let me start with oil paints, oil paints have been there for a very long time now, and they are oil based , so they dont dry fast,by adding turpentine and varnish ,the viscosity of the material can be altered to look glossier. it also lets them blend easily, and the colours look bright and shiny.oil paint films can become increasingly yellow and brittle with time and lose much of their flexibility in a few decades. there are no fluorescent colors in oil paints where as they are brighter relatively. oil paints are basically good for paintings, which does not involve too many mediums in it.that is if you want to use wall putty or egg shells to create a surface to build on, oil paints are not suitable. oil paints also tend to fade in color
whereas acrylics are being used only for the past few decades, and they are water based, which lets them dry quick.Acrylic retarders can be used to slow the drying time, and too much of acrylic retarder might not let the paint dry at all, leaving them sticky all the time.Acrylic paints show more clear dispersions, letting us create patterns. but cause of the quick drying property, the blending should be done faster! acrylics are more staple and are also very elastic, which does not leave them cracking later.acrylics are good for mixed media, allowing the use of various other mediums like, ink, charcoal,chalk and pastels. various other mixing bodies like sand, eggshells, etc can be used on the acrylics, once they are dry. special acrylics are also available for face paintings and fabric paintings as well.
so, if you want your painting to be very bright ,glossy ,simple and definite, you should use oil paints, where as if you want to try new patterns , fluorescent colors and use mixed media, go for acrylics.!!
how to choose the colors? there are color cards available in all the stationary stores and they got a wide range of shades and pastels to choose from. choose all the basic colors and all the shades that you may not be comfortable mixing. if you go for acrylics, dont forget to get the fluorescent shades.camlin offers a set of 12 shades of tubes in acrylics(artist edition) for 350 bucks (INR)
how to choose the canvas? primed canvases are readily available in a lot of different sizes and varieties.
you get a set of 10 canvases like a notepad. and when you ask for the canvas make sure , you mention that you want the thick canvas (the cloth) and not the canvas equivalents with gesso on them.. :P(it happened 2 me once ) and let them show you all the different sizes of canvas they got, so that you have a choice.
stretched canvas are also available in different sizes, they are quite expensive though, like 250 bucks(INR).
Always go for acrylics or oil paints in tubes, cos you can just pump out the minimum amount of paint that you want and you can also avoid mixing up of colors that happens when you use paints in bottles and the paints in tubes do not dry fast.
get yourself a meter scale , might come handy, when you try cubism and other geometric blah bla.. !!
also get a decent mixing palette, which is easy to clean the dried paint off, from it..!
you might wanna wash off the brushes as soon as you finish using them, cause the acrylics are not soluable in water once they are dry, and they might stick to the brush, and the sticky brush can not be used later...
always keep some blotting paper or a piece of cloth and some new papers around ,to clean the brushes and to keep the place clean.
HAPPY PAINTING Y'ALL.. :D