Painting – Where to Start

As with any new venture, the hardest part is to know where to start.  It is not any different with starting to learn to paint.

When you begin to purchase supplies, be prepared to be thoroughly confused.  There are thousands, upon thousands of different styles and qualities of paint, brushes, canvases, etc. So be ready to want to pull your hair out the first time. What I hope to do in this post is to make your first step in the world of painting a painless one.


The are many styles, sizes and types of brushes that are sold.  The are made of natural and synthetic materials and range in price from $5.00 for a package of 12 brushes, up to $20-$30 for a single brush and even more expensive for some.

If you are a beginner, don’t waste your time or money on the more expensive brushes… yet.

There are two inexpensive ways to begin.

  1. You can go to your local Walmart, Hobby Lobby or similar craft store and purchase an inexpensive, prepackaged set of brushes for around $5.00.  These brushes are great for the beginner who is looking to develop some basic skills.  They will allow you to figure out what type of brush works best with your style and which don’t.
  2. Purchase specific individual brushes.  I would suggest starting with four brushes if you plan on going this route.
    1. 1″ Brush – This brush is excellent for filling large areas of the canvas such as backgrounds.
    2. Fan Brush – This brush is used for creating long continuous lines and adding detail to large areas.
    3. 1/4″ Brush – This brush will be your workhorse brush and be used for most of your paining.
    4. Detail Brush – This brush is used for exactly what you think that it would be used for.  This brush does not hold a lot of paint on it, so if your work has a lot of detailing, be prepared to dab often.


For the purpose of this post, I will only be speaking of acrylic paints.  I will be doing both posts and videos in the future of oil and water paints, but for now acrylic paint is the easiest and cheapest paint for the beginner.

Now when purchasing acrylic paint you must remember that there are different qualities of paint.  Acrylic paint comes in Student Quality and Professional or Artist Quality.  As you probably realize, cost is related to which quality of paint you purchase.  When purchasing based on quality, I would tend to lean toward purchasing the Artist Quality.  I know that this way is a little more expensive, but Artist Quality paints cover better and have more vibrant pigments than the Student Quality.  But if your budget only allows for the purchase of Student Quality paints, don’t worry, they will still work.


Now when in the store your are looking at shelves with hundreds and hundreds of colors of every shade of the rainbow and more you’ll be thinking… What do I buy?  One thing that you learn as you go on is that you do not need to buy 40 shades of red…  You will learn to make your own shades by mixing multiple colors together to create that perfect shade of “Apple Red”.  So what colors do you or should you purchase?  Below is what I suggest you purchase to get you going on your first masterpiece.




Again, this is my suggestion.  Acrylic paint comes in many colors, sizes and more.  You are able to purchase individual colors in tubes, bottles and jars in 2oz to 32oz sizes

If you are just starting out, I would suggest getting the 4oz bottles that are sold at most craft and artist supply stores.  The only other thing that I would suggest is purchasing the much larger sizes for both Cadium White and Ivory Black.  As for mixing and blending colors, we will get more in depth with that in a further post.


OK, you now have your brushes.  You’ve got your paints all set up.  There is still one more thing you need… Something to put your artistic creation on.

To be honest, you can paint on just about any type of surface, but for the purpose of this post, we will be dealing in just three.

  1. Paper – Paper is the most inexpensive surface to use, but, depending on the quality of the paper and the amount of liquid in your paint, paper may wrinkle and your colors may bleed within the fibers of the paper.
  2. Canvas – Canvas is the most widely used surface by artists for centuries.  Canvas can be both inexpensive to ridiculously priced.  Canvas is sold in many different forms and sizes to suit your need.
  3. Wood – Wood is also a great surface to use for acrylic painting due to the wide variety of species that are available to the artist.  Cost is dependent on which species that you use and wood may need to be prepped and treated before you are able to use any type of paint on its surface.

If you are just beginning, I would suggest going to your local craft or art supply store and purchase some canvas boards.  They come is size of 2″X2″ and up and can be relatively inexpensive if you find the right store and deals.

Well, that’s about it.  You should be ready to create the next Mona Lisa now… errr maybe not yet. But you should be ready to put your artistic skills to the test.

Come back soon to see other posts that will help you to start to learn the wonderful world of painting.

Due to larges amounts of spam, I do not accept comments on this website.  If you would like to post a comment on social media, we would like to hear from you.

There are links to our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube Channels in the top, right-hand side of this page.

Thanks again for visiting us and we hope that we have helped, even just a bit.