My Favorite Art Supplies For Creating Acrylic Abstract Paintings
I am an acrylic abstract painter.
The way I paint is fairly spontaneous: I dabble between fluid-painting and mark-making, choosing which parts of the painting I want to keep, while laying and glazing over other parts.
Whenever I get a package of art supplies, it’s a bundle of joy to be opened up. So – here’s a list of some of my favorite art supplies that I personally love and adore, and use on a daily basis for my fluid acrylic abstract paintings. I hope you enjoy and let’s get started!
** Disclaimer: This post does contain affiliate links: This means at no extra cost to you, I may get a small commission if you decide to purchase one of these items from the link I provide you. It is how I am able to make some income to run this blog, though even you just being here, reading my blog, is enough and I truly appreciate each and every one of my readers no matter what!
I did not include prices for each item below due to possible changes that occur day-to-day depending on product mark-downs and sales; Thus, I have listed the websites where I have purchased each item and you will be able to check the price for that item on that website to get an accurate price for the item.
My Favorite Acrylic Paints
Here are some of my favorite pink acrylic paints! (Because I use a lot of pink in my paintings). I know that pink may sometimes be seen as a childish and very feminine color… But to me, the color pink embodies a sense of a loving, compassionate soul. There are many artist brands that don’t focus enough on the pinks (in my opinion haha) and will only have Portrait Pink available on shelves – So here’s just a little dedication to the color pink for you.
Golden High Flow – Fluorescent Pink
This is my most-used pink! When mixed with white, I find that this makes the most gorgeous, PERFECT pink. It is super pigmented (straight-out-of-the-tube, it hurts my eyes it so bright!), but when mixed, the pinks it creates are absolutely gorgeous – a pink that I cannot recreate any other way. Plus, because it is so pigmented, a little goes a long way. This is fluid paint, and thus has a very liquidy consistency, which just adds to all the fun of painting!
Amsterdam Acrylic Paint – Light Rose
This one’s my most favorite tone of light pink. Amsterdam in general is a really great brand of artist paint. The texture is more soft-bodied and the colors are pigmented just perfectly. They have huge range of colors to choose from, including several pinks…. which I appreciate! Thanks Amsterdam.
If you are wanting to mix the color pink yourself, here are some tips I found helpful:
The perfect pink color is actually more difficult to create than what most people may expect. You need just the right red pigment – Because just any color red can end up producing a pink that is otherwise too dull, too purple or mauve, too gray, too faded, etc. Plus, there are so many different kinds of reds out there to choose from!
WillKempArtSchool has an amazing video on Youtube telling you exactly which reds make the best pinks (I bought all my reds based on his video). You can take a look at it and see which reds work best for you and your art. I highly recommend the Golden brand paints to give you the highest-quality, brightest pigments (that I have tried). You practically only need a tiny bit to get the color effect you need… yes, it is that powerful. In my experience, 1 tube can cost around $7-15, but it lasts me a very long, long time, so it ends up being well-worth the cost.
Some More Favorite Acrylic Paint Colors
Golden High Flow – Titanium White
I have Titanium Whites in both the Golden High Flow and Heavy Body Acrylic Paint. The High Flow is the one I use most frequently, as it is highly-pigmented yet flows almost as smooth as water. I love experimenting with fluid acrylics and the Titanium White is just my absolute go-to for both mixing and straight-out-of-the-bottle use.
Zinc White or Transparent Mixing White Paint
Sometimes I like to give that “faded” or “farther away” feel to my artwork and this paint color is how I do it. I have the Liquitex brand of this color, but most art brands will have their own version. The difference between Titanium White and Zinc White is that Titanium White is an opaque white. Zinc White is a very transparent white that will soften colors when added on-top of them or lighten colors subtlely when mixed.
Other Favorite Paint Types
There are several brands of Acrylic Inks out there that I’ve tried (Amsterdam, Daler-Rowney, Magic Color, Liquitex), and they are all so amazing! They flow well, are super pigmented, and the color selection is simply perfection. If you’re an acrylic painter, you should definitely try out acrylic inks at least once!
There are several brands of liquid watercolors that I love to use. I generally use them with a Glaze medium or add a bit of fluid Medium, depending on what effect I am after. I find that Liquid Watercolors are super pigmented and they add a sense spontaneity you get from fluid painting.
** Another reason I make sure to use mediums along with Liquid Watercolors is that I notice that the watercolors run when I go to varnish the artwork after it’s been finished. To keep this from happening, use an acrylic medium with the Liquid Watercolors or use a Spray Varnish instead of a Liquid Varnish. **
Pebeo Colorex Ink
I have bought several colors of this brand, and really love them! These are dye-based inks, so make sure to use a high-quality varnish over them that is UV-resistant. The way I love to use these are for glazing: The color pigmentation is so rich and doesn’t get dull at all, so I use this to add extra depth to the acrylic colors I use. My all-time favorite out of all the colors I have tried is Carmine (It is a reddish-pink, and when added to white or Glazing Medium, it makes the most gorgeous pink ever!)
My Favorite Mediums for Acrylic Paints
Glazing is a HUGE part of my work: Glazes add transparency to colors so that they can show the colors beneath. Glazing techniques allow me to play with the colors by adding different tints on top of each other, creating depth and richness in my works. Here are my two favorite mediums made specifically for glazing!
