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Acrylic and Watercolor Materials list

Acrylic and Watercolor Materials list

Hi there!

I have been asked to let you know what basic materials are needed to get a start on painting. Most artists will tell you that they started with a bare minimum and added as they went. You DO NOT need super special or expensive gear to have a great experience painting. Find out what you like to do first, then add in materials as you like. I have included a list of what I use in my classes and links to find them on #dickblick. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding the materials or classes. See you at the canvas! Christine

Materials List for Acrylic painting with Christine Mac Shane.


Here are the materials and the links to Dick Blick on-line ordering for Acrylic classes. Feel free to use what you have and add on as you need to. These are just suggestions and by no means meant to be mandatory.

 Canvas - Dick Blick Academic ⅝” stretched canvas. 

                 Choose the size you like.


Brushes - I use these Royal Langnickel Soft Grip for both water-color and acrylic. If you do use both mediums, please order a separate brush for each. Using the same brush for acrylic and water-color will contaminate your water-color.

 Acrylic - Bright sz 10, 6 & 2.

               Round sz 6 & 2

Paints - Colors we use most - White, Mars Black, Thalo Blue (red shade), Turquoise, Azo Yellow medium ( can use Cadmium yellow or Hansa Yellow), Pyrole Red ( can use Cadmium Red medium or Napthol Red) Alizarin Crimson or Quinacridone Red, 

Earthtones - Yellow Ochre, Red Oxide, Raw Umber

Additional colors like purple and green and orange can be mixed from all of the above.

I use Nova Color paints available at

Other choices for paint companies are Windsor and Newton, Golden Paint and Holbein as well as M. Graham. Please stay away from student grade and store brand paints as the painting experience will be poorer with these. No need to make it frustrating with poor paint.

Choose a paint company that suits your budget.

Paint sets -

Individual tubes -

Easel -  I don’t always use an easel and suggest painting flat and standing for a great perspective enhancing paint experience. A table top easel is useful, but not mandatory.

Miscellaneous - a palette for paints can be a paper plate or an old take-out container, plastic plate or even an old dinnerware or baking tray.

Water containers - old glass, coffee mug, yogurt container… you get the drift - re-cycle, re-use! Paper towels or cut up t-shirts and face cloths are great. Murphy’s Oil Soap is a great brush cleaner and conditioner, but dish soap can also clean them. White chalk and pencils for drawing.



These are suggestions for basic beginner watercolor. They are aimed at giving you a good painting experience at a low price point. As you progress in your painting life, you will no doubt find additional materials to add to your kit.

Paper -  Use 140lb Cold Press water-color sheet pads for general work and practise.

As you progress, the 300lb is worth the investment. 

Travel painting and Journaling - use paper blocks or watercolor journal books.

Brushes -

Watercolor - Bright sz 10

                      Bright sz 6

                      Round sz 2, 6 & 8.

Paints - Buy paints in a kit or separately. Avoid store and student grade paint for a richer paint experience. Windsor and Newton are great as is Daniel Smith and M. Graham.

Colors we use are - Black, Thalo Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium or Azo Yellow, Cadmium or Pyrole Red, Crimson, Burnt Sienna, Umber, Dioxazine Purple.

Additional “pop” colors can include Opera Pink, Turquoise and Magenta. 

We can mix greens and oranges as well as purples with the basic group.

Watercolor Masking Fluid -

Miscellaneous - Palettes can be as simple as a ceramic plate, baking tray or used plastic food container. Watercolor can be reused after it dries, so you can buy tubes and an empty closing palette for use at home or on the road. Do not use paper plates as they absorb the water in the paint.


Use paper towels, cut up sock bands for wrist wipes or old towels cut up for wiping brushes. Water containers can be used plastic containers with lids (for travel - I fold my paper towels inside my water container for transporting to location) Spritz bottle can be found at discount stores, or I use empty purse size spray sanitizer bottles etc. Recycle or reuse if you can. Pencils and eraser for sketching and Micron permanent ink pens for outlining are great to have.