What Supplies Do I Need to Start Painting?

If you’re thinking about learning how to paint or have decided now is the time to learn, you probably have one major question. “What supplies do I need to start painting?” 

Now, before you grab your keys and run to the craft store or start loading up your Amazon cart, let me help. I’m going to show you exactly what supplies you need to start painting. 

Whether you’re brand new to The Social Easel or you’ve been around awhile and are just now ready to start painting, you’re in the right place! I LOVE sharing the joy of creating art and helping people discover the artists inside of them. We all have one!

Let’s talk about what you need – and nothing you don’t – to get started. 

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What Supplies do I need to start painting?

All about the supplies you need to start painting now!

One of my main goals when I teach people how to paint is to get rid of overwhelm. And if you’re shopping for painting supplies when you’re just getting started, it’s easy to get overwhelmed! 

I keep things simple and straightforward. First, I’ll go over all the supplies you need to get started in your painting journey. Then you can see them all in action in the video below. I will even show you a few different brush strokes so you know what brush to use depending on what you’re trying to do in your painting!

Supplies Abstract Chevron Painting Technique for Beginners The Social Easel

1. Paintbrushes

When you go shopping for paintbrushes, the wide variety available can make it confusing. I’ve gone through a lot of different brushes while trying to figure out what I like best. I’m going to share with you a few things to look for when shopping and the brushes I love. The best part is paintbrushes are not very expensive at all!

There are some affordable brush sets out there that will work great for you. It is not necessary to spend $30 on one paintbrush! In fact, I took all the things I love in a paintbrush and had my own line of brushes made. I’m so proud of this set – you get all the brushes you need to get started at an affordable price.

acrylic paint brushes on a notebook

Paintbrush must-haves

When shopping for acrylic paintbrushes, it’s important to choose brushes with synthetic bristles. You’ll usually see “taklon” in the description. The color of the bristles is not important – you’ll see white or golden. Avoid choosing brushes with natural hair bristles. They don’t hold the paint the way you need them to. 

A set of liner brushes is a must for painting fine, skinny lines and detail work. This is especially important if you tend to have a heavy hand when you paint.

2. Acrylic paint

Again, there is no need for expensive supplies! When you’re shopping for acrylic paints, look for craft paint. Any kind of craft paint. It’s extremely affordable and available at your local Walmart or craft stores. Some paint starts as low as $.50 a bottle!

What Supplies do I need to start painting? PAINT

My favorite brand is Deco Art. I also use a lot of colors from Michael’s CraftSmart brand as well as Apple Barrel that I get at Walmart. I have several colors listed in my Amazon store that you can check out here!

Before you start loading up your shopping cart with all the colors, it’s important to remember that it doesn’t matter if you have the exact color for a project. You can mix colors to create the perfect shade. Check out how to color-match paint colors here.

I talk about color mixing in many of my tutorials and go deeper into it inside Christie’s Inner Tribe. Start with a small collection of paint and add to it over time.

F POST How to Match Acrylic Paint Colors The Social Easel

The acrylic paint you choose does not need to have a special finish. While you’re shopping, you see some with matte or satin finishes. I just buy regular craft paint, Nothing special.

3. Mixed Media Pad

Think of a mixed media pad as a big sketchbook for painting. Mine is an 11 x 14 with a ton of pages. I LOVE IT!

A lot of times we get in our head about painting, right? We’re like, “I’m not an artist. I’ve never done it so I can’t do it.” And that’s a big fat lie!

Favorite Painting Surfaces The Social Easel Online Paint Studio

Get inspired by the women inside my Inner Tribe.  Some of these women had never painted before and now they’re making art, hanging it in their homes, and selling it to people. Some of them are even starting their own businesses and teaching other people how to paint. Best of all, they’re proud of themselves for learning something new! 

You can paint too, it just takes practice! And practice starts with a mixed media pad.

A mixed media pad is so important, especially if you are just getting started on your painting journey. You can’t expect to just look at a painting and know how to paint it correctly.

