So You Want To Try Painting At Home, But Where Do You Start?
I have a lot of loyal, repeat paint partiers and once in awhile someone will tell me how attending a paint party awakened (or reawakened) a love for painting that has overflowed into painting at home. I love it when I hear that I have been able to inspire someone to embrace their creative side!
One of my favorite stories is from Josee, who attended a paint party and is now a painting at home!
“In the past I’ve always loved painting….it was put on the back burner when I had kids….when I first started to go out to paint parties hosted by Painting On The Prairies it gave
Me an incurable jolt of wanting to do more paint parties……I fell in love with painting again. This passion was awaken! Then being diagnosed with breast cancer and going through surgery I couldn’t go out sooooo I contacted Painting On The Prairies to see if she could help
me out on three of her paintings…..she was able to and went beyond what I would have thought. She did a video …..just for me! I finished my paintings and did one completely on my own! (thanks to my 6 yr old son for the idea)! Now I’m even thinking about selling my paintings….thank you Painting On The Prairies for all you have done! I would encourage anyone to go out to your paint parties! They are lots of fun!”
So are you excited to start painting at home? I know it can be a bit overwhelming when you first start a new hobby and have to figure out what you need, what quality of supplies to invest in and where to buy them from. I often get asked these types of questions at paint parties and so I am here to give you a bit of guidance based on my own experience!
If you are like me when I started painting at home, and have never painted anything in your life, then you can certainly start with the very basics that you can get at the local dollar store. If you read my very first blog, How It All Got Started, then you know that I started with craft paint and brushes from my favorite store, Dollarama! I shared my very first painting in my second blog, (You are Unique and so Your Painting Should be Too!) but here is my second Dollarama painting and it turned out just fine!
Here are my Dollarama supply suggestions for painting at home:
Crafter’s Acrylic comes in a variety of colors and is a good place to start so can you see if you will actually find time to do some regular painting! Craft paint doesn’t have as much pigment in it and is thinner than artist acrylic, but, as you can see by the wolf painting, that doesn’t mean you can’t get good results. Just be prepared to do multiple coats to get opaque coverage. They dry very fast too, which is fantastic for painting with kids because they don’t usually have the focus and attention to wait for paint to dry in between steps, but it can be challenging when blending. For these reasons I recommend starting on a smaller 11×14 or 12×16 canvas because it turns out better.
And this set of brushes is the best set that they carry. They are actually pretty decent considering they are only $4 and they come in a great canvas pouch.
For a palette you can use a disposable plate or an old plastic plate and your water cup can be any old jar or washed out container. Don’t forget to have a roll of paper towel near by.
So once you have experimented with dollar store supplies and painting is going well, you will be ready to try some craft store supplies! Or maybe you came to a few paint parties and you are already used to using our nice brushes and paint. The next place to get your supplies would be Michaels or a local art store like Artist’s Emporium.
I moved on to Michaels supplies for painting at home and here is what I liked:
First, I bought some nicer craft acrylic from the crafting aisle – Americana and Martha Stewart. They have so many color options and the coverage is better then the Crafter’s Acrylic with a bit longer drying time so blending is easier (as you can see in the following picture of my third painting!).
If you are ready to move ahead to a student grade artist acrylic then start with Artist’s Loft, they have a nice consistency that is easy to spread and blend. It is easy to get bogged down with all the paint options, but I would start there before spending more money on expensive paint like Golden.
For brushes, you can get a nice selection of different sizes and shapes with the Artist’s Loft packages but my fave are the Simply Simmons that you buy individually. Start with a large 1-inch wash, a small flat brush and a small round brush. These are the brushes I bought for my paint parties when I got started. The Simply Simmons are hardy brushes and will last a long time if you take good care of them.
There are all sorts of palettes to choose from at Michaels, but I prefer using a palette paper pad for painting at home. Then I can just let the left-over paint dry up on it and throw it out! I did buy a fancy wash cup one time, but I still prefer my little glass jar, so don’t waste your money on one. Also, I started using old rags or microfiber cloths for cleaning my brushes to cut down on garbage.
With artist’s acrylic paints you can step up to 16×20 canvas or larger! I also enjoy doing the square canvases and long skinny canvases for something different! You will get the best bang for you buck if you buy the Supervalu packs they carry for $17 (F.Y.I. you cannot use any coupons on these!).
You can buy all your supplies from a place like Michaels and never have to shop anywhere else but if you find you are really getting into this whole painting thing then it sure is fun to take a trip to Artists Emporium (or one of the other local art supply stores) to see what they have to offer. Even I still get overwhelmed when I got there but it is like being a kid in a candy store for artists! I purchase the Chromacryl Student line from Artists Emporium for our paint parties and I highly recommend them if you are painting enough to want to buy 16 oz bottles.
One last note, if you have kids who want to paint at home we sell complete kids painting kits for canvas, tote bags and aprons! They include all the supplies and come with access to our exclusive online examples, tutorials and tracers.
I hope this gives you a place to start you own painting journey without getting overwhelmed by the choices! Do you have any favorite painting products you want to share? We love hearing your suggestions!
Happy Paint Partying!