I have a confession. I am addicted to art supplies. I am however a careful spender, luckily! Otherwise I'd be broke! My art supplies are many especially as I work in both acrylics and watercolours and I like to throw a few mixed media elements into the mix too. From watercolour pencils to water soluble crayons and archival pens, my art studio is full of beautiful, inspirational supplies which really get my creative juices flowing. Out of this plethora of art supplies, there are currently three art supplies that stand out as essentials. Here they are...
Daniel Smith Watercolour Tube "Jadeite Genuine"
Just look at this granulation!!! Yes, I know the photo isn't the same colour I'm recommending but the granulation is very similar. Where the paint pigments clump together and look as if they are separating, that is what is called granulation. Originally I wasn't a fan of this look. It seemed too rustic for my taste. I tend to lean towards bolder colour and purer blocks of pigment, being quite a fan of the modern look. This particular colour and the way it granulates though certainly turned me into a lover of granulation! So the moral of the story is not to knock it until you try it. Have you heard that one before? I guess there is a reason that it is such a commonly spoken cliche! Daniel Smith has many other beautiful colours on offer. I recommend choosing your colours in person at your local art store so you can view the actual paint sample board. This means you have a proper understanding of the colour in reality and know whether or not it is what you are after. Buying a colour online is not accurate and possibly a big waste of money and resources. Another brand that I have my eye on and am keen to try soon is Michael Harding. If you've tried it, drop a comment below with your thoughts!
Posca Paint Pens
Are you a paint pen snob? I am!!! But even with paint-pen-snobbery in place, there is just something that only a paint pen can do. A paint brush simply can't give me the crisp lines of a paint pen and the ability to work quickly when I reach the detail stage of my artmaking process. I only ever use the fine-point paint pens in white as they cut so nicely into any painted area, bringing in detail and adding an extra element to draw the eye in and create intrigue in an artwork. A black paint pen would also be a helpful supply to have on call. I have tried a range of brands but keep coming back to Posca. I wish there was an Australian-made and owned equivalent but I have not found one quite yet. Be sure to DM me on Instagram if you have any recommendations.
Have you tried a range of watercolour papers? After having tried a bunch, from the stationery store options to the premium french choices, the summary is that you get what you pay for when it comes to paper. Arches offers a fairly bright white colour and because it is 100% cotton, it is less likely to buckle and it is more durable. It is also much much more pleasant to paint on in terms of the painting experience. If you use painting tape around your borders when you paint, you will also find that the Arches paper generally resists tearing when you remove the tape. You can get the Arches paper in a single sheet, a pad or a block. I tend to work with the pads currently and simply tape the sheet to my art table. Another option is to tape the sheet to a cardboard panel so it is more mobile and you are able to put it aside whilst you work on another piece.
The magic that these materials create is just priceless and that's why I suggest using the absolute best quality of materials that you can afford. Please know though that this is certainly not a call to discard your current supplies. Some sense does apply and I am all for re-use where sensible.
If you would like to learn more about watercolour painting, I have a FREE video tutorial on offer at the moment - head HERE to get painting!
P.S. You're awesome! Just sayin'.