If you have a Lowes near you, they have maple and poplar as well as pine. You should check out a hardwoods store which will be relatively cheaper to some degree and have more options. Basswood is a hardwood that is used by hand carvers as the grain is very fine, has a non distinct grain to it, and it isn’t much denser than pine. It is a fairly economical wood too.
Most home center pine isn’t as dry as a hardwood store might have. You’ll find the home center pine boards will occasionally warp due to further drying indoors. Poplar takes paint well. Maple and pine and poplar are considered woods that wouldn’t require grain filling.
Your harder and denser domestic woods would be things like oak, northern ash, maple and hickory and walnut to some degree. Other than maple, they have large pores which depending on your application you may want to fill before applying a finish.
Walnut, Mahogany, and imported exotics from other locales tend to be pretty pricey. You’ll probably find that pine and poplar are your cheapest options.