Are you looking for a guide to buy art supplies? An excellent guide to buying art supplies is essential for artists, especially for the beginners who don’t know much about the art supplies. This article is beneficial for you if you are looking to learn about the different art supplies and their benefits. Even many experienced artists haven’t used some tools before. We are going to discuss various available tools for artists and their services.
Whenever you are going to buy any art supplies, you need to focus on different things, depending upon your work, as mentioned in this guide. In this article, you will learn about the essential things that you need to focus on. Also, you’ll learn the purposes of those things. Moreover, buying any art supply also depends upon the artist’s style and technique.
In this article, we are going to discuss the different art supplies briefly, so you can easily make your decision according to your style and technique. Let’s see the various art supplies which can be beneficial for you according to your technique.
Table of Content
- Drawing and illustration
- Colored pencils
- Art supplies for studios
- Tips for beginners
Acrylic is a painting medium which became very popular in recent years. The main features of the acrylic include their permanent, non-toxic, and versatile nature. Let’s see the different supplies which artists use for acrylics.
It’s a little bit challenging to buy acrylic paint due to different brands in the market. Especially when you are a beginner, it becomes more difficult. Whenever you are going to buy acrylic paint, you need to focus on quality, color, performance, viscosity, jar, drying time, and brands.
- When we talk about the quality, the acrylic paint comes in two qualities; artists’ quality, and student quality paint. If you are a beginner and have a low budget, you can go for student quality acrylic paint. But if you want a professional acrylic paint with more variety, the artists’ quality acrylic paint will be perfect.
- The second thing is the color. If you are a beginner, you can buy only ten basic colors and can obtain others by mixing them. But if you want more high-performance colors, you can go for the hardly obtain pigments which are expensive as compared to basic colors.
- The next thing is a performance which can be seen from the ASTM standard. You can easily find the ASTM rating on the tube or jar. Always try to buy paint with an excellent or very good lightfastness rating. So it is important to learn the guide of ASTM before you buy these art supplies.
- The viscosity is referring to the consistency of the acrylics. You can go for heavy body acrylic if you are just starting. But you can buy the fluid acrylic if you want more detailed work. Liquid acrylic is thinner as compared to heavy body acrylics.
- Try to buy acrylic paint, which has more drying time, if you are a beginner. The acrylic with less drying time can dry quickly and don’t give you much time. It’s perfect for the professionals but not for beginners.
- Different brands are available, but the Golden and Liquitex are very common.
Painting brushes are also essential when it comes to acrylic painting. There are different types of acrylic brushes available in the market, which makes it very challenging for everyone to choose the perfect one. Whenever you are going to buy the paintbrushes for acrylic painting, you need to focus on shape, size, and brand.
- The first thing is the shape, which is very important according to your work. The different shapes include the round, pointed round, flat, bright, filbert, angular flat, fan, and detail round. You can choose any shape according to your need.
- Different sizes are also available, which include small size, medium size, and large size. Medium size brushes can be used for versatility. Small size brushes can be used for detail work, and large brushes for painting the large areas.
- Different brands are also available, but the best one is Princeton and Loew Cornell. You can also go for Da Vinci brushes according to your budget.
Different acrylic mediums are essential and make the acrylic paint versatile. These mediums are very helpful to make paint thin, thick, glossy, matte, textured, and slow drying. These mediums include gloss medium, matte medium, glazing medium, gel medium, modeling medium, texture gels, retarding medium, and flow improver.
- Gloss medium is helpful when you want to improve the natural sheen and luminosity. Matte medium is useful when you want a non-reflective finish.
- You can use the glazing medium when you want more transparent acrylic paint. The gel medium is useful to improve the adhesiveness of the acrylic paint.
- Modeling paste gives a three-dimensional look to your painting. Texture gels are perfect for imitating certain textures.
- Retarding medium is helpful to slow down the drying time of the acrylic paint. Flow improvement is beneficial in painting large areas.
There are different types of essential and non-essential accessories are available. These things include the Primer, varnish, palettes, palette, and paint shapers.
- Primer is an excellent paste to use on the rough surfaces before the acrylic painting.
