My Favorite Art Supplies Whoop! Whoop!

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How hard is it to narrow down your favorite art supplies? Omg excruciating. Especially if you are suffering from the addiction of art supplies. Look:

art supplies

And this is only part of my studio. Know what makes me happy? Art supplies. When I walk into an art supply store, my knees go weak, and they usually have to revive me with smelling salts and slap me a few times until I come to. Not pretty, but totally worth it.

I will now attempt to make a list of my favorite art supplies for adults that doesn’t continue on for 45,000 items. Good luck. Also, I love talking art supplies, so let me know what your favorites are in the comments.


Paints

Kuretake Gansai 36 Color SetKuretake Gansai 36 Color SetGolden Heavy Body Acrylic PaintsGolden Heavy Body Acrylic PaintsColor Splash! Liquid Watercolor PaintColor Splash! Liquid Watercolor Paint

Watercolor: When I tried these watercolors after 30 some years of using crap-ass watercolors, I couldn’t believe my mind. These Kuretake watercolors are saturated, creamy, lush, gorgeous, resplendent, luxurious, and any other wonderful adjective you can think of. It’s crazy the difference between these and waxy cheap watercolors. You’ll faint.

Acrylic: I’m not sure exactly why I’ve gravitated toward Golden from Liquitex. Honestly they’re both amazing acrylic paint brands, but over the years I’ve just honed in on the Golden brand, and that’s my jam. Sorry for that phrase. Also, I buy them from Blick because they have a better selection than Amazon, and they actually tend to be cheaper!

Liquid Watercolor: These are not professional liquid watercolors. But they are amazing to use for crafty endeavors and with kids. Once you start using them you will think of a million uses for them, or you can find a million uses for them with a mere Google search. They’re completely fun, and everyone should own them.

Entertainment time: The description of the watercolors on the Kuretake Amazon page. So awesome.

Picture letter – some people good at drawing pictures, even those who do not, can start willingly. Birthday of family, wedding of friends, anniversary of lovers etc. – if you send a hearty picture letter, it Wii be surely a good memorial. With this set, you can represent colors that match various scenes. Colors are vivid, meriting fast, coloring are beautiful, so it suitable for coloriage, too. The non-toxic, water-based paints are lightfast and ideal for sketching, illustrations, sumi-e, cards, and more! Each watercolor block comes in individual tray that can be removed from the palette during use.


Drawing Utensils

 Sharpie Permanent Markers, Fine Point, Black, 12 Count Caran d’Ache Classic Neocolor II Water-Soluble Pastels, 40 Colors Uni-Ball UM 153 Signo Broad Point Gel Pen – White – Pack of 3 Palomino Blackwing 602-12 Count Prismacolor 3722 Premier Double-Ended Art Markers, Fine and Chisel Tip, 72-Count

Sharpies are my all-time favorite black permanent marker. I know, I know, everybody loves them some Microns, but my heart will always be with Sharpie. Recent easy Sharpie project.

Blackwing Pencils: Christian gave me a box of these pencils for my birthday once, and I thought they were kinda cool looking, but didn’t do much with them. Now I always have one beside me to draw with or jot something down. Sometimes you just want to write with a pencil, too. They’re soft but not too soft, dark but not too dark, and the erasers are rectangles. << Bonus

Caran D’Ache NeoColor ll Water Soluble Crayons oh sweet gods of art supplies. These things are cray. The colors are fantastic, and you feel like a kid playing with your crayons, but then the second they hit the paper you’re blown away. They are so saturated and gorgeous, but somehow they look great both dry and wet. So many brands make dry/wet crayons and markers and they suck so badly they scarred me horribly until I tried these bad boys. See them in use in this post.

White Gel Pen: It’s a toss up here between Sakura Gelly Roll and Uni-ball Signo um-153. Right now it’s probably the Uni-ball because I accidentally bought the Gelly Rolls in size 05 instead of 1. Bad mistake. Too fine point.

Prismacolor Markers: Same situation as the Golden vs Liquitex acrylic paint mystery. I have been using Prismacolor markers for so long and never really tried Copic, so I’ve stuck with my Prismacolors. They last for freaking ever, come in luscious colors, are dual-ended, and work for some many projects, making the high price a mute point. Totally worth it.


Art Surfaces

 Rives BFK Printmaking Paper Blick Wood Panels Strathmore Printmaking Pad

Girl, I’m not talking about the table you are making your art on, I’m talking substrates, paper, canvas, board, what have you. Girl.

