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Pleasant Grove churchAcrylic Painting Studio Supply List

Following are some recommended supplies. If you have questions, please contact me.

Paint Surfaces For Acrylic Painting:

Acrylic paints are composed of color suspended in a polymer medium. (It's a kind of plastic.) Acrylic paints and mediums can be used on many kinds of surface. I would suggest that you supply yourself with several canvases (I recommend at least 16 x 20) for working on a project. In addition, for practice in different acrylic techniques and to save money, you can also use prepared surfaces such as gessoed paper, canvas paper, or primed but unstretched canvas. You can get canvas in pads: Fredrix Canvas Pads — very convenient for studies.) You can paint with acrylic on various kinds of paper, such as watercolor paper or matboard or print paper. Different kinds of surfaces will give you different results. If you plan to work on paper or unstretched canvas, please be sure to bring some kind of sturdy support such as a drawing board and masking tape.

Useful but not mandatory: A drawing pad (I suggest 60 or 70 lb paper and at least 11 x 14 inches), 2B or 4B pencil, pencil sharpener. Eraser (artgum or kneaded) masking tape and some kind of board if not using a pad or stretched canvas.


For Acrylic Painters: Unlike oil paints, you should NOT use natural bristle brushes. No problem if you already have them, but natural bristles don't last as well when used with acrylics. Synthetic bristles hold up better. I recommend Flats: #4, #6, and #8 (If you prefer rounds or brights, these are acceptable, but I'd prefer you get Winsor Newton University Gold or Princeton Best Synthetic Bristle Brushes -- at least at first -- and that they be at least this large.) (Note: you don't have to ue Flats, and if you've been painting for some time, you may have an assortment of shapes and sizes. Flats are just a good brush for a wide variety of uses.)

Brush Cleanup for acrylic: Brushes need to be cleaned and kept wet frequently. No kidding. Acrylic mediums dry fast. When not using a brush, keep it in water. And give brushes a thorough cleaning -- preferably before you leave at end of class. You can use any soap, but there's a cleanser that I find works very well for rmoving the paint and restoring the natural oils to the brush called: ArtGel by Windsor Newton.

Colors: Recommended minimum colors:

Titanium White (150 ML Tube) You'll need a large tube of white.

Note: I don't believe that an artist should have to buy "every color and shade off the shelf" and that's why I recommend the following limited palette. You can actually learn to make any color or shade or tint with the following colors. The concept is that the primary colors as they exist in paint are not pure, so you need to have both a "warm" and a "cool" varient of each primary color. In other words, You need both a "greenish" or cool yellow, and an "orangish" or warm yellow, a warm and cool red (orangy and rosy) and a warm and cool blue (thalo and ultramarine.)

Basic colors:
(get in 37 ML Tubes: for acrylics, I do NOT recommend that you get Basics brand. I recommend Golden Heavy Body Acrylics or Liquitex or Utrecht)
Examples below for Golden, Liquitex and Windsor Newton Acrylics

Golden Heavy Body Acrylics

Liquitex Heavy Body Acrylics

Winsor & Newton Artists' Acrylics

Titanate Yellow

I could not identify a cool yellow in the Liquitex chart. You're on your own. But different brands work fine together.

Bismuth Yellow
Or Cadmium Lemon or Lemon Yellow

Primary Yellow

Cadmium Yellow Light

Azo Yellow Medium (or Cad Yellow medium)

Naphthol Red Light

Naphthol Red Light

Naphthol Red Light

Alizarin Crimson Hue

Alizarin Crimson Hue Permanent

Permanent Alizarin Crimson

Ultramarine Blue

Ultramarine Blue

Ultramarine Blue

Phthalo Blue (green shade)

Phthalo Blue (green shade)

Phthalo Blue (green shade)

Burnt Sienna

Burnt Sienna

Burnt Sienna

More information on Acrylics is on my acrylic class_info page.

Optional but useful: large tube of CASEIN WHITE (available from Jerrys Artarama (http://www.jerrysartarama.com/art-supply-stores/online/4665) or Dick Blick)

More advanced students:

add green and perhaps brown
Viridian Green or Thalo Green (I prefer Viridian - Thalo is very strong)
Burnt Umber


Acrylic Mediums: Water (and a big jar to give you plenty of room to clean your brush), and either Mat or Gloss Acrylic medium (this improves flow and transparency and gloss of the color. You can work without it but I don't recommend it.)

There are a large number of Acrylic mediums and we may do some experimentation with different mediums depending on the class interest.

Optional but recommended: Acrylic gesso. Gesso is a white "ground" that is used to form a surface on which to paint in acrylic or oils. You can paint on paper or other surface directly using acrylic, but the surface may tend to absorb the paint. It's useful to do one or two coats of acrylic gesso. As one to two inch wide painters latex paintbrush is useful for applying the gesso.


A coated paper palette will do, or buy some freezer paper at the grocery store and make your own palette by taping it to a board. Please note: A coated palette feels shiny, like waxed paper.

Palette carrier (Optional)
Masterson Sta-Wet Palette Seal is a sort of plastic box that fits around a 12 x 16 paper palette and seals it very well, so that paints stay wet longer. It's also handy if you're having to bring your supplies to each class. It's worth its cost.


Metal Palette knife (for cleaning palette. DON'T LET THEM SELL YOU A PLASTIC ONE. THEY"RE WORTHLESS!!!)
Paper Towels or rags.
container for water
Jar to hold brushes (optional but useful)
Apron or painting shirt (optional)
A large carrying bag to put this all in. Possibly a luggage cart to schlep everything.
Optional: spray bottle

Where to get supplies:

Michaels Store in Reston is not particularly good for artist's supplies, unfortunately. I've had more luck with catalogues. Here are some possible sources on the WEB. Plaza Arts in Fairfax has a better selection.

www.utrecht.com --- 1-800-223-9132

www.dickblick.com -- 1-800-447-8192

www.danielsmith.net -- 1-800-426-6740

www.jerrysartarama.com -- 1-800-827-8478

Last updated: January 7, 2012