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Oil Paint

art painting supplies

Oil paint is renowned for its rich, buttery texture and luminous finish. It’s made by suspending pigment in oil, typically linseed oil. Oil paints take longer to dry than most other types, allowing for extended working time and the ability to blend colors seamlessly. This slow drying time also enables artists to work in layers, adding depth and complexity to their work. Oil paint is favored for its versatility and durability, making it a popular choice for traditional canvas paintings.

Acrylic Paint

art painting supplies

Acrylic paint is a fast-drying paint made of pigment suspended in acrylic polymer emulsion. It’s water-soluble but becomes water-resistant when dry. One of the most versatile paints, acrylic can mimic the qualities of oil or watercolor paints, depending on how it’s used. It’s known for its bright, vibrant colors and is used on a variety of surfaces including canvas, wood, and fabric. Acrylics are favored for their ease of use and clean-up, as well as their flexibility and resistance to cracking.

Watercolor Paint

art painting supplies

Watercolor paint is a water-based paint known for its transparency and fluidity. It consists of pigments suspended in a water-soluble binder, usually gum arabic. Watercolor paints are typically applied to paper and are valued for their ability to create delicate washes and subtle color gradients. Unlike oil or acrylic paints, watercolors can be reactivated with water even after they dry, allowing artists to blend and adjust their work. This medium is often used for landscapes, abstract paintings, and illustrations.

Gouache Paint

art painting supplies

Gouache is similar to watercolor but is more opaque due to the inclusion of a white pigment or chalk. This opaqueness allows for brighter, more vibrant colors and the ability to paint in layers, with the top layer completely obscuring what’s beneath. Gouache is often used for its matte finish and is a popular choice for illustrators and designers, as well as in mixed media works. It’s known for its quick drying time and versatility in creating both smooth and textured effects.

Tempera Paint

art painting supplies

Tempera, also known as egg tempera, is a permanent, fast-drying painting medium consisting of colored pigments mixed with a water-soluble binder medium, usually egg yolk. It’s known for its unique matte finish and has been a primary medium for religious and symbolic paintings throughout history. Tempera is often used on rigid surfaces like wood panels and is valued for its longevity and ability to retain bright colors over time.

Encaustic Paint

art painting supplies

Encaustic paint, made with beeswax, pigment, and a resin, is known for its rich texture and luminosity. It’s applied hot and then reheated to fuse each layer. This technique creates a distinctive surface that can be sculpted, textured, or polished to a high gloss. Encaustic paintings are valued for their depth and tactile qualities, as well as their durability and resistance to moisture.

Spray Paint

art painting supplies

Spray paint is a type of paint that comes in a pressurized container and is released in a fine spray mist when pressing a valve button. It’s known for its quick application and drying time, making it a popular choice for graffiti and street art. Spray paint can be used on a variety of surfaces, including walls, metal, and wood, and is valued for its smooth, even coverage and ability to create gradients and layered effects.

Type of Paint Composition Drying Time Key Characteristics Best Suited For
Oil Paint Pigment in oil (usually linseed oil) Slow – Rich, buttery texture.
– Luminous finish.
– Allows for blending and layering.
– Durable.
Traditional canvas paintings.
Acrylic Paint Pigment in acrylic polymer emulsion Fast – Water-soluble, becomes water-resistant when dry.
– Bright, vibrant colors.
– Versatile, resistant to cracking.
Various surfaces (canvas, wood, fabric).
Watercolor Paint Pigment in water-soluble binder (gum arabic) Variable (quick) – Transparent, fluid.
– Delicate washes, subtle gradients.
– Can be reactivated with water.
Paper, typically for landscapes and illustrations.
Gouache Paint Pigment, water-soluble binder, white pigment/chalk Quick – Opaque, matte finish.
– Vibrant colors, can paint in layers.
– Quick drying, versatile.
Illustration, design, mixed media.
Tempera Paint Colored pigments, water-soluble binder (egg yolk) Fast – Matte finish.
– Used historically for religious/symbolic art.
– Longevity, bright colors.
Rigid surfaces like wood panels.
Encaustic Paint Beeswax, pigment, resin Variable – Rich texture, luminous.
– Applied hot, reheated to fuse layers.
– Depth, tactile qualities, durable.
Works requiring texture and depth.
Spray Paint Paint in a pressurized container Quick – Fine spray mist application.
– Smooth, even coverage.
– Good for gradients, layered effects.
Graffiti, street art, various surfaces.
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Round Brushes

art painting supplies

Round brushes have a round and pointed tip, ideal for detailed work and fine lines. They are versatile and can be used for both thin and thick lines, depending on the pressure applied. Round brushes are popular in watercolor painting but are also used in acrylics and oils for detailed areas and controlled washes.

