Creating Art at Home

Painting Basics

Painting is one of the oldest and most popular forms of art in the world.  Learn to how express your creativity in this form using the information in this guide.


What You'll Need

So you've decided that you are ready to get painting!  Here are a list of basic supplies you'll need to get started:

  • Paint.  This item is pretty obvious, but there are lots of options depending on the type of painting you want to make.  Watercolor, acrylic, and oil paints are the main three categories.  This guide from ArtistsNetwork can help you decide what to start with.
  • Painting Surface.  You will also need something to paint on.  Any surface can be painted, but the most common surfaces for beginners are canvas or paper.
  • Palette.  You will use a paint palette to keep your paints separated and to mix them together.  This can be as simple as a paper plate, or you can use a plastic or wood palette designed for this purpose.
  • Water or Oil Solvent.  Water is used to thin acrylic and watercolor paints making them easier to work with and longer lasting.  Water is also used to clean your brushes.  An solvent such as turpentine or mineral spirits serves the same purpose when working with oils.  If you are working with oils, remember to work in a well ventilated area as the solvent fumes can be strong.
  • Paper Towels or Cloth Rags.  You will need these to clean off your brushes when changing colors.  If you are using cloth rags you can wash and reuse them.
  • Old Clothing or an Apron.  Painting gets messy so don't plan to wear your favorite outfit unless you think it needs a dash of new color.
  • Newspaper or Drop Cloth.  Protect your table and floor while making cleanup a bit easier.

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