- The varnish is a perfect liquid to protect the acrylic painting for years. It is more like a protective coating.
- Palette is the most commonly used item for acrylic painting. But it will be best if you use a suitable material palette which is easy to clean and use as well.
- Painting knives are essential to mix acrylic paint before use. These are also helpful in cleaning out the palette after the painting.
- A paint shaper is a middle item of the paintbrushes and paints knives. These brushes are very helpful for all types of media.
Canvas is a perfect surface to paint. There are different types of surfaces available, which include wood and paper. But the canvas is more useful due to its unique features. There are two types of canvas, which includes stretched canvas and canvas rolls.
- The acrylic will adhere to a canvas, but the colors may be dull on it. So you can do it on pre-stretched canvas for perfect results.
- Sometimes people have a limited budget; in that case, you can go for canvas roll and stretch it. If you are a beginner and want to do some practice, you can go for canvas roll.
There are other types of surfaces that can be used for acrylic painting. These are also part of art supplies, so if you are thinking to buy these art supplies, then you need to read this guide. These surfaces include the hardwood panels, acrylic paper, watercolor paper, other papers, and impermanent material.
- Hardwood panels are mostly used for oil and tempera painting in the old days. These are less popular as compared to canvas.
- Papers are good, and less expensive as compared to wood and canvas surfaces. There are many papers that are specially designed for acrylic painting.
Watercolors are made up of pigments with a water-based solution. These colors are being used for painting for centuries. Watercolors come in a variety of ranges, so it isn’t easy to choose the best one. Let’s see the different things which are used in watercolor painting, it will help you in finding a good one.
Watercolors mainly consist of two ingredients, which are ground pigment and gum Arabic. Whenever you are going to buy the watercolor, you need to focus on quality, color, performance, transparency, staining, tubes, and brands.
- You can choose between the student quality and the artist’s quality. Artist’s quality contains more pigment and has high performance, but if you are a beginner, you can go for student quality.
- There are a variety of colors available which can give you the best results. But if you don’t have much budget, you can go for ten basic colors. You can get the other colors by mixing them.
- You can see the watercolor’s performance from the ASTM rating on the packaging. The “excellent” and “very good” rating watercolors are perfect for getting good performance.
- Transparency is the ability of the light to pass through the paint. It gives a perfect look to the watercolor. So you can test the color transparency before buying.
- The next thing is staining or non-staining, but unfortunately, it’s not easy to know about the watercolor’s staining or non-staining.
- The watercolors are also available in tubes and pans. Pans are trays that contain the solid block of the paint. Tubes are also available, which have the past-like watercolor. The choice mainly depends upon your work habit.
- The brands also play a role in the quality and performance of the watercolor. You can go for Winsor & Newton, or Holbein for artist’s quality watercolors. For the student’s quality, Winsor and newton or Van Gogh are perfect brands.
Paintbrushes for watercolors come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and hair types. All these things play an essential role in the painting results.
- When we talk about the hair; a paintbrush can be made up of sable hair, squirrel hair, goat hair, camel hair, hog bristle, and synthetic fibers. You can go for any type according to your need,
- The watercolor paint brushes shapes include versatility, round brush, and detailed work. You can use any brush according to your work.
- You can also choose among the different sizes, depending upon your work. The large brushes are suitable for bold strokes, medium-size brushes are good for versatility, and small brushes are ideal for detailed work.
The watercolor paper is significant in defining the quality of your work. You need to select the page, which is perfect for you. The performance of your paper depends upon the quality, production, content, weight, texture, tinting, and form of a paper. That’s why read the following guide before you think to buy these art supplies.
- The watercolor comes in two qualities. As a beginner, you can choose the student quality paper. If you want professional work, you can go to the artists’ quality of work.
- Watercolor paper production can be handmade, mold-made, and machine-made. The student quality papers are usually machine-made. The handmade paper is best for professional work.
- The artist’s quality paper contains 100% cotton, which makes it perfect for professional work. But it’s expensive as compared to student quality paper.
- Weight is not much significant, because a good quality paper can come in lightweight and heavyweight as well.
