“Kill Your Artist Block” Series Lesson 6 – Painting Materials – Oil/Acrylic/Gesso/Porcelain


Hello, back again. This time with some paints that are commonly used by artists. You will most likely try them all at one time or another, then settle on one type of paint you love. My favorite is oil.

Porcelain Paints:

These paints are amazing. I’ve always loved the Pebeo brand of just about any kind of paint they make. These are called “Porcelaine” and are fantastic for glass, ceramic, and other hard surfaces. They are not opaque, but are more transparent similar to watercolor.

(Opaque means when you paint with them, they cover the canvas completely and nothing shows through the paint, such as acrylic paints)


Fabric Acrylic Paints: 

Acrylic paints are probably the most popular of all paints for artists, especially those who live in humid climates. They are opaque, so they cover the canvas well. They also dry very fast because they are water-based. There are many different kinds of acrylics. Let’s start with my very favorite, the fabric acrylics:

Of all the fabric acrylics, Jacquard is – hands down – my absolute go-to for all my dolls and other fabrics I want to paint. They have many different kinds of fabric paint. The ones in these jars are three different types. I have used all of them to paint clothing, dolls, shoes, and even an art car once! I love them because the jars last a very long time. If they start to dry out, just add the jacquard thinner or plain water. They perk right up.


Another kind of fabric paint I love and have lots of fun with is called 3D paint or puffy paint. It dries very cool and dimensional. It comes out of a bottle with a very small tip on it. Takes a bit of practice, so use it on a scrap piece of cloth first. There are three different kinds of 3D paint here, and the brand I love the best are Scribblers. They dry faster, and they are inexpensive to purchase. Although Tulip is a pretty OK brand, Scribblers is really a head above them as far as how fast they dry and how they look when they do. These paints are really great on cloth like t-shirts and jeans.


Acrylics for painting on canvas come in several types. The tubes allow you to paint similar to oil painting because they usually something called “Heavy Body,” which makes them the consistency of peanut butter. This allows you to paint a dimensional painting to make it look more realistic. You can either paint in them with a brush or a palette knife (more on that later)

There are also squeeze bottles, such as Folk Art, Ceramcoat, Golden Brand and Galeria. I like them both, but Golden is extremely expensive. Up to you, but I would definitely go with something cheap at first like Folk Art or Ceramcoat brand paints.

Acrylics in a bottle tend to be thinner than those in the tubes. The tubes tend to last a whole lot longer, though. They don’t dry out like the bottles do. Some of these tubes I’ve had over a decade and still use just fine. Liquitex is also a very good brand and affordable, too.

These are water-based, opaque, and they tend to dry pretty fast. This is great if you’re not in a dry climate. It’s easy to correct a portion of a painting you don’t like. Just paint over it.


Oil Paints:

I mentioned before that oil paints are my absolute favorite. Part of this is the fact that the masters used them. The other part is that if you mess up, they don’t dry right away like acrylics do. This makes it easier to start over on a section of a painting you don’t like. Just scrape it off with a palette knife, and you’re good to begin again until you get it right.

I’ll show you more about these in later lessons.

Of these tube oil paints shown, my favorite is Pebeo brand. It dries faster and is much thcker than Daler Rowney, Grumbacher, or others. The last picture is just some cheap oil paint tubes I use for practice. They’re not what I use if I’m going to paint a professional painting to sell or keep.

Mediums for oil: 

In order to clean my brushes and make oil paints more fluid, I always use baby oil and/or some kind of mineral spirits. There’s a brand called “Turpenoid” that is supposed to replace the old type of oil painting medium turpentine. I don’t particularly like it because the fumes still stink, even though they’re not supposed to. I can barely stand the smell of mineral spirits myself, but I have used it from time to time.



Gesso is used to prep your canvas. It’s similar to acrylic paint but has kind of a sandy feel to it. You’re supposed to paint your canvas, let it dry, then sand it lightly. Paint again with Gesso and sand two more times. This makes it easy for your paint to adhere to the canvas surface.

I don’t have a preference of the brand of Gesso I use, but I do like to prep my canvas with Black or Gray to give the painting a good start for a background. Your preference will be your own.

Some people use just clear Gesso to start with.


Ok, that’s all for today. We’ll continue with more tomorrow. Thanks for joining me in this adventure. It’s fun so far.



Here’s where you can get some of these products:

 Scribblers 3D Paints