Acrylic Painting Essentials for Beginners

Acrylic Painting – What Do I Need?

I’m quite new to using acrylic paints. Often what stops me from having a go at something new is that I’m not sure what I need. This blog post will tell you the basic materials that you will need to get started with acrylic painting.

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The Basic Acrylic Painting Materials

Acrylic paints

Acrylic paints mix really well so it is entirely up to you if you want to opt for a set of paints like this that have lots of colour options. I have a set of various colours that are great when I don’t want to have to think about colour mixing. Alternatively, you could go for the primary colours and black and white and get mixing. I’ve got this in Daler Rowney system3 Acrylic and you can get these in various sizes depending upon your project.

If you are starting out then I’d highly recommend checking out The Works in the UK for acrylic resources. There are some very reasonable options to get you started.


You can use any multipurpose paint brush with acrylic paint especially if you are starting out. However, I’d recommend going for a synthetic brush that’s sturdy if you decide to dabble more frequently. Acrylic paint is thick and dries quickly so having a durable, firm brush suitable for acrylics would be best. We have these ones.


Acrylic paint is thick so you ideally want a paper with a good bit of weight behind it. I’d opt for around 230-250gsm like this pad.

Sketching pencil and rubber

Usually, you’ll want to sketch out parts of your design before you start. I’d recommend sketching with a 2B pencil but a standard HB will do to start. A rubber is useful.

You can get full packs of 2B pencils here but if you’re tempted to dabble more creatively then you could go for a sketching set like this or this one that contains a range of pencils including 2B.


  • Jars for water – we use jam jars. We use two. One as our ‘dirty’ pot and one as our ‘clean’ pot. This way you wash your brushes in one but if you need to dilute your paint you dip in your clean pot. Something to wipe your brushes on is helpful also.
  • Old plate/ cardboard/ Tupperware – as your palette. My Mom had lots of decorate plates that she no longer wanted. We’ve saved a few that we use as our palettes.
  • Old clothes/ apron – acrylic stain!
  • Something to cover your working surface with.

Acrylic Painting Tutorials

The Vibrant Dragon picture above was following an ArtBase tutorial. We have a monthly subscription we pay for with them. You can give their tutorials a trial using some of their free ones on YouTube.

If you’re new to acrylic painting like me, I’d recommend finding someone to help you. There’s so much available on places like YouTube.

Carving Time to be Creative

My daughter Floss is six and we often do creative projects such as painting at the same time. We use the same resources and sit side by side.

Therefore, if you’ve got children and struggling to carve in creative time then don’t forget it’s something you can do together. Being prepared is my big tip for being creative with children. That way you can relax knowing the surfaces are covered and old clothes are on!

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