- You can also choose among hot-pressed and cold-pressed paper, depending upon your work. The hot-pressed paper has a smooth and hard surface.
- You can buy the paper in any form. These papers are available in sheets and rolls.
Watercolor mediums are liquids or gels, which are added in the watercolor to get the perfect texture and transparency. However, the use of the medium in watercolor is less as compared to acrylic and oil painting. The common mediums for the watercolor are gum Arabic, ox gall, watercolor medium, Aquapasto, texture medium, granulation medium, and iridescent medium.
- The manufacturer also adds gum gel to watercolor as a binder. But you can also buy it separately to get more transparency.
- OX gall helps to improve the watercolor flow to get the best results. The watercolor medium is also like the gum gel and OX gall.
- The texture medium contains tiny particles and creates texture effects.
Many tools are available, which are helpful in the watercolor painting. These tools mainly include the masking fluid, lifting preparation, scraping and color lifting, sizing liquid, watercolor palettes, and sponges.
- Masking fluid is very helpful to protect those areas of the painting which you want to protect from washes. The other thing is lifting preparation, which is useful to remove the dry-washes before the painting.
- Watercolor palettes are made up of plastic or porcelain. Porcelain is easier to clean but heavy as compared to plastic palettes. Plastic palettes are lighter but slightly absorbent.
Pastels are stick-like colors that come in hard, soft, oil, Pan Pastels, and pastel pencils. There is a vast range of pastels colors available in student quality and artists’ quality. You can choose any quality pastels according to your work. Let’s see the different types of pastels. The soft pastels are the mostly used pastels for many years. The pigment concentration in soft pastels is very high. Soft pastels come in a variety of colors as compared to other pastels. Pan pastels are another form of soft pastels, but it comes in pans and jars.
Hard pastels are made up of the same ingredients as the soft pastels, but the concentration is change as compared to soft pastels. These pastels contain less amount of pigment. Pastel pencils are also available if you want a more controlled work. These pencils have the pastel lead inside the wood layer. The pastels pencils are less messy as compared to soft pastels.
Surface for pastels
Pastels are versatile and cover an extensive range of surfaces. You can easily use the pastels on any surface which has enough grip to hold the pastels. These surfaces mainly include the Tooth and texture, paper, pastel board, and canvas.
- The Tooth and texture is a commonly used surface for the pastels. Tooth refers to the tiny bumps like the rough surfaces which are perfect to hold the pastels.
- Paper is a cheap surface for the pastels as compares to Tooth and texture. Different options are available in the papers in various price ranges.
- The next surface is the pastel papers, which also come in a variety of colors and tones. You can buy them in a single sheet or pad form depending upon your budget.
- Watercolor paper is also used as a surface for pastels. You can buy the watercolor in a range of textures. Make sure to avoid the hot-pressed paper for pastels.
- The Pastel board is like a watercolor paper or pastel paper. In the pastel board, the watercolor paper or pastel paper is mounted on a wood board.
- Canvas is not very common for pastels as it requires a texture to hold the pastels. You can choose among pre-stretched canvas, canvas board, rolls, and pads. These are much expensive as compared to other surfaces.
There are many other accessories available, which are very beneficial for the pastels painting. These accessories include the fixative, blenders, erasers, sharpeners, pastel holders, pastel boxes, and safety.
- The soft pastels are easily smudged or knocked off the surface. This is a problem when you want to stay in the painting. The fixative helps the pastels to remain on the surface.
- Pastel blenders are useful for pastels blending purposes. There are many brushes available which are specially made for mixing purposes.
- Eraser is another useful tool to erase the unwanted pastel color. Make sure to avoid thee latex and plastic erasers; these are not best for pastel painting.
- The best option to sharpen the pastels is the sandpaper or knife. A knife can be a convenient tool in your art studio for a variety of purposes.
- Pastel holders are helpful in providing you the maximum control during painting. You can also use them to protect your hands from pastel color.
- Pastel boxes are helpful in saving the pastel after use. These boxes make sure that the pastels don’t break after use.
Drawing and illustration
There are different kinds of markers, Copic markers, colored pencils, and paper for colored pencils available. These can be used for a variety of purposes in the studio. Let’s know more about these things.
