John  Helms  Fine  Art

Acrylic Painting Supplies List

Adult Beginning Acrylic Class

Instructor: John Helms

Hobby Lobby

( Get exactly what’s on this list – Please, no substitutes )



Grumbacher "Academy Acrylics” brand acrylic fine art paint in tubes is what I recommend for beginners – I like and use Grumbacher now more than Liquitex because they have more pigment in them and less water and the color is more vivid when dry than Liquitex.

  1. Hooker’s Green
  2. Sap Green
  3. Cadmium Yellow Light  
  4. Cadmium Orange
  5. Yellow Ochre
  6. Burnt Sienna
  7. Raw Sienna
  8. Burnt Umber
  9. Cerulean Blue
  10. French Ultramarine Blue
  11. Alizarin Crimson  
  12. Cadmium Red Light
  13. Titanium White
  14. Dioxazine Purple  
  15. Neutral Gray
  16. Paynes Gray
  17. Liquitex Gesso ( The thick kind )

Gesso: There are two different types of gesso - thick and thin. You want the thick kind. The thick kind and has a white label with big black letters, "Liquitex Basics Gesso" on the front - if you buy it at some other art supply store be sure to ask the clerk for Liquitex Basics ( thick ) Gesso. This is very important.


The brushes you'll need are No. 6, & 1 0 natural "hogs hair" bright bristle brushes. I  recommend the "Robert Simmons" brand that Hobby Lobby sell- they have long white handles and black ferrules. The hogs hair is long and flat at the end and are called "Flats". Hobby Lobby has sales on brushes regularly. There is another cheap brush set I like for making leaves, shrubs and grass - they are natural colored long handles and natural long hogs hair, bristle brushes called "Flats" and sell for about $8.00 for a set of 10 brushes. It is in a flat, plastic blister pack with a blue backing card and says" Paint Brush Set" at the top .


There is also an inexpensive assortment of small brushes wrapped in black canvas in a round plastic tube. It sells for under $10 retail at Michaels and is a good buy for the money for smaller detailed work.

Number 5 Rigger Brush ( a long, thin Brush for painting branches of trees and grass. ) I recommend "American Painter" brand for this brush, but if you can't find that brand, any brand will do.


Small Size Palette Knife – the metal ones with wooden handles - no plastic.

Numbers 6, and 10  Natural Bristle Brushes “Fine Touch or Robert Simmons Brand” sold at Hobby Lobby.

Script Liner Brush ( a long, thin brush for painting branches of trees and grass. )


Painting Palette:


12 x 16” Disposable Tear-off  at top Paper Palette – comes in a Pad ( Strathmore brand is yellow )

“Stay-Wet” or “Masterson” brand white plastic palette holder with blue lid to keep acrylic paint from drying out- made for above palette. Put Vaseline all around the seal on inside and on the top edge of the palette – this makes it easier to take it on and off.


Painting Surface and Related Items:

16 x 20” stretched canvas – in the Fine Art section

12 x 16” Canvas Pad ( Fredrix brand, comes in a pad – tear off at top )

A desk-top easel like the wooden ones Hobby Lobby sells for $12.00.( a very good deal ).

“Liquitex” Basics” White Gesso – comes in white plastic bottles - on paint isle.

Emory cloth ( black in color ) for sanding down dried layers of gesso on painting surface.

3”disposable soft sponge brush for priming canvas with gesso.( Black with a natural wooden handle )


Miscellaneous Items – You’ll need all of these.

Kneaded Eraser - ( Gray color - on graphics supplies isle at art supply stores.)   

One black and one white charcoal pencil - "General" brand comes in a package ( on graphic art isle ).

Thin Soft, thin Vine Charcoal sticks-comes in small boxes - on graphic art isle. 

Paper towels ( Viva brand are the best ) or old t-shirts make good painting rags and old clothes, or apron to paint in.

Art box, fishing tackle box, or toolbox with carrying handle and wheels for paints, brushes and $5.00 up

Large or medium container to hold water and to clean brushes in. $1.00 at Family Dollar stores.


Recommended Art Books:

Painting Basics, volume 1 by Jerry Yarnell

Painting Inspirations, volume 2 by Jerry Yarnell

Painting Magic, volume 3 by Jerry Yarnell

More books, VCR Tapes & DVD's from Jerry Yarnell's web site:

Click on the Link below to get 30% off Jerry Yarnell's books !


 Other Recommended Art Books:

Color and How to Use It by William F. Powell ( a Walter Foster paper-back ) This is a good introductory book on beginner color theory with step by step painting demos. / $8.95

Brush With Acrylics by Terry Harrison, artist ( Search Press ) large paper-back – Various painting techniques and step by step painting demos. /  $24.95

Paint With Acrylics by Jerry Yarnell, artist ( A Leisure Arts Publication ) Over-sized paper-back, with step by step painting demos. /  $7.95

 Art Supplies and Student Discounts:

Since art supplies are so expensive buy them wherever you can find them on sale. My students get a discount off their art supplies at some art supply stores if you show them your art supplies list. Ask the cashier if there is a student discount at Hobby Lobby. Other sources for buying art supplies is ,,,,   - They will also mail you a free catalogue if you ask for it.

Recommended Artist Forums on the Internet:  This is by far the largest international forum on the Internet for artists. There are many channels on many categories to choose from and in each of these channels are many, many  forums chock full with good information and good artists to learn from. Any artist on any level of experience can benefit from these forums.