6 Types of Paint for Canvases at Paint and Sip

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Are you planning on enjoying a painting party to stay connected with your artist friends? You may be wondering what type of water based paint that is used in paint and sip classes.

Most of the time I teach acrylic painting classes. The paint dries quickly on the canvas, and the artists get to leave the studio with their finished paintings.

Of course, I don’t limit these classes to just using acrylic paint. In fact, I often encourage hosts, kids, and their friends to try other mediums, namely watercolor, including oil paint and watercolor paint.

Today we are going to take a look at these mediums, plus a couple more for good measure.

Let’s learn more about the best paint for canvas.

#1. Acrylic Paints Are Popular

So, what is acrylic paint?

Acrylic paint, which is polymer or plastic based, dries quickly, making it ideal for fun painting classes. 

One of the best things about working with acrylic paint is that you can paint over the canvas after it is dry without damaging the canvas or other layers.

There is one drawback to the fast drying time. If you make a mistake you can’t fix the plastic medium. You just have to paint over the canvas, which isn’t a big deal.

Acrylic can be mixed with water and even other mediums to create anything, making it very versatile. You can use watered-down acrylic paint on canvas much like watercolor paint, and you can make it thicker so it acts more like oil paint.

Acrylic is ideal for painting murals, because it is water-resistant. It can also be used as a glue for collages and other painting projects. It is also generally non-toxic.

Acrylic paint is cost effective. While there are expensive acrylic paints, you can usually find the supplies in inexpensive sets at dollar stores.


Because acrylic dries quickly, it can be difficult to do some techniques, such as blending on canvas. It can also be hard on a brush if it isn’t cleaned quickly. Once the paint dries it takes a lot of work to clean it from paint brushes.

#2. Oil Paint is Great for Studio Classes

When I teach classes in my studio, I have canvas and sometimes use oil paint. Oil paint dries slowly on the canvas, making it fun and easy to do a variety of canvas painting techniques, including blending and impasto.

Once oil paint is dry, it can be painted over without damaging other layers on the canvas. The colors painted over are deep and rich, even when dry.

Most beginner artists think that oil paint can only be used in thick coats on canvas to create something. Oil paint can also be used in thinner coats to create glazes.

Some of the most famous works of art were paintings created with oils. When you decide you are painting with oils, you will be following the world’s greatest art masters.

As with acrylic paint, oils can range in price. I have found this art medium at dollar stores, and you can also get less expensive sets at stores that sell art materials, including canvas.

Water-Soluble Oils

Another option is water-soluble oils. These paints can be thinned with water and mixed with regular oils.


Because oil paint dries slowly on canvas, it isn’t always ideal for paint and sip classes. But, it is an option and class that is available.

If you or your friends have environmental allergies, I don’t recommend painting while using oils. This paint is thinned with oils and solvents, and the fumes can be quite harsh so you need a well-ventilated room for painting. Brushes are also cleaned with solvents.

#3 Watercolor Paints

Another option is to use watercolor paint. Instead of a canvas or canvases, you will be painting on watercolor paper, or multi-media paper.

This water based paint is perfect for sip classes, because it dries quickly. You can paint a layer and the paper will be ready for the next layer in just a few minutes.

When using a water based brush paint, you don’t have to worry about cleaning brushes. They can easily be rinsed with water after painting with watercolor paints.

One of the things I love about this medium is that an artist can correct mistakes. Simply wet the paint and lift it off the paper.

I also like to use gouache with this medium. It is often necessary if you need to add white, because most watercolor sets do not include white.

You never have to worry about watercolors drying out. Even if they do, you can reactivate them with a bit of water.

One last thing about watercolors. They are very inexpensive. You can get costly sets, but for sip classes, a cheap set from the dollar store will do the trick.


It’s difficult to hide mistakes in a watercolor painting, because the paint is so transparent. The colors are also not as bright once they dry.

#4. Gouache is an Interesting Option

Another option for your sip art class is gouache. This is often used with watercolor. It is water soluble, but unlike watercolors, it is opaque.

Gouache has a chalky finish, and it absorbs light. It will get darker as it dries instead of reflecting colors. Gouache can be thinned with water to dilute it.

You can paint with gouache in layers, and the lower layers can be covered if you make mistakes. Gouache has an average drying time, so you have time to fix some mistakes. If it dries out in the container, it can be reactivated with water.


Gouache paints can dry darker and paler, depending on the color. If using many layers, it can take a while to dry.

This paint is rather unstable. So, your painting may end up being quite fragile, and I don’t recommend using it on paper. Varnish is required. It is also expensive, although you can get sets for around $10.

#5. Try Tempera Paint

Tempera paint is water-based, and it is easy to clean up with a bit of water and soap. It is non-toxic and doesn’t contain allergens.

Tempera is ideal for kids to create with because it can be used on paper so you don’t need canvas. It dries quickly, depending on the thickness and the paper absorbency.

Tempera is not the same as egg tempera. Regular tempera is water-based, while egg tempera is made with pigment and eggs.

This is ideal for painters in the younger crowd who are just getting started. In fact, it is ideal for painters of all skill levels.

#6. Try Fabric Paint for Something Unique

Instead of a canvas, why not create it on fabric? Fabric painting is exciting, and you can have fabric painting classes at home.

Your clothing will be the canvas for this type of painting. You don’t even need an easel. Of course, if the artists want to use an easel, this is fine too.

With these paints, you can leave the party with a piece of clothing that is one-of-a-kind, because you put your own design on it. They are also popular with the younger crowd.


If you are hosting an art class in your home, you can’t go wrong no matter which paints you use. You may even want to host several sessions, and try all of the mediums.

Whether you choose acrylic, oils, watercolors, or other varieties of paint, you and your guests are sure to have a wonderful time.

Check my guide on painting tips for beginners at sip and paint classes.

*image by wirestock_creators/depositphotos