Liquitex Glazing Medium
Liquitex makes an amazing glazing medium that speeds up drying time so that you can quickly add more and more layers as you go. I probably use this one a bit more often than the Golden version, but it really depends on one’s painting process which one will work better for you.
Golden Acrylic Glazing Liquid (Satin Finish)
I also use the Golden brand – which slows down the drying time so that you can spend more time blending out the colors as you go. This especially makes acrylic paint act more like oil paints. Golden has a gloss version available as well.
I also use Gel Mediums for glazing, as well as to extend paint colors and add body. They are the backbone to your paints: If perhaps you do not have the budget to buy the highest quality paints out there, I would suggest investing in some mediums. They will help your paints be stronger, both in structure and longevity. Here are several brands that I use and love for my paintings.
Liquitex Matte Gel
I have gone through several large tubs of this stuff (I use this a lot). There are so many uses for Gel Mediums but I mainly use this when I need a lot of paint to cover a wide surface of the canvas: I mix however much matte gel I need with just enough paint. This allows me to conserve on my paint supply without compromising color vividness. Plus, it aids in increasing paint durability and adhesiveness.
Favorite Fluid Mediums
Liquitex Flow Aid
This fluid medium has a consistency that is very similar to water. When using acrylic paints, it is highly advised to not dilute paints with simply water, as this will weaken the adhesive quality of the acrylic paint and cause it to crack and become damaged over time. I love using this medium as a substitute for water when I want paints to have a super liquidy consistency. If you are looking to create that “stained-effect” on your canvas with your paints, this medium is the way to go!
Golden GAC 800
This fluid medium is a good middle-ground between Liquitex’s Flow Aid and Pouring Medium. Be careful not to pour this too thickly as I find that it does has some chance of crazing (Little cracks forming at the surface of the artwork). If you are using this for thin-paint applications, using this paint medium will help increase the longevity of your artwork by increasing adhesive properties of the paints you use.
Liquitex Pouring Medium
This is the medium with the thickest consistency I have tried for fluid painting. If you’re into dirty-pouring, I think this one’s the way to go, as it is designed specifically to not crack or craze when poured onto a surface (Most other fluid mediums will form little cracks on the surface if poured too thickly). It dries super clear and glossy to really bring out the colors you use.
Golden’s QoR Watercolor Ground
Watercolor Ground is much like a gesso that primes the surface you are painting on to become absorbent (almost like paper). It’s pretty cool. If you use a lot of watercolors or fluid paint, this makes the canvas or panel you are painting on give off that watercolor vibe to your work. Just make sure to follow the directions carefully and I recommend using 2 coats to get the best results. This product is white in color.
Daniel Smith Transparent Watercolor Ground
This Watercolor Ground is a great product if you’re interested in layering, as it is transparent instead of white. If there are colors already put down that you want to paint on top of, this Watercolor Ground is the one for you. It all just depends on the effect you’re after in your artwork. Remember to use 2 coats for the best results – And follow the directions on the packaging.
My favorite stretched canvas to buy is from Michaels and it’s just the Level 1 version they have. I like canvases that are back-stapled so that if an international buyer purchases the painting, I can remove the staples in the back relatively easily and roll up the artwork to ship it. Also, I find that these canvases from Michaels are so smooth. I have tried Fredrix canvases, which are fairly popular among artists, but I just always end up coming back to these because I love how the colors look and how smooth the texture is (I use a lot of glazing in my work and this helps the glaze apply rather smoothly).
** The best times to shop for these are when Michaels has their 70% off canvases sale. If you can get your hands on a 20% off coupon for everything (including sale items), you’ve hit the jackpot, my friend. **
Other Misc but Must-Have Painting Tools I Use
I don’t really use that many special tools when painting: Usually old paintbrushes, sponges, and my fingers… but I’ve gotten myself two catalysts recently and I find the marks I can create with these are super fun! I have the black one plus a spatula-looking one. They have lots more in difference shapes to create different marks, and I think if you’re looking on diversifying your mark-making, you may want to try these out.
My Go-To Varnish
This is the only varnish I use. It is the matte version from Liquitex; They also have Satin, Gloss, and High Gloss finishes available as well… And I have used all of them and highly-recommend each of them!
If I want to create works on paper, this is my go-to favorite paper. It is nice and thick, absorbent, and doesn’t warp too much unless you literally pour straight up water on it. If you are using a lot of water in your works, I suggest upgrading to a cotton-based paper instead. Otherwise, this paper is very high-quality and doesn’t hit too hard on the budget – as it comes with 30 sheets of 11×15″ paper for around $10!
Alrighty, after running back-and-forth to-and-from the studio, I believe I have definitely covered all of my art supply favorites that I have thus far. I hope this list helps any of you aspiring artists out there who are looking for new art supplies to try out.
If you have favorites of your own that you would like to share, please comment down below! I am always on the lookout for new products to try out… ’cause I am bordering almost to a hoarder condition when it comes to my art supplies. hehe.
Thank you for reading yet another blog post of mine! I truly appreciate it, and until next time my lovely readers!