GreatArt (opens in new tab)'s I Love Art range is a great option for the beginner/student market. They offer a wide range of products at very tempting prices.
The Acrylic Painting Starter Set (opens in new tab) comprises four elements – a pack of three brushes, five tubes of acrylic paint, a 30x30cm stretched cotton canvas and some spray-on gloss varnish. The synthetic bristles of the brushes are designed to mimic hog-hair, which is a popular choice for oil and acrylic painters, and although they have a nice spring and hold a good 'load' of paint, we wonder how long they'd actually keep their shape for.
Size 6 filbert and size 14 long flat are a good choice, but maybe a smaller round brush would've been more beneficial for adding detail to your work.
The 120ml paints look nice and punchy straight out of the tube, and include red, blue and yellow, plus black and white. However, they do lose a fair amount of that punch once dry, but these are budget paints.
The quality of the cotton stretched canvas is not bad for an entry-level or practice option. The wooden stretcher has a lip-edge instead of just a bevel, which is a good sign, but the acrylic-primed cotton canvas is still quite absorbent.
When it comes to materials, very often you get what you pay for. However, if you want to dip your toe into acrylics or experiment a little without spending a fortune on equipment, then this starter set could be a good option.
This article originally appeared in Paint & Draw (opens in new tab) issue 4; buy it here (opens in new tab)!