I’ve discovered in the past that painting can be very therapeutic. In short, it can be a great activity for people in pain: physical pain, psychological pain, spiritual pain, etc. This is something that really has to be experienced to understand. I can’t really explain how it helps.

In the past, I’ve painted with watercolors. I want to get started with acrylic paints. So, I’m using this page to teach myself. Perhaps it will be helpful to you also.

To begin, I found a helpful guide called How To Use Acrylic Paint – A Beginners Guide. The author is listed as Kathleen. I’m going to sort of summarize this guide to try and get it straight in my mind. One of my objectives is to figure out what exactly I need to purchase at the art supply store. I also want to learn how to begin actually painting with acrylics.

Let’s get started.

Supplies that I need

  • Acrylic paints: you obviously need acrylic paints. It appears there are 2 different types: varying by thickness. She recommends starting with 6 to 8 colors in addition to some tubes of white, black, burnt umber. I think I’d want yellow, red, blue, brown…what else? I don’t know.
  • Brushes: obviously you need some brushes. This seems it could complicated.
  • Canvas or thick paper: clearly you need to put the paint on something.
  • Palette: it seems like plastic works well here.
  • Palette knife: you use this to mix the paints on the palette. It sounds like you can also use it to put the pain on the canvas.
  • Water: sounds like you need a lot of water. Sounds like you need to change the water often. So, I’ll need some sort of container to hold the water. I imagine I have something kicking around here I could use. I have a handy sink nearby. This part shouldn’t be a problem.
  • Spray bottle of water: this seems to be a good idea to keep the acrylic paints wet. From article: “Keep a spray bottle loaded with water on hand and spritz the colors on your palette every now and then to keep them wet.”
  • Scrap Paper and Rag: to blot brush on while painting. This shouldn’t be a problem.
  • Gesso: so, if the canvas I get hasn’t been prepped yet, I’ll need to prime it with some coats of gesso.

Sidenote: I was looking on Amazon, and they have some beginner kits that have everything above. No doubt many of the low price ones aren’t professional-grade, but the point is that it seems like I can give this a go without investing too heavily initially. Let me see how it works out first.

How to make a painting

  • Prep canvas: if it hasn’t been prepped yet, prime it with gesso. Sounds like it needs 2 to 3 layers. And, you have to let them dry in-between each application. I could probably prep multiple canvases at the same time it sounds like.
  • Keep paints wet: Use a spray bottle with water to keep the palette paints wet.
  • Start with damp brush: this seems to be  a good approach.
  • Keep caps on paint tubes: they will dry out if you don’t and your money investment is wasted.
  • Leave the brushes dipped in the water jar while painting and switching brushes around to keep the paint from drying and hardening on the bristles. Make sure the ferrule isn’t soaked in as this will cause the glue inside to soften.”
  • Wash brushes with just soap and water. No need for turpentine when using acrylics.