Flat Brushes

art painting supplies

Flat brushes have a square end and are used for bold, sweeping strokes or for filling wide spaces. They can create both broad marks and thin lines (when using the edge). Flat brushes are great for blending and are commonly used in oil and acrylic painting.

Filbert Brushes

art painting supplies

Filbert brushes have a rounded, oval-shaped end, making them a blend of round and flat brushes. They are particularly good for blending and soft, rounded edges, ideal for painting petals, leaves, and other natural forms. Filberts are popular among oil and acrylic painters.

Fan Brushes

art painting supplies

Fan brushes have bristles shaped like a fan and are used for blending, smoothing, and feathering effects. They are excellent for creating textures like grass, hair, or fur. Fan brushes are commonly used in oil and acrylic painting for subtle blending and for adding texture.

Angle Brushes

art painting supplies

Angle brushes, also known as angled flat brushes, have an angled edge. They are versatile and can be used for detailed lines, curves, and corners. The angled shape makes them suitable for precise strokes and is particularly favored in acrylic and watercolor painting.

Mop Brushes

art painting supplies

Mop brushes are large, fluffy brushes used primarily in watercolor painting. They are excellent for laying down large areas of water or color, for wetting the surface, and for absorbing excess media. Mop brushes are valued for their soft, gentle application.

Palette Knives

art painting supplies

Palette knives aren’t just for mixing paint on the palette; they can also be used to apply paint to canvas. They create a range of effects, from smooth, flat paint layers to thick, impasto textures. Palette knives are popular in oil and acrylic painting for their ability to create expressive, dynamic strokes.

Sponges

art painting supplies

Sponges are used to apply or remove paint, creating textured effects and interesting patterns. They can be used with a variety of media, including acrylics and watercolors. Sponges are versatile and can be cut or torn into different shapes for specific effects.

Rigger Brushes

art painting supplies

Rigger brushes, also known as liner brushes, have long, thin bristles and are used for fine lines and details. Originally designed for painting the rigging on ships in marine paintings, they are excellent for any work that requires fine, controlled lines, such as branches, hair, or small details in portraits.

Airbrush

art painting supplies

An airbrush is a tool that uses compressed air to spray paint, ink, or dye. It’s used for a wide range of effects, from smooth gradients to precise, detailed work. Airbrushes are popular in illustration, automotive painting, and for adding fine details in acrylic and oil painting.

Tool Type Description Best Suited For Key Characteristics
Round Brushes Round and pointed tip. Watercolor, Acrylics, Oils – Ideal for detailed work and fine lines.
– Versatile for thin and thick lines.
– Good for controlled washes.
Flat Brushes Square end. Oil and Acrylic Painting – Used for bold strokes and filling spaces.
– Creates broad marks and thin lines.
– Great for blending.
Filbert Brushes Rounded, oval-shaped end. Oil and Acrylic Painting – Blend of round and flat brush qualities.
– Good for blending, soft edges.
– Ideal for natural forms.
Fan Brushes Bristles shaped like a fan. Oil and Acrylic Painting – Used for blending, smoothing, feathering.
– Creates textures like grass, hair, fur.
– Subtle blending and texture addition.
Angle Brushes Angled edge. Acrylic and Watercolor Painting – Versatile for detailed lines, curves.
– Suitable for precise strokes.
– Good for edges and corners.
Mop Brushes Large, fluffy brush. Watercolor Painting – Used for large areas of water/color.
– Soft, gentle application.
– Good for wetting surfaces, absorbing excess media.
Palette Knives Flat and flexible blade. Oil and Acrylic Painting – Applies paint to canvas.
– Creates flat to impasto textures.
– Expressive, dynamic strokes.
Sponges Porous and absorbent. Acrylics, Watercolors – Applies/removes paint for texture.
– Versatile shapes/effects.
– Creates interesting patterns.
Rigger Brushes Long, thin bristles. Fine Lines in Various Paintings – Designed for fine, controlled lines.
– Good for details like branches, hair.
– Originally for marine painting.
Airbrush Spray tool using compressed air. Illustration, Automotive, Acrylic and Oil Painting – Sprays paint, ink, dye.
– Smooth gradients to detailed work.
– Popular in illustration and detailed painting.
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Watercolor Paper

art painting supplies

Watercolor paper is specifically designed to be used with watercolor paints. It’s typically made from cotton, which gives it a high absorbency and allows it to withstand wet media without warping. Watercolor paper comes in different textures, such as hot-pressed (smooth), cold-pressed (semi-rough), and rough, each providing a different effect for the paint.

