Basic Supplies for Acrylic Painting Beginners

I’ve compiled a list of basic supplies for those interested in beginning acrylic painting. We went over this list in the first session of Acrylic Painting for Adults at Mt. Lebanon Public Library. It is not meant to be comprehensive but as a starting point for those new to the medium.

Paints, 2 oz.

Suggested Brands: Liquitex, Utrecht, Golden

Titanium White

Mars Black

Alizarin Crimson

Cadmium Red

Ultramarine Blue

Cerulean Blue

Phthalo Blue

Hookers Green

Phthalocyanine Green

Cadmium Yellow

Burnt Umber

Brushes [ ]




Painting Surface

Pre-stretched canvas

Wooden board

Watercolor Paper

Matboard or Museum board

Paint Palette

Any impermeable surface such as:

Styrofoam plate

Aluminum foil

Plexiglass or glass sheet

Plastic or glass tray or dish

Other supplies

Acrylic medium (matte or glossy)



Artist & Craftsman Supply, 5603 Hobart Street, Squirrel Hill, 15217

Dick Blick, 5534 Walnut Street, Shadyside, 15232

Mini Monets at CMOA

This past summer I was lucky enough to teach two summer camps for 4 – 5 year olds at the Carnegie Museum of Art; Mini Monets and Art Cat’s Kitchen.

In Mini Monets, students learned basic facial anatomy and created self-portraits. They were particularly interested in the deep spaces of the skull and loved to feel along their face as we discussed each feature, comparing their own face to the model skull that we had in the classroom.  After completing the underdrawing, students used mark making methods discussed in the galleries to add oil pastel color to the face. The portraits were cut out and placed on landscape paintings that each child created. The drawing for each landscape was created ‘en plein air’ (in open air) near the entrance to the library and the painting was done in the studio using tempra cakes.

I couldn’t resist using shaving cream painting with this group. The puffy paint really lended itself to the impasto surface made famous by the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. The students were able to blend together the milky pastels to create beautiful abstract landscapes inspired by Monet’s Waterlilies.