Prior to this, I’m not sure I’ve ever painted on a canvas before… and the last time I’d done anything arts-and-crafts-y was probably in middle school art class.
In other words, I’m about as new to painting as they come.
Coupled with the fact that I can’t draw to save my life, it’s safe to say I’d set the bar pretty low as far as my expectations for how my painting would come out.
Pablo Picasso I am not.
Still, given my extremely limited skillset, I was pleasantly surprised by the end result of my first paint night. So much so, in fact, that I got kind of hooked on acrylics.
Unlike drawing, where even “erasable” mistakes still never seem to disappear, I find that paint is pretty forgiving— at least, when you’re using acrylics. It just takes some quick thinking and extra blending, and you can fix almost any mistake “happy accident.”
Plus, when you’re using inexpensive art supplies, it’s virtually impossible to get frustrated, because you’ve got nothing to lose.
6 Best Affordable Art Supplies for Painting Beginners
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Now, I know what you’re thinking: buying cheap art supplies sounds like a whole lotta trial and error… and it definitely can go that way. Luckily for you and I, though, there are tons of highly-rated affordable art supplies right on Amazon. Here are some I’ve been loving so far:
1. Acrylic paints—duh!
When I first decided I wanted to paint, my inner cheapskate was convinced I only needed primary colors, white, and black— but my boyfriend talked me into buying more colors, and I’m glad he did!
Painting is so much more fun when you’ve got a variety of colors in front of you— and, of course, you can still blend your own custom shades to create even more options!
I’ve used these Apple Barrel acrylic paints (https://amzn.to/3j2tQAJ) several times now, and I love how well they blend. They’re easy to mix, they’re a great consistency, and the color and finish look great once it’s dry.
If you’re like me and like to mix matte paints with glitters or metallics, I also recommend checking out the metallic acrylic paints from Hand Made Modern. I think they may be exclusive to Target, and they’re a little bit more expensive than the Apple Barrel paints, but I find they’re great for adding some cool accents to my paintings.
Overall, I’m a really big fan of my Mont Marte 15-piece brush set (https://amzn.to/3gkPpuw). In my experience, the sizes and styles included in this set have been more than enough.
Plus, I love the fact that it comes with a travel case, because I don’t have the luxury of keeping my brushes in a permanent workstation.
And having the option to prop up your brushes while you’re painting is pretty nice, too.
At the time I’m writing this post, I’ve only used the Arteza 8×10 canvas panels (https://amzn.to/2CSp2Pa), but I’m also linking the Fixsmith canvases (https://amzn.to/2YqYAn9) to include a larger option. Based on my research, the Fixsmith ones have gotten great reviews, and I have my own pack of them that I’m excited to use soon!
4. An easel
I’ve bought both of these easels (one for me, and one for my boyfriend), and they’re virtually identical, but we both love using them.
I’m linking both options just in case either one sells out (which has happened before), but either one will do!
5. A palette
Until recently, I was using a cheap plastic palette from the Dollar Tree to mix my paints. It worked okay, but I started to realize that it’s hard to gauge exactly how much paint I should be pouring. As you can guess, I tend to overdo it, and that can lead to a lot of waste.
To remedy this, I decided to order a Sta-Wet palette (https://amzn.to/3hjrAF3)— like the name suggests, this palette prevents your paint from drying out after you’ve poured it.
It also has a nice, large surface for mixing colors, so for me, it’s a win-win.
6. A handheld fan
I guess you can make the argument that this isn’t technically “art supplies,” but if you’re like me and don’t have the patience to wait for your paint to dry, a fan is a must.
This one is perfect because it’s lightweight, rechargeable, and comes with a stand.
…And that’s it! You’re ready to start painting!
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Pssst! Check out this video to see how I made my galaxy scene with acrylic paints: