Painting materials for art

Materials to paint pictures: watercolors, oils, acrylics, pastels, colored pencils and much more.

The art of drawing and painting involves skills that we can develop if we practice some of the existing techniques. The materials for painting are different depending on the type of paint we are going to use, as well as the surface we are going to work on.

For example, with oil painting we can paint on canvas or on brick, while watercolor does not stay fixed on just any material.

Do you want to know which are the best painting techniques for children? Would you like to create paintings that are easy to paint for beginners but with an unbeatable finish? Do you have an advanced level in painting and now you are looking for materials for professional painters?

Continue reading this post and find out everything you need to become an artist.

How to paint a picture? Tips for beginners


Before explaining the different existing painting techniques, it is important to mention that some techniques are more recommendable than others for people without experience.

For example, starting to practice with pencil painting materials is highly recommended for children and beginners because they will get good skills that will be useful with more complicated techniques, such as oil painting.

Below we detail what types of painting we recommend at Prints and Portraits by levels, although this is only a proposal and, of course, you can start with the most complicated technique or skip some of these stages:

  • Initiation in painting.
  • Pencils to paint on a sketch pad.
  • Charcoal, cuttlefish and pastels.
  • Painting with watercolors on special paper.
  • Gouache or acrylic paints for paintings.
  • Painting with oil at an advanced level.

If you haven’t already taken out your artistic streak, we recommend you to start by imitating drawings, on painting sheets or real, but simple still life made up of fruits and bottles.

The landscapes in nature are complicated to capture on paper if you are inexperienced.

Pencil drawing materials: tips and recommendations


Creating drawings with pencils and colors is a perfect start for anyone just starting out. This simple technique will help us develop accuracy in drawing.

In addition, most sketches for oil painting or drawing with other materials begin with a pencil or charcoal drawing. Therefore, if we master this, we will have a great way forward.


What pencil drawing materials do we need?

  • Drawing pad. There are different sizes, although we recommend a size above A2 to have enough space to draw.
  • Medium to soft pencil to be able to blur the lines.
  • Pencils to paint with different colors. The paint boxes containing from 16 colors offer very interesting combinations.

Pastel painting for beginners: essential materials


If you’ve never painted with pastel paintings, you probably don’t know what they are. They are paintings similar to chalk, but with a softer texture and they pigment much better on paper. 


To introduce us to this technique we will need the following materials to paint:

  • Box of pastel paint. With about 10 colors will be enough to start.
  • Paper to paint with charcoal.
  • Wooden board.
  • Tape of bodywork.

These last two materials to paint are optional, but if you do not have experience, you will find them very useful. The idea is to place the paper on the board and fix it to the wood with masking tape, covering the edges of the paper as a frame. This way, the paper will be more stable and we will draw with more confidence.

Actually, the best thing is to start practicing only with charcoal, practicing the game of lights and shadows to learn how to give the drawings a realistic style. However, if you are daring, we encourage you to try incorporating some pastel colors.

Watercolor painting materials: paper, brushes and colors


The technique for painting watercolors is not as simple as it seems, but trying it is a lot of fun, even if it is hard to get the result we are looking for.


The materials to paint in watercolur are:

  • Watercolor paper. We can buy it in large sheets and cut it into several pieces to practice.
  • Pencil of soft hardness.
  • Watercolor palette.
  • In this case, brushes. These instruments have a very soft and smooth hair. The ideal is that we have several watercolor brushes of different widths. Although it is important to have a very fine one, the number 0.
  • Nowadays it is usual to use watercolor pencil. These painting materials look like pencils but have a brush tip and when wet, dye with this water-based paint.
  • Wooden board.
  • Bodywork tape.
  • Glass with water to rinse the brushes.
  • A cloth to dry the watercolor brushes.

In this case, the way to fix the paper to the table is similar to the method explained in the case of the painting with charcoal, always be careful when you have to remove it, to don’t damage the paper. Once we have prepared the consistent base on which to draw, we will trace with pencil the shapes we want to paint next.

Ideally, we should not press the paper with the pencil too much so that we can easily erase it and not leave any marks. However, it will serve as a guide to start applying colors. If it is difficult to create the outline of the figures, sometimes we can add to this list of materials to paint some color pencil.

It can be useful to wet it and make some drawing on watercolor paper.  It is also important to know that if you want to paint over another color that you have already applied, you will have to wait until the first layer is dry so that the colors do not mix and the paper does not break.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the water-based paint usually comes in light shades. So you will start from light to shadows. It is difficult to get very pigmented areas because the watercolor is diluted in water.

Tempera and acrylic painting: perfect for beginners and children

You may want to get started in the art of oil painting but you are not yet skilled enough with a brush. In this case, practicing the techniques for painting with gouache or acrylic will be very useful. Its texture is less dense than that of oil-based paint and takes less time to dry, so it won’t take you that long to finish your artwork.

The materials for painting with tempera or acrylic are:

  • Brushes.
  • Glass with water to rinse the brushes.
  • Rag or cloth to dry the brushes.
  • Pad or paper for acrylic paint.
  • Tempera or acrylic paints in basic colors: magenta, cyan, yellow, black and white.

As we have explained before, it is preferable to make a sketch on the paper with pencil and then erase it almost completely. Then you can enjoy mixing colors until you find the combination you like best. Remember that it is about enjoying what you do, even if the first results are not what you expected.

The best materials for painting oil on canvas

If you have already tried all the above techniques, you are ready to know what it takes to paint in oil:
  • Canvas to paint pictures.
  • Charcoal to carry out the sketch.
  • Rags to remove the remains of charcoal and to clean the brushes when we are going to change color. You must take into account that oil-based paint does not go away with only water and soap.
  • Oil paints of basic colors: carmine, medium cadmium red, cobalt blue, ultramarine blue, ochre, sepia and white. Mixing these pigments, you will get almost all the colors you imagine.
  • Wood palette for oil painting. On it we will combine the colors.
  • White bristle brushes of different sizes.
  • Turpentine to clean the brushes after each day.
  • Linseed oil to dilute the oils when they are too dense.

What we do in Prints and Portraits?


If there is any doubt, printing on fabric canvas is perfect for artistic reproductions of the highest quality thanks to its 50% cotton – 50% natural fibers composition that provides pure and brilliant colors.

We reproduce art from local and international artist and we also do custom portraits. Check our web to find out more.

Prints and portraits artworks canvas in Australia

Now that you know more about artistic materials to paint, we invite you to have a look into our artwork prints collection. Or if you like something more customizable, you can have your own portrait made in a large canvas. Choose different art styles from cartoon to watercolour canvas painting.

We offer FREE shipping all around Australia, and the best quality printing for our handmade printed canvas and posters.