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What do I need to be a artist?

The first thing you need to realize is that art is not cheap! No matter what you try as an artist there is an expense for supplies.


The second thing you need to understand is that cheap materials will not give you a good experience, especially if you are a novice.


Third thing you need to understand is that your first effort will not be a Picasso. Art is a skill (not a talent), but a skill you can learn. Find a good artist on YouTube and follow them to learn.


Since I am an acrylic artist, I will address what you need to attempt acrylic painting.


  1. You need brushes. I recommend a 3/8 angle brush, a No. 6 Bright and a No. 10 Round Brush to start. I use Silver Ruby Satin, Silver Bristlon and Princeton Velvettouch Brushes when I paint. The right tool is essential to a good outcome. You can get a Princeton Value Pack fairly inexpensively on Amazon for you first tries at painting. If you continue to paint, you can upgrade your brushes to a better quality. I purchase my brushes whenever art suppliers have a sale.

  2. You need Paint. Try to get a decent paint. It should be heavy body. Heavy Body paints provide good coverage and you will find it easier to follow along with the tutorial you have chosen to paint. Lower quality paints do not provide coverage on your canvas well and require numerous coats to get good coverage; cheap paint will not save you money in the long run. (You do not need to invest in premium paints like Golden or Matisse but a nice midrange will be perfect for the novice.) I wish someone had told me about the paints when I first started--it would have save me a bunch of money and frustration. You will run into the similar issues with soft body or fluid paints; they are thinner and coverage is not as good. I recommend getting a set of about 24 paints for your first attempts. I started painting using Arteza Heavy Body Paints. The colors are premixed so you do not have to worry about color mixing too much. The cost is about $27 for a kit that size.

  3. You need Canvas. I do not recommend multimedia paper for your first tries. This paper tends to absorb the paint. It is hard to move your paint across the paper. You want something that is primed to accept acrylic paint. I like Arteza's Acrylic Pads. These paid are 11" x 14" and are a good size for your first paintings. You get 2 for about $30 (sometimes Amazon has a better price). This is paper that is primed and gritted like canvas. The paint bonds but does not absorb into the paper. It is thick paper similar to a canvas board. The other alternative is a canvas board or canvas sheets. When I first started, I used Arteza Acrylic Paper (I still use it when I am designing a new painting, although I use the Procreate Digital App for painting design more). A canvas panel is primed cotton glued onto either a hardwood or cardboard (depending on the company--check the labels). Canvas sheets are primed cotton in a pad. Fredrix and Paramount make canvas sheets. You can purchase canvas sheets through Amazon, Jerry's Artarama, Blick's Art Supplies, etc. Canvas sheets are canvas just cut to specific sizes.

  4. Find a plastic cup to use to rinse your brush.

  5. You will need a brush cleaner. I use brush cleaner by The Art Sherpa, but there are many brands available.

So you have your brushes, you paint and your canvas, now you need to find a tutorial to guide you step-by-step through your first painting. I started by following the Art Sherpa and Ginger Cook. Make sure the artist you chose has novice or beginner level tutorials; if the tutorial is too difficult you will not want to continue. Go to YouTube and search to find an artist whose style appeals to you and give it a try.


Happy Painting!

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