Canvas

art painting supplies

Canvas is a heavy-duty fabric traditionally made from hemp, though today it’s more commonly made from cotton or linen. It’s the most popular surface for oil and acrylic painting. Canvases are usually stretched over a wooden frame. They can be purchased pre-primed or raw, and the texture of the canvas plays a significant role in the outcome of the artwork.

Canvas Board

art painting supplies

Canvas boards are canvas stretched over and glued to a rigid backing, often cardboard or wood. They are more affordable and easier to frame than stretched canvases. Canvas boards are suitable for oil and acrylic painting and are a good option for beginners or artists who need a more portable surface.

Acrylic Paper

art painting supplies

Acrylic paper is thick, heavy paper designed to withstand the weight and texture of acrylic paint. It’s an excellent alternative to canvas for artists who prefer paper or are looking for a more affordable option. Acrylic paper often has a texture similar to that of canvas, which helps in achieving similar painting effects.

Oil Paper

art painting supplies

Oil paper is a specially treated paper designed to handle the unique properties of oil paints. It’s an alternative to traditional canvases and is great for sketches, practice, or finished paintings. Oil paper allows for the application of oil paint without the need for priming, and it doesn’t wrinkle or warp like regular paper.

Wood Panels

art painting supplies

Wood panels are rigid, flat boards made from wood, often used as a painting surface for oil or acrylic paints. They provide a solid, smooth surface and are less susceptible to the warping that can occur with canvases. Wood panels are also favored for their durability and the support they offer for layered or heavy paint applications.

Gesso Board

art painting supplies

Gesso boards are rigid panels coated with gesso, a white paint mixture consisting of a binder mixed with chalk, gypsum, pigment, or any combination of these. They provide a smooth, absorbent surface that’s suitable for both acrylic and oil paints. Gesso boards are favored for their smooth texture and consistent finish.

Yupo Paper

art painting supplies

Yupo paper is a synthetic, waterproof paper made from polypropylene. It is extremely smooth and non-absorbent, making it an intriguing surface for watercolors and ink as it allows the paint to sit on the surface for interesting textures and effects. Yupo paper is known for its durability and the unique, vibrant artwork it can produce.

Fabric

art painting supplies

Fabric, other than canvas, can also be used as a painting surface. Fabrics like silk, cotton, and linen can be painted on with acrylics, fabric paints, or dyes. Painting on fabric requires specific preparation and techniques, but it offers an exciting range of possibilities for wearable art or decorative pieces.

Surface Type Material Best Suited For Key Characteristics
Watercolor Paper Cotton Watercolor Paints – High absorbency.
– Available in hot-pressed (smooth), cold-pressed (semi-rough), and rough textures.
– Resists warping with wet media.
Canvas Hemp, Cotton, or Linen Oil and Acrylic Paints – Heavy-duty fabric.
– Stretched over wooden frame.
– Available pre-primed or raw.
– Texture affects paint outcome.
Canvas Board Canvas on Cardboard/Wood Oil and Acrylic Paints – More affordable and portable than stretched canvas.
– Suitable for beginners.
– Easy to frame.
Acrylic Paper Heavy Paper Acrylic Paints – Thick and heavy to withstand acrylic paint.
– Texture similar to canvas.
– Affordable alternative to canvas.
Oil Paper Specially Treated Paper Oil Paints – Does not require priming.
– Resists wrinkling and warping.
– Ideal for sketches and practice.
Wood Panels Wood Oil and Acrylic Paints – Rigid, smooth surface.
– Less susceptible to warping.
– Durable, supports layered/heavy paint applications.
Gesso Board Gesso-Coated Panel Acrylic and Oil Paints – Smooth, absorbent surface.
– Consistent finish.
– Suitable for detailed work.
Yupo Paper Polypropylene (Synthetic) Watercolors and Ink – Smooth and non-absorbent.
– Waterproof.
– Creates vibrant, unique effects.
Fabric Silk, Cotton, Linen Acrylics, Fabric Paints, Dyes – Offers range for wearable art/decorative pieces.
– Requires specific preparation.
– Versatile and unique.
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Palette

art painting supplies

A palette is a flat surface on which an artist mixes their paints. Traditionally, palettes are made of wood, but they can also be made of plastic, glass, or ceramic. Some artists prefer a palette with a hole for the thumb, making it easier to hold while painting. The choice of palette material can affect the ease of mixing and cleaning up the paint.

