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How to Get Started as a Beginner Artist

Have you always wanted to be an artist? There’s no better time than now to start getting creative! We know art supplies can seem intimidating because there are so many options, so we’ve gathered together our top tips to help you. Read on!

Do you want to paint with acrylics, oils or watercolours?

Your first decision is which “medium” you want to start with. Most beginner artists choose between acrylics, oils, and watercolours.
Acrylics: Beginner artists often start with acrylics because they’re easy to use and are relatively inexpensive. They dry quickly, though, so you don’t have a lot of time to perfect your painting as you go along. On the other hand, the fact they dry quickly means you can easily paint over if necessary! Acrylics are water-soluble, which means they can be thinned using water and are quick to clean with only soap and water. You can’t try out as many techniques with acrylics as you can with oils, but you can add a gel thickener or try different sorts of acrylics for different effects.
Oils: Oils paints were preferred by the Grand Masters because by using paint thinners and adding oil you can vary the consistency of the paint and use it to try out different techniques. Many beginner artists start with oils, so if you know you’d like to experiment with techniques, this may be your medium.
Watercolours: many artists think that watercolours are more difficult than acrylics and oils as you can’t change errors very easily – paper can only absorb so much water. But beginner artists are often drawn to watercolours because the effects are fresh and beautiful. A set of watercolour paints can also be relatively inexpensive.

What you need to get started
Paints: Limit your palette to start with. It’s a good idea to start with primary colours plus white, green and an earthy colour. You can add more colours as you progress.
Brushes: It’s worth investing in a decent set of brushes that suit the medium you’ve chosen. Cheap brushes are more likely to shed hairs in your painting which is very frustrating. You can either invest in a starter pack, or one wider brush plus two smaller ones.
Canvas or paper: If you’re working with acrylics or oils you’ll need canvases, for watercolours you’ll need paper.
Palette knives and a palette: For colour mixing
An easel: Isn’t essential to start with, but it makes life easier
And finally – grab some pots for water, rags and paper towels for wiping your brush between strokes. You’re ready to start! Enjoy!

We have a wide range of art supplies for you to choose from and our staff are knowledgeable and always happy to advise. We look forward to helping you get started as an artist soon 😊

Need more help? Give us a call on 020 8858 1226