This week is inventory week in my art studio. I usually perform this ritual twice a year – once in the fall and once in the spring. Just making note of any supplies that may be running low so I can keep an eye out for them when they go on sale. Any who, last night while I was jotting down a list of supplies that were running low – I came across an assortment of odd supplies that really are a staple for my collection. They didn't really fit into one particular category – other than well odd. But oh these supplies are great to have on hand when the time comes. So here it goes….
9 ODD SUPPLIES YOU'VE GOT TO OWN WHEN IT COMES TO WATERCOLOR
1. BIRCH WOOD
This is probably the most recognizable supply out of all the ones on my list today – but I feel it's important enough to include. As most of you probably know – when painting on watercolor paper – it's always best to stretch your paper on some sort of flat surface. Over the years I've tried multiple different wooden boards – but this one tops them all. Plus it's rather inexpensive – when considering you can pick it from your local Lowes' or Home Depot and have them cut down into whatever size you desire. So why use birch wood over other wood? Well, birch wood is highly resistant toward water – thus it's less likely to warp while painting AND it means less water sopping under your paper.
2. RUST-OLEUM CHALK PAINT
The next supply I'm going to include goes with the Birch Wood supply above and that is Chalk Paint. Personally – I like to paint my wood boards white – but you can paint them any color you desire. The point of painting it with the chalk paint is that it helps seal the wood and acts as an extra protective barrier. Chalk paint is also great because it isn't sticky to the touch once dry – but rather has a smooth even feel – which is great to paint on. And that's why it's number two on my list!
3. SPRAY WATERCOLOR BOTTLE
My next random supply is a small travel size spray bottle. You can pick these up as your local dollar store or even Target. Just look in the travel section. So why is it good to have a small spray bottle for watercolor? Well, first – I use my spray bottle constantly to midst up my paints and re-fresh them during my painting process. This way I'm not adding a ton of water but just a tad to wet my colors and get ready for painting. I also love to use a spray bottle for wetting my paper (especially when it comes to stretching my paper). So this one is a must!
Pipettes are great to have on hand – especially when mixing large paint to water mixture for watercolor. Sometimes it's really nice to just dab of bit of water into a deep well with a pipettes instead of getting my brush throughly saturated with paint while mixing. Pipettes are also great for adding texture to a painting with loose splatter marks.
5. CRAFT PAPER TRIMMER
I LOVE LOVE LOVE USING MY PAPER TRIMMER. Honestly – I bought this supply on a whim since I need to cut a large stack of papers into smaller pieces. Since then – this supply is nearly used daily. Recently, to save money I've been buying larger sheets of watercolor paper and then cutting them down to size. This tool helps me make sure I get perfect edges every time – which for my perfectionist side makes me quite pleased. I've included the exact one I purchased below – but any craft trimmer will do.
6. X-ACTO KNIFE
X-ACTO knives are quite handy when it comes to watercolor! And I think you would be surprised how. Most people use x-acto knifes for scoring when it comes to watercolor – which is great but I use mine in a different way. Recently – I've been experimenting with placing a dab of paint on my paper and then with my x-acto knife – lightly pulling the ink or paint outward. The results is super tiny intricate lines. Just be careful not to cut yourself or your paper. These guys are sharp!
8. TOOTH PASTE
I'm sure you already know this supply hack if you've been following me for some time – but tooth paste is great for roughing up the surface of a new metal palette – to make pooling of your paint possible rather than those awful little beads of paint. So – this supply is one of those random things that is always lying around in the back of my storage bins.
8. DRAWING GLOVES
This is a new supply that I've come to love – drawing gloves! These are typically used when drawing on a tablet to help your hand glide across the surface easier. But I've found them so helpful while drawing and painting on my watercolor paper. So recently, I noticed these strange splotches of texture on my watercolor paper while I was painting. For the life of me – I could not figure out what it was or where it was coming from! Until one day – I noticed a small finger print in the splotch. So apparently the oil from my hands was creating a resist with my paints. So I decided to try painting with my tablet gloves and see if that helped solve the problem. It did – and since then I've been using them quite frequently. Although I will say it has taken some time to get used to them on my hands while I paint. I've placed my glove a couple of times in wet paint without realizing it until a small smudge appeared on my paper. So just something to keep in mind.
9. MAGIC ERASER
And finally! The last odd supply on the list is a Magic Eraser! As most of you know – I use porcelain plates as a mixing surface for my watercolors, inks, acrylics – you name it. And sometimes those paints can be pretty stubborn to remove once dried on my palette. That's when these little guys come into play! I love cleaning my plates with these magic erasers – because it cuts down on my clean up time and makes my palettes slick and clean once again. So these little guys are great to have handy at the end of a painting – when the dreaded clean up begins.