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The first step to starting a painting is getting your supplies, according to About.com. You need to decide what type of painting you want to make and buy the proper supplies for that style. For example, for acrylic paintings, About.com recommends you purchase things such as varnish, brushes and palettes. This supply list totally changes when it comes to other paints, however.

Paint sets, like the ones available at Michaels.com can be a useful purchase for beginners. They are generally less expensive than individual supplies. There are relatively cheap painting sets you can find at your local art store, but if you want to buy your supplies individually that is always an option too.

The first thing you will need is a paintbrush. You will probably want to get several of these and make sure to clean them well after each use so they do not harden. Cleaning brushes can either be done with turpentine, which can be purchased at an art store, or with soap and water. Brushes vary in size, shape and price. It is best to buy cheaper brushes when you are first starting out because they will likely be at the right quality level for your first project. About.com has all of this information and some advice for how to take care of your brushes. The site also suggests you take care of your bushes by rinsing them often when dealing with acrylics. Once you have your brushes taken care of, you will need a surface to paint on. What you choose as your surface will vary based on what type of paint you are using.

To the right, you'll find a basic shopping list I've compiled. The links to several art stores can be found on the bottom of the list or on the home page of this site.