Boards: Good old fashioned pine boards. This is what I make my paintings on and always have. I don’t like painting on canvas because it moves and has a weird, canvassy texture. Both good things when you like painting on canvas. I buy boards from Home Depot, and Christian cuts them down for me. Then I gesso them to prime them (2 coats, no sanding in between) and paint the ever loving hell out of them.

Rives BFK Printmaking Paper: A paper I fell in love with in college and have been using for everything from printmaking to painting to drawing. This paper is thick, softer than watercolor paper, so more absorbent, and has the best tooth to it for pretty much any medium. Watercolor, ink, acrylic, they all look fabulous on Rives. (I usually buy the white 22×30″ 280 gsm, and get it from Blick. Some weird problems on Amazon with this paper.)

Wood Panels: You know what? I lied. I haven’t only used solid boards for my paintings. For encaustic painting I love Blick unprimed birch wood panels. They are amazing for encaustics, but equally wonderful for acrylic or oil painting. Prime with gesso or buy the primed panels.

Printmaking Pads: I love these Strathmore printmaking pads because 5×7″ is the perfect size to make drawings on every day. I don’t feel intimidated by having a bigger size in front of me, I’m not a fan of working in sketchbooks, and I buy these pads 10 at a time. They’re usually a MUCH better price at Blick than Amazon.


Art Tools and Misc

 Empire Level 4003 Aluminum Straight Edge, 36-Inch Fiskars 174140-1001 X-Large Squeeze Punch Round n’ Round, White Blick Masterstroke Bristle Brushes

Hey, ya art tool. Here are some random items I couldn’t leave out of my art supplies list.

Large Metal Ruler: Another essential item I have had since college. I use this thing nearly every day, and it’s one of those tools you don’t know how you ever lived without, even though you didn’t know you needed it until you bought one. (Hint: if you use big sheets of the printmaking paper mentioned above, rip them along the edge of this ruler for a good clean but not too clean edge.)

Large Circle Punch: Random? Perhaps. I don’t know any artist who doesn’t like to take a break from what they normally do and screw around with some other tools or materials. This circle punch is one of my favorite things I own, probably because you can do so much with it. And my kids love it.

Hello, paintbrushes! Boy, am I hard on paintbrushes. Sometimes I get all crazy and mix paint with them instead of a palette knife. Sometimes I leave them in a jar of water. Sometimes I yell at them and make them cry. Thus, I cannot be trusted with the most expensive of brushes. I use and adore Blick Masterstroke bristle brushes because they paint a mean stroke and hold up well.

Phew. Was that hard to limit the list to however many that is. Hit me with your favorite below.

favorite art supplies

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2 Comments

  1. Cyndy R
    10/12/2018 / 2:21 pm

    what? i was invited in a general way to talk about art supplies? oh, here i come! i love the sakura signo uniball. for awhile i thought it wasn’t a good pen but that was because mine was eons old and when i got a new one it was AWESOME. i love liquitex basics paints for some things. i do have some artist grade liquitex heavy body acrylic as well. when i want to do something with serious color pop i use my golden acrylics, but i don’t like the metal tubes. they crink and sometimes split open. so i think i’m going to transition over to totally liquitex artists heavy body. blicks wood artist panels are the bestest. they are my fave for any kind of artwork, but i do have a lot of canvases sitting around and i don’t like to waste anything so i use all that i have. i use koi watercolor travel set and it’s great, but i got my daughter a sennelier pan set for xmas and it is yummy so i want that now. love caran d’ache and oil paintsticks and inktense pencils and charcoal and i’ve started using some acrylic inks which are awesome. i love using gel medium to put down papers and fabrics under my paintings for texture. i’m about to try super heavy gesso as well for that. mdf is now something i love to use as well, except for the problem of hanging, needing a frame or whatnot. that’s the blick panels are so great, no framing needed. oh and i love strathmore’s acrylic paper for doing tiny paintings. if i was a bazillionaire i would have a giant house just for art.

    • 10/14/2018 / 7:00 pm

      This. Was. Amazing. to read- how can you not enjoy a stream of consciousness essay about art supplies? As I was reading itI felt like I wanted to comment on every art supply you mentioned, but I’ll limit myself to: I’m not sure what inktense is, but I will learn in about 30 seconds, and I totally get you on the framing angst. I want to be able to have cool simple frames to pop artwork into, and this is something that an amazing creative entrepreneur should create for artists.

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