For buying the markers, you need to know everything about the markers. These things mainly include the markers’ tip shape, color range, blending, light fastness, and cost as well.
- A marker can come in different shapes, including the brush tip, chisel tip, fine tip, bullet tip, and double-ended markers. You need to select the perfect tip marker according to your work.
- The color range is also essential to get the perfect results of the painting. Whenever you buy the color markers, make sure to make a color chart to use them efficiently.
- The blending of the artwork is good to give a perfect look to the painting. You can get the ideal look with blending ability, which you don’t think to bring with markers.
- When we talk about the cost, the alcohol markers are more expensive. You can expect to pay $3 to $7 for artist-quality alcohol markers.
Copic markers are an important part of art supplies, that’s why this guide to buy these art supplies is necessary. Artists, illustrators, and colorists mostly love Copic markers. These are professional quality markers that come in a variety of color ranges. These markers are specially designed to last for years. There are three main types of Copic markers; Copic classic, Copic sketch, and Copic Ciao.
- Artists, illustrators, and colorists mostly love Copic markers. These markers are professional quality markers that come in a variety of color ranges. These markers are specially designed to last for years, which come in three main types; Copic classic, Copic sketch, and Copic Ciao.
- When we talk about the topic of classic markers, they have more ink and an array of nib choices. These markers have the same price as the sketch markers but have fewer colors.
- Copic sketch markers are more popular as compared to Copic classic markers. These markers come in a wide range of colors.
- The last type is Copic ciao markers, which are affordable as compared to Copic classic, and Copic sketch markers. If you are a beginner, this can be the right choice for you.
Colored pencils are beautiful mediums which are liked by artists. The colored pencils are easy to use. Moreover, the colored pencils are cleaner and don’t require any set-up. Whenever you want to buy colored pencils, you need to focus on quality, consistency, type, performance, and brand.
- When we talk about quality, you need to choose between student quality and the artist’s quality, if you have a reasonable budget then go for the artist’s quality colored pencils.
- The second thing is the consistency of the lead, which can vary in the different brands and pencil types. When we talk about consistency, soft color pencils are preferred by many artists. Hard color pencils are also excellent to get a fine point.
- There are three main types of colored pencils, including the wax-based, oil-based, and water-soluble. You can choose any type, according to your work.
- The colored pencils can’t mix to get a variety of colors. So it will be best if you have a wide range of color pencils, it will help you in getting perfect results.
- For excellent performance, you can choose the light fastness colored pencils. But keep in mind, the performance can vary from brand to brand.
Paper quality is also essential to get the perfect results with colored pencils. The main factors to focus on are quality, texture, weight, and form.
- The colored pencil papers also come in student quality and the artist’s quality. You can choose any, according to your budget and work.
- The texture of the paper is also essential to get the perfect performance with the colored pencils. Make sure to find the ideal consistency for professional painting.
- You can buy the colored pencil papers in any form like single paper, or wire-bound sketchbook, etc.
Art supplies for studios
This guide to buy art supplies for studios is very beneficial for any art studio. These supplies mainly include easels, art projectors, and many more.
- For the perfect results, you need the following things in the studio; lighting, storage, paintbrush soap, and many more.
- When we talk about the easels, there are ten main types, which artists use. These types include the A-frame easels, H-frame easels, giant easels, convertible easels, single mast easels, tabletop easels, portable easels, bench easels, display easels, and children easels.
- A projector in a studio can be a handy tool for all skill level artists. Artists use the projector to transfer the image from a small photo to a large canvas. There are four different types of projector which you can buy according to your budget and need. These types include digital projectors, opaque projectors, slide projectors, and overhead projectors.
Tips for beginners
We have discussed the beginner level guide to buy art supplies for beginners. These supplies are perfect for beginners with a low budget range. When you get the command on specific media, you can go for the professional items. This is the best way for beginners to start without spending too much money.
We have shared a complete guide to buy art supplies for all the professional and beginner level art supplies in each section. You can learn about your relevant art supplies through this article. So whether you are an expert or a beginner, you should know about your appropriate supplies through this article, it will help you in enhancing your experience.