying the wrong thing.

Before we get to the actual materials, let's talk about brushes. Cheap brushes are not good. And good brushes are not cheap. The good news, though, is that when we take proper care of our brushes, they will last a good long time! The set I'm recommending has a good assortment of brush types so you can get a feel for each one and learn which ones you prefer. You can always add other brushes as you need them, but this set will be a good place to start

Some brushes can be used across mediums: acrylics, oils, watercolors, guoache, etc. Others are better suited to one particular medium.  Let's start with brushes used for water-based paints. Cleanup is easy; all we need is water for cleaning brushes while painting. But at the end of a painting session, it is necessary to use a gentle soap as a final cleaning step. This will add years to your brushes' life. Rinse them completely, until the water runs completely clear, then leave laying flat till dry. Store them flat so that the bristles  are not crimped or upright, handle end down.

Another thing that will prolong the life of your brushes is how you use them:
  • Always start with a wet brush. Just dip in clean water and shake off. This protects the bristles and makes clean-up easier.
  • Never leave a brush standing in a cup of water. It will damage the ferrule (the metal part that holds the bristles on the handle.)
  • Brushes standing in water cups have a strange tendency to tip over, ruining work. If you're going to be using the brush again soon, just lay it flat on a protected surface. Take care that you don't forget it and let paint dry on it. Acrylic becomes plastic when dry, so a dirty paintbrush becomes useless.

Beginning painters can use a good heavyweight paper like the one listed below as a substrate to paint on. There are many inexpensive canvases that are fun to paint on too. I'll make it super easy to show and tell you what I recommend with these links to Amazon. Feel free to get something similar or the same at Michael's, Hobby Lobby, etc. If you do buy from my links, I will get a tiny commission.

You'll notice the paints I'm recommending are VERY basic. There is a reason for that! If you take the time to learn color theory, your art will be exponentially better. Trust me.

One thing not really necessary unless you know you will want to spread out your painting over several days is the Wet Box. Think of it as a Tupperware container for your working palette. Speaking of palettes...I usually use a disposable plate. I double-dog HATE to wash palettes, so I use styrofoam dinner plates from Kroger. They won't disintegrate if I need to store them in a wet box till I'm finished with a painting. When I'm done, I just let the paint dry on the plate and then put it in the garbage.

One final tip: If you try to keep wet paint for more than a few days, it will probably mold. To prevent that, I add a few drops of water to the corner of my wet box and add a couple of drops of Young Living Thieves Essential Oil. Whatever you do, DO NOT buy that at Amazon. The only way you can be sure you're getting the authentic EO is to buy it here www.youngliving.com or from another Young Living Brand Partner.

Recommended Art Supplies For Painters

I'd love to see what you paint 

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