Easel

art painting supplies

An easel is a stand used to hold the canvas, board, or paper upright while the artist is working. Easels come in various sizes and styles, from simple tabletop models to large, sturdy studio easels. The type of easel used can greatly affect the artist’s posture and comfort, as well as the angle and perspective of the painting.

Masking Tape

art painting supplies

Masking tape is used by painters to cover areas of the canvas or paper that they wish to keep paint-free. It’s especially useful for creating sharp, clean edges or protecting previously painted areas. Masking tape for artists is usually low-tack to prevent damage to the surface when removed.

Color Wheel

art painting supplies

A color wheel is a circular tool that helps artists understand and visualize color relationships. It shows primary, secondary, and tertiary colors and their relationships, such as complementary and analogous colors. Using a color wheel can aid in color selection and mixing, helping artists create more harmonious and balanced compositions.

Varnish

art painting supplies

Varnish is used as a final coating over a finished painting to protect it from dust, UV rays, and other environmental factors. It can also enhance the appearance of the paint, giving it a glossy or matte finish. Varnishes are available for different types of paint, including oil, acrylic, and watercolor.

Mahl Stick

art painting supplies

A mahl stick is a long, thin rod with a padded end, used by painters to steady their hand while working on fine details. It helps to prevent smudging and allows for more precise brushwork. The mahl stick is held in one hand while the other applies the paint, keeping the artist’s hand from touching the wet surface.

Mediums and Additives

art painting supplies

Mediums and additives are substances mixed with paint to alter its properties. For example, oil mediums can increase the drying time, gloss, or transparency of oil paint, while acrylic mediums can be used to thicken or thin the paint, add texture, or extend working time. These additives provide artists with greater control over the paint’s behavior and finish.

Paint Scraper

art painting supplies

A paint scraper is a tool used to remove paint from the canvas or to create textural effects within the paint. It can be used for various techniques, including sgraffito, where the top layer of paint is scraped away to reveal the underlayer. Scrapers can be made from metal, plastic, or even credit cards.

Rags

art painting supplies

Rags are used for creating textures, dabbing, and manipulating paint on the canvas. They can be used for blotting, smoothing out brushstrokes, or creating specific textures. The type of fabric or sponge and its texture can create a wide range of visual effects.

Projector or Lightbox

art painting supplies

A projector or lightbox is used by some artists to transfer or trace designs onto their painting surface. A projector can enlarge a small image onto a canvas, while a lightbox illuminates drawings from beneath, making it easier to trace. These tools are especially useful for complex designs or when accuracy is crucial.

Painting Tool Description Key Uses and Features
Palette A flat surface for mixing paints. – Made from wood, plastic, glass, or ceramic.
– Can have a thumb hole.
– Affects paint mixing and cleaning.
Easel A stand to hold canvas, board, or paper. – Various sizes and styles.
– Affects artist’s posture and painting angle.
– Ranges from tabletop to studio easels.
Masking Tape Tape to cover areas on canvas or paper. – Used for creating sharp edges or protecting areas.
– Usually low-tack to prevent surface damage.
Color Wheel A tool to visualize color relationships. – Shows primary, secondary, and tertiary colors.
– Aids in color selection and mixing.
Varnish A coating for finished paintings. – Protects from dust, UV rays.
– Can enhance paint appearance.
– Different types for various paints.
Mahl Stick A rod to steady the hand while painting. – Long, thin rod with a padded end.
– Prevents smudging and improves precision.
Mediums and Additives Substances mixed with paint. – Alters properties of paint (e.g., drying time, texture).
– Different types for oil and acrylic paints.
Paint Scraper A tool to remove or manipulate paint. – Used for textural effects, like sgraffito.
– Made from metal, plastic, or other materials.
Rags Used for texturing and manipulating paint. – Used for blotting, smoothing, creating textures.
– Different fabrics create various effects.
Projector/Lightbox Tools for transferring or tracing designs. – Projector enlarges images onto canvas.
– Lightbox illuminates for easy tracing.
– Useful for complex designs.

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