I will admit whole heartily – I have a problem when it comes to art supplies. If given the opportunity to buy a new pair of shoes to replace the ones in my closet that the soles are falling off of or purchase a new art supply – I’d HANDS-DOWN NO QUESTIONS ASKED – purchase the new supply and continue to walk around in those grungy shoes for another year. (Hence the reason my wardrobe is a bit dated – but what do I care when a shiny new supply is ready to be used in my hands…)
Recently, I put out a video on my YouTube channel talking about some supplies that I recently discovered in 2019 – and ya’ll overwhelmingly asked for me to put together a list of my fav supplies – that are my go to’s. (I’ll link that video down below). So here we go! You’ve been warned – this is gonna get lengthy! But here are my all time fav supplies that a use on a weekly – if not daily basis. And yeah – I use all of these lol…
After filming the paper series, I’ve found myself drawn to two brands of watercolor paper – Arches and Fabriano Artistico. I switch back and forth between these brands often – so purchase whatever is cheapest for you. But I will say – the Fabriano has a much softer “tooth” or texture compared to Arches. So if you prefer smoother cold press paper Fabriano is the way to go. I also want to note – for professional paintings for work – I use Arches 300lb paper – but those can get pretty pricey – so I won’t include it below.
Now if these are still out of your price range – I recommend Bee paper watercolor book. But since putting out the paper series on YouTube – this little guy has been out of stock ever since. 🙁 So if you can find it – get your hands on the journal. It has the best inexpensive paper on the market!
The next supply I use on the daily are my drawing pencils. I use the Kimberly Drawing pencils in 6H and 9H since these are the hardest leads you can purchase from this brand. The reason I want hard graphite lead pencils – is because the harder the lead the lighter the pencil lines and the sharper the point I can achieve with my pencil. So these are a must have for me. I purchase mine from Blick Online Art Store (I’ll include a link below) – but know some of you can get them cheaper off Amazon. So – I’ll include both. ?
Once again, this supply has sold out on Amazon. So I’ve included a link to JetPens for this eraser. I absolutely love this eraser – and hope they restock it soon on Amazon – but for the time being you can purchase it from the link above or by clicking on the image below. ?
Currently, the three brands of brushes I’m playing around with are Silver Brushes, Da Vinci Quill/Mop Brushes, & Grumbacher Synthetic Brushes. If you were only going to pick up one set of these – I recommend trying the silver brushes first. They are a mixture of synthetic bristles and natural squirrel hair. But if you want to try an all natural watercolor brush – test out the Da Vinci Brushes I’ve linked below. You can get them slightly cheaper on Blick Art Store – so I’ve linked to there. But can also purchase them on Amazon. They are called Quill brushes on Blick but Mop brushes on Amazon. And finally – my fav synthetic brushes are Grumbacher.
Currently, I have 3 types of watercolor palettes – one to store my paints, one for mixing colors, and the last one is a deep well palette usually used for watercolor concentrates or for large amounts of paint mixtures. But keep in mind – you don’t have to purchase these palettes below. Just be creative and keep your eyes out for smooth white surface dishes (especially those made of porcelain). Many of ya’ll have told me countless stories of finding mixing palettes at thrift stores for a couple of bucks! So get on the hunt and have an adventure! I guarantee you will be shocked at the difference when mixing on a plastic or metal surface compared to a porcelain one.
Porcelain Tasting Plates from World Market (mixing palette)
Porcelain 4-Section Tasting Trays from World Market (deep well palette)
INKS/MIXED MEDIA >>>>>>>>
The three sets of ink I used most often are listed below. I love using ink pens because of their control, fountain ink because of it’s loose effects, and white ink for correcting/adding those white highlights back into a painting. I also use Bombay Inks from Ph Martin’s – but don’t reach for those on a daily basis – so I won’t include them here.
J. Herbin Fountain Pen Ink
Currently, I’ve been experimenting with using both watercolor pencils and colored pencils in my paintings. I’ve really liked adding the effects both of these can achieve!
RANDOM SUPPLIES >>>>>>>>>>>>>
I’m placing the next two supplies as just random supplies that I absolutely love! The first is an artist glove that wraps around your hand while drawing or painting. This has been so helpful for me since it prevents the oil from my hands from contaminating my watercolor paper – which can leave really weird textures (since oil and water don’t mix). The second random supply has saved my back! It’s an adjustable easel that not only helps with tilting my painting for gradient effects – but also saves my low back from cramping over a desk!
Now on to the good stuff! Watercolor paints! If you are comepltely new to watercolor and don’t really know what colors you like or dislike – I recommend picking up the Kuretake Gansai Tambi 36 Color Set. I’ll link it here and below ? It has a wide assortment of colors pretty close to my palette. This will get you started with learning colors and just playing around.