Hi there friend I haven’t met yet!
If you’re planning to take a painting workshop with me, even a free one, you’re going to need a few supplies. Here’s a helpful list of supplies you may want or need before you begin.
None of these supplies are obligatory. Alternatives are acceptable.
If you are on a ramen budget, crafters or kits paints are fine when you’re learning. Dollar store brushes and odds and ends you find around the house work great.
In fact, I’d recommend you wait until you have a better sense of your artistic direction, what brushes you like and what you’re going to want to paint, before you start to invest in expensive tools and paints.
You can find many of these things in your house.
Need a palette?
Find an old plate.
Need a canvas?
Go for a walk and find a big rock.
Use your fingers, or a straw, or an old knife, or a sponge.
The word of the day is “Experiment”. Like the 60’s baby…. let’s get freaky, try new things, and make huge mistakes with colour.
We’re going to feel the brushes…. and there will be painting with your eyes closed.
You will learn how to bring out your inner artist and become the painter you always were.
Things you will need in some form:
**NOTE: Never use any tool for food or food preparation after using it for painting. Even if it has been washed. Just don’t.
For cleaning your brushes:
- Cleaning rag - old t-shirt, towel etc (you can even use paper towel, but try to be sustainable and not kill trees, ok?)
- Brush washing container- doesn’t have to be fancy - you want something that can hold a lot of water and it can NEVER be used for food after you’ve used it.
- A margarine tub or other shallow container for disposing of paint water at the end of a session (never throw your paint down the drain). Check here for the proper ways to dispose of paint waste.
For organizing your workspace:
- Liner or protector for your workspace and floor - towel, plastic sheet, newspaper - anything that is big flat and absorbent or waterproof will work - try to be sustainable
- Old clothes to paint in - start a new fashion trend!
- Good light to see and a well ventilated area
- Make sure your animal companions and/or children aren’t able to access the paints and NEVER leave them unattended in the room with open paint containers or paint water
- Have somewhere you can put your painting to dry when it’s finished, or be able to close off the room you’re painting in until it’s dry
- What’s your playlist going to be? (here’s one of mine)
Tools of the trade:
- Straws - you can use metal, plastic or other
- At least one knife or palette knife - something to smooth/cut paint with - it can be an old kitchen knife, even a spatula will work
- A bit of sponge - steal some from the kitchen, or your bathroom.
- Plate or palette. An old dinner plate, or baking pan, or cutting board will work in a pinch. You can even use and reuse styrofoam trays. Choose a white or transparent colour plate if possible so you can see what the paint will look like on your canvas or paper.
**A note about brushes - you want a range of brushes of different shapes and sizes and soft as well as hard brushes
Big paint brush. The kind you use on walls is fine
- A pack of assorted brushes- you want a few different sizes and styles so you can experiment. Try different things, like make-up brushes, basting brushes, any kind of feathered object, string, yarn or wool or Q-tips. Silicone kitchen implements can have a number of interesting effects. Your fingers are magical and textured. Don’t be afraid to get dirty.
- A water can - small and not easily tipped over. This is for mixing and watering down paints
- Mixing containers - you want containers with lids if possible. If you have large pill or supplement bottles, paint over the label with the colour you’re putting in the bottle and you can use them to mix the paint and also save it for a while.
- White and Black acrylic paint - if you’re wondering which paints you need to get a big container of, these two
- Black paint pen or sharpie. A white paint pen can also be invaluable for highlights.
- Or other paint pens if you want to experiment
- Primary colours. You can usually find a good inexpensive set with the 7 primary colours - or you can buy much larger kits with many different options. Make sure you have red, yellow, blue - you can mix your own colours with these as a base. Craft paint, or tempura paints will also work fine. Watercolours will only work if they are wet, not dry.
- A couple of colours you love or feel really drawn to. Go wild, pick anything you want. One of my first painting students brought neon pink to her classes. There is no limit other than what you set for yourself.
- You can paint on anything you want (except your cat, or your little sister - do not paint on people)
- Canvas pad or water colour paper comes in books to give you lots of experimentation room
- You can buy inexpensive packs of canvas, or a really big one if you want
- Stores like Opus Art Supplies will sell giant pieces of unframed, unprimed canvas that you could tack to the wall
- Rock painting is a really popular thing to do right now. Michael’s and the Dollar Store also sell wooden boxes and lots of other crafty objects you can paint. Have fun!