Acrylic Material List
A good acrylic pallet is much easier to arrange than watercolors as many of the pigment characteristics are suppressed by the acrylic medium. The choice to use liquid type or the thicker tube colors is up to you. Liquid acrylics produce effects resembling watercolors, while the tube colors mimic oil paints and can be worked into thick textures with a pallet knife.
Golden makes some of the best grades of acrylics. A well matched minimum triad set is:
- Titanium White
- Carbon Black
- Hansa Yellow (light)
- Hansa Yellow (medium)
- Pyrrol Red
- Quinacridone Red
- French Ultramarine blue
- Thalo Blue (red shade)
Optional nice to have hues (in order of usefullness):
- Burnt Sienna
- Yellow Ochre (very opaque natural earth-tone)
- Iron Oxide (very opaque natural rust earth-tone)
- Cerulean Blue (very opaque natural whiteish blue earth-tone)
- Burnt Umber
- Thalo Green (blue shade)
Other course materials
- 3 sheets of 30x22 mid grade watercolor paper cut into 1/4 OR a watercolor "block" of paper
- paint brushes, water container etc. (your choice)
- ordinary black pencil crayon (not charcoal stick or graphite drawing pencil)
Helpful Hint: A small water mister and / or a "Stay Wet" pallet will keep your acrylics from drying too quickly. A "stay wet" pallet can also be made from a shallow Tupperware type container using a wet sponge on the bottom covered with a damp piece of paper.
How to make a stay wet pallet
At room temperature small blobs of acrylic paint can dry up in 20 minutes and become useless. Even faster in a hot dry environment! If you buy or make yourself a "Stay Wet" pallet and diligently close the lid when you take a break, paint can still be good after 2 weeks!
Buy a shallow flat bottom plastic container about 1 to 1 1/2" deep with a tight fitting lid. Rectangular or round both work but try and get one that can just be covered by an 81/2 x 11" piece of paper. Typically 9" will work. The best container's bottom should be white or clear if possible so it's color doesn't interfear with the perceived color of your paint.
Next cut one or two beige or light colored sponges to tightly line the bottom to half fill the container. (hint: sponges are cheap and one day you will want to replace it, When you find a sponge that works make a spare or two)
Using the container, trace the shape onto a plain piece of white paper and cut it out to nicely fit inside and on top of the sponge. Finally add enough water to completely soak the paper and sponge. When you can tilt the container vertically and water almost runs out, you've got the right amount.
Now you can simply squirt out your paints around the pallet as needed and they won't dry out! (hint 2: keep a small fine water mister handy and lightly mist the paint once in awhile.
Maintenance: Over time acrylic may dry out in areas the paper making it waterproof. Just replace with a new sheet. While you're at it, rinse out the dirty sponge and add fresh clean water.