What Supplies do I need to start painting?

When I teach a painting, I show you a lot of brush strokes. You may not get it right the first time, and that’s okay. That’s why it’s so awesome to have a mixed media pad. It allows you to avoid getting all up in your head saying “this is a piece of art, I have to hang on the wall.”

What Supplies do I need to start painting?

It’s not a piece of art. Use your mixed media pad like a sketch pad and realize it doesn’t matter how many pages you use to get the brush strokes right. That is how you learn to become a better artist!

When I was in art college we had to do at least five pages of sketching before we could submit a piece of art as a final piece. It was part of the assignment.

What Supplies do I need to start painting?

When you start painting, remember you will have to work through the process. You can’t expect to just pick up a brush and instantly know how to paint. It’s a process you have to practice, just like anything else in life. And a mixed media pad is the best place to practice.

4. Canvases

You might think canvases are going to be an expensive part of your painting supplies, but they don’t need to be. You do not need expensive canvases. The ones that come in multipacks from Hobby Lobby or Michaels or in my Amazon store are all you need. And they come already primed and ready to go.

Favorite Painting Surfaces The Social Easel Online Paint Studio

The two main sizes I use for most of my artwork are 11″x14″ and 16″x20″. If you find you want some additional sizes after you get started, you can certainly add them, but I recommend starting with those.

5. Brush Cleaner

Your paintbrushes work hard for you. It’s important that you clean and take care of them. This starts with cleaning them properly. You’ll find a lot of brush cleaners to choose from. I’m sure they are all great and get the job done, but after trying out several over the years, this brush cleaner is my personal favorite.

Acrylic Paint Brush Care Soap

Simply wet your brushes, swish them around on the hard soap and rinse them. This cleaner helps preserve and condition your bristles as well.

Make sure to check out how I use this to keep my brushes in great condition in my blog all about brush care!

6. Paint Pens

I LOVE using paint pens in my art. They are perfect for creating those pesky fine lines that we all struggle with sometimes. 

What Supplies do I need to start painting? Paint Pens

Paint pens work a lot better than a sharpie and leave a finish on your painting that looks like paint. I’m sharing a few of my favorite paint pens to consider adding to your supplies when you start painting. 

Gold paint pen  – this one is just awesome! 

Sharpie oil-based paint pens – I love these in white and black. 

Multi-color Posca Paint Pens – I have used these in so many of my paintings to create my whimsical accent lines!

Paint pens are available in many colors. They’re perfect to use for accents in your paintings. 

The second one is sharpie oil-based paint pens. I love these in white and black. You can get paint pens and all kinds of colors though and use them for accents in your paintings!

7. Palette Knives

Over the past few years, I have spent a lot of time exploring and creating with palette knives. I love the texture and rustic nature palette knives give to paintings. I may or may not be slightly obsessed with using them. LOL. 

You’ll see a lot of my artwork done with palette knives. In fact, I love painting with palette knives so much that I designed my own The Social Easel palette knife set! It includes everything you need to get started painting with palette knives.

The Social Easel Palette Knives with teal handles on a table with paint

I may or may not be slightly obsessed with using them! Lol! You will see a lot of my artwork done with these palette knives! This is a great set to get started with. 

Be sure to check out my other blog all about Painting Palette Knife Flowers too! It has a FREE lesson for you!

Flower Painting Tutorials Texture of Painting Palette Knife Flowers The Social Easel Online Paint Studio

If you want to have a little more insight on the supplies you need to start painting, jump over HERE to watch my Facebook Live!

If you are ready to take a deeper dive into fundamental acrylic painting techniques, check out my 4 day painting series – Basics in Acrylics!

The social easel online paint studio basics in acrylic painting (1)

Now you’ve got your list of supplies to start painting,  you are ready to go!! If you would like to be notified before I go Live on The Social Easel Facebook Page with a fun art tutorial.

If you would like to be notified before I go Live on Facebook with a fun art tutorial, text “Hey Friend” to 417-217-7044.

Stay creative and happy painting!