Information about starting painting lessons and tips to save you time and money.
Starting Painting Lessons in Oil or Acrylic
On this page you will find tips about starting painting lessons in oils and acrylics.
This information is general knowledge so do skip through these pages and you might find useful information that you were not aware of.
Oil paint is ‘oil’ based paint and requires a petroleum like fluid for thinning and cleaning brushes. (common turpentine is a fluid for cleaning brushes and for thinning oil paint)
Acrylic paint is ‘water’ based paint, brushes are cleaned with water and paint may sometimes need thinning with water.
My lists of colors and brushes can apply to either oil paint or acrylic paint
What to buy – Here is a list of what to buy for starting painting lessons in oils or acrylics
Which paint you use is your choice, I now days use acrylic paint because it is cheaper, less smelly and easier to clean up
To get started with your oil or acrylic painting lessons you will need
- Something to paint on
– first choice is prepared artist canvas – prepared means primed ready to go (undercoated before you buy it – usually white) or canvas streched on a frame, or canvas panels (thin canvas in cardboard) You may also use partical board undercoated with white acrylic house paint.
Best sizes for art panels or canvas pieces:- 9×12, 11×14, 12×16, 14×18 inches are good sizes to start but any similar size will be ok.
- Paints – you need plenty of white student quality paint, I like to see beginners start with monocolor (one color and white) which is most often burnt umber and white, but any dark color and white will do.
From then we move on to the colors. The minimum colors are blue, warm yellow and crimson (warm yellow is any yellow that looks like an orange rather than a lemon, the exact color is not important for starting to paint)
A set of colors is white, phthalo blue, cobalt blue, crimson, warm red, warm yellow, raw sienna, burnt sienna, burnt umber, viridian green, (warm red is fire engine red)
- Brushes:- No need to buy expensive brushes
– Fan brush (medium size, must be the firm bristles type, the soft bristles ones are very soft and not suitable).
A 1 or 1-1/2 inch, common house painting brush.
A round hog bristle brush, as big as you can get, that is about a 1/2 inch diameter feral, not the pointed one, the blunt ended bristles is better. The pointed ones can be cropped. (unavailable in some countries so a 3/4 inch common house painting brush will do just as well)
A couple of flat hog bristle brushes, say quarter inch and half inch.
A fine hair brush for little twigs, not too small, about size 5. (Different brands have different sizes but most sizes are useful)
And a cranked painting knife – Later you may need a 2 inch flat house painting brush for larger paintings.
- You will also need – rags – water – a pallete – somehow to steady and hold your painting –
- And don’t forget to wear old cloths, sit or stand comfortably and have good lighting and fresh air,