What do I need to take up painting?
I'm thinking of trying my hand at painting. What is the minimum amount of materials needed? What colors/papers/brushses are a must?
My artwork thread http://zindy-zone.dk/forum/showthread.php?t=11349
Call me Angel
When I venture into new artistic territory I try to find the cheapest materials I can to see if I like it without spending a fortune.
Your local art store will probably carry Liquitex Basics. They are inexpensive, and you get a lot of paint. The colors you need will depend on what you're going to paint. Black, white, burnt sienna, red, yellow, brown, green and blue would be a good start.
For paper, find an inexpensive watercolor paper or similar heavy stock that won't be affected by the moisture in the paint.
You'll need something to mix your colors on. For acrylics, a piece of Plexiglas, or even plastic wrap taped to a piece of cardboard will work while you're trying things out.
Here's an article I wrote several years ago about brushes.
About a year ago I decided to try my hand at painting. Until then I had used only pencils. So off I went to my local art store. I walked around the corner of the brush isle, and the first thought that ran through my head was "Uh Oh!" There were hundreds of different brushes. I was bombarded with manufacturers, natural and man made materials, handle length and brochures making more promises than a used car salesman. I went home and did a lot of research. I now have some nice brushes, and want to share what I learned to make your brush choices easier.
Brushes are one of the most important tools a painter will use. But which brush is right for the painting you want to create? Should you use natural or synthetic hair? How long should the handle be? How do you clean your brushes? Well, let me answer these, and other, questions.
Natural hair brushes come in a variety of materials.
Synthetic hair brushes cost less than natural hair brushes, and can be used for any medium, but work best with acrylics. They will also last longer, when using acrylics, than natural hair brushes. These brushes come in all the same types as natural hair brushes, but their performance characteristics vary widely. You will need to test various manufacturers and grades. The main drawbacks of synthetics are that they won't hold as much paint, and don't have the fine taper and point of natural hair brushes. To overcome these problems, there are brushes available that are a blend of natural and synthetic hair. I started out with synthetic brushes until my skills got better. I couldn't see spending $25 for a sable brush when a $5 synthetic was just fine while I was learning.
Short handle brushes are most often used when working at a table and for watercolors. Long handle brushes are used for easel work so that the painter can get farther away from the painting. This allows them to better see the entire work. I know one artist that buys the long handled brushes, then cuts them down to the length he likes, which is several inches longer than short handled brushes.
Depending on the manufacturer, there are over twenty brush shapes. However, there are really only five main shapes.
Brushes that are properly used, cleaned and stored can last for many years. This is particularly important if you are paying $25 or more for each brush. Follow these simple guidelines for long brush life.
If you're interested in photography, stock images of Arizona and Fine Art Prints of Arizona, visit www.TheCreativesCorner.com
My 2 cents!
Kudos for you on wanting to begin painting! I find it one of the most relaxing mediums for me. I'm also a beginner so whilst I won't be as knowledgeable as a few others here, I might be able to give you a beginner's perspective on what supplies you'll need!
First off, it really depends on what painting you want to do -- the main three being oils, acrylics, and watercolors. I have all three, and though have only dabbled in them, I already have preferences.
If you're looking to minimize your expenses, I wouldn't suggest oil. It's a difficult medium and there's a lot of things you need besides the paint (and good oil paint is expensive.) You need linseed oil or another type of medium (or both!), glazes, turpentine, thinner, probably some gesso, palette knife -- there's just a lot involved. I have a water-mixable oil paint which saves me from having to use turpentine but it was pricey.
If you're impatient like I am, you'd probably want to know that oils take a very long time to fully dry. Some of mine took a minimum of 4 days to be dry to the touch. However, oils look the most appealing to me.
Acrylic are water-based so it's a lot easier to clean up and I don't think requires any turpentine. It also dries A LOT quicker -- within a few minutes. Some say it's too quick to dry but I don't mind it. I also use a spray bottle when using acrylics to moisten my palette when it becomes hard and it does the trick!
I also use a glaze for acrylics. I don't know if I use it correctly, but it smooths out the colors and makes blending easier to me!
I'd suggest Acrylic if you're going to start with painting. As for brand, I have Liquitex and it works fine. I don't think you need too many colors -- you can mix every color with the primaries.
For Both Oil & Acrylic
I'd highly suggest you buy a BIG tube of TITANIUM WHITE paint in whatever medium you choose to do. White is the most used for lightening and mixing colors so you can go through those really fast!
And Jeff named the colors you should get and I agree. Though it depends, these are some of the official chemical names for them:
Cadmium Yellow Pale
French Ultramarine Blue
Brushes for Oil & Acrylic
I know some people will disagree with me, but I actually don't think brushes matter TOO much. I bought a large package of assorted brushes for about $6 and they've done okay. For starting out, I wouldn't suggest investing in brushes. You may decide painting isn't for you and it would be a waste! Buy them in a set. For me, $15 for a brush is too much, especially for starting out.
Oils do require a sturdier brush, though! And like Jeff pointed out, wash them asap! And NEVER leave your brush sitting in the cup of water. It'll weaken the glue and break the brush.
I don't know if the completely count as the type of painting you want to do, but I thought I'd include it anyway. Watercolors are probably the cheapest option. I hear the Crayola watercolors work fine, though you could still get a better brand if you wanted. Watercolors are super easy to clean up and I find them very enjoyable. They're also good for mixed media because I recently found out that colored pencils work really well on top of watercolors!
Watercolors are very opaque though, so you need a lot of layers.
As for brushes, again I wouldn't spend much on them. Watercolors are so light that they don't affect my brushes like thick paint has.
Canvas & Paper
For starting out, I'd highly suggest you buy canvas board -- not the wrapped/stretched canvas. The surface is the same but it's just cheaper for starting out. I feel less worried about making a mistake on the board than the wrapped canvas. You could always buy both, though!
Watercolor paper obviously works well for watercolors ;D I use Strathmore cold-pressed paper. It's slightly toothed and holds the watercolors well. It does curl a bit so it's best to tape it down on cardboard or something. (I don't because I'm lazy but I really should ;D)
I can't really explain how to mix colors or the theory of it since I have no idea! But for palette, I'm really cheap. I use a old magazines that have a shiny or glossy surface, plastic plates (they work really well!), heck, you can even use cardboard! They also make palette pads that's basically wax paper. I wouldn't actually buy yourself a plastic palette since I find they aren't roomy enough.
I made the mistake of not setting up my palette -- I just put colors that I thought I needed at the time. That's not the way to do it. I ended up wasting A LOT of paint because I'd keep adding to try and get a specific color.
Set your palette up like the photo below. You only need a small dollop like it's shown. You can always add more but I find that I don't need as much as I thought I did! (I still feel bad on the paint I wasted )
Hopefully this novel helps you! ♥ Can't wait to see what you'll do!