*Supply list*

Many people have asked what supplies I use so I decided it would be handy to list all my current favorite art supplies here! Beware...the list is LONG! But if you power-through, I have some great nuggets in there I would have LOVED to know when I first started out! Starting out with good art materials is crucial in our creative journey and experience.

Terrible art supplies, or supplies that don't work together can cause you to absolutely hate a medium you might have otherwise loved or worse; especially if you're new, cause you to quit art altogether! My favorite mediums to work in currently are: acrylics, charcoal and pastels. Acrylics has my most extensive list and is what I'm most experienced with, I'm still fairly new to charcoal and pastels but will list what I'm currently using for those aswell. This will more than likely change somewhat in time, because we never stop learning!

Acrylics

 

*Liquitex Basics acrylic paint

These are my favorite paints because they're thinner & a little more transparent which works soo well when layering and glazing a lot! It creates more depth when you can hint the layers beneath. I also find that thicker paints tend to dry up faster. These dry matte which makes things easier while working (white charcoal & transfer paper shows up well on it which I use for sketching things out). When you're finished, varnish it with a matte or gloss varnish. A gloss varnish will make the colors look wet and rich again if you don't like matte! Most of them are lightfast, check the bottles for lightfastness.

*Daylight easel clamp light

Correct lighting is a MUST when painting. You can sit for hours under a bad light and paint what you think is a green forest only to discover it's purple when moving it out in the daylight! Get a daylight lamp, I have one clamped to my easel.

*Glass palette + airtight container & lid

Glass palettes are my ALL time favorite! It's fast & easy to keep clean while working - mist with water and scrape paint off with a glass scraper. I keep my paint wet longer by misting with water and store in an airtight container with a folded wet paper towel inside to keep leftover paint wet inbetween painting sessions. It can stay wet for weeks! I save soo much paint doing this! (I use the glass from a picture frame, it's cheap but keep in mind this type of glass is not made to be handled, it can be extremely fragile so I don't recommend holding this in your hand while painting. If it breaks in your hand, you won't be happy. Let it sit on your side table.)

*A Smooth/fine grain canvas

If you want to paint realism, with smooth blending and fine details, you need a smooth surface. Where I live I am very limited on smooth canvases so I buy rolls of smooth canvas, which I then have to stretch myself. You can also put a couple of layers of gesso on a canvas and sand it down with a fine sandpaper to get a smooth surface.

*Flairosol spray bottle

This is a very fine mist spray bottle, great for misting my palette and my painting to extend dry time. But be careful not to spray too much or too close on your painting (or it will lift lots of tiny spots of paint). If I've used a lot of water for a layer I let it dry over night, otherwise I find it can sometimes lift the layer underneath, but I have no problems if I let it sit overnight!

*Liquitex gloss varnish

Varnish finished paintings with a matte or gloss varnish for protection and an even finish. A gloss varnish will make the colors look wet and rich again if you don't like matte, but it will also cause some glare. 

*Liquitex acrylic gesso

If I have a canvas that is too rough I can put a couple of layers of gesso on it and sand it down to a smooth surface with a fine sandpaper.

*Double waterwell

I like having two compartments (or jars) of water while painting, one for dirty water and one for clean(er) water. I clean my brushes in the dirty water and rinse them in the clean water. I do this continously while working so I don't have any brushes drying up or sitting in the water while painting (which ruins them) and I clean the brushes properly after the painting session is done (most of the time...).

 

*Transparent tracing paper

For my line drawing. All erasing, smudging and sketching happens on the tracing paper and when the line drawing is done I transfer it onto the canvas. Keeps my canvas clean and gets everything exactly where I want them, AND I can re-use my line drawing to get lines back in if I've painted over them!

*White & gray transfer paper

For transfering my line drawing onto the canvas. Tape the drawing on the canvas, slide the transfer paper underneath and trace the drawing using a stylus or an empty ball point pen (I use a nail dotting tool, it's way cheaper than an art stylus and pretty much the same thing!)

*White charcoal pencil

If I want to sketch something directly on the painting I use a white charcoal pencil. It erases so easily without ruining anything and shows up really well!

*Water-soluble graphite pencil

If I want to draw directly on a white or light background I use a water-soluble graphite pencil. For some reason graphite lines on your canvas can be a pain to get rid of but a water-soluble one dissolves as you paint over it.

*Hairdryer

Believe it or not, you can dry other things than hair with a hairdryer! I keep one besides my easel for when I want to dry a layer quickly and keep on working. Careful not to overheat the paint though, weird things can happen...

Brushes

*Synthetic filbert brush set

I use filbert brushes (a flat brush with rounded edges) when I don't want harsh brush strokes showing, they are nice to blend with. Nothing fancy needed, I have the Royal & Langnickel soft grip filbert brush set and some other undbranded cheap set and they work well for me!

*Synthetic round brush set

I want them with a nice spring, (watercolor brushes are too soft & floppy) and a sharp tip, I'm sure there are better ones but I have the Royal & Langnickel soft grip round brush set and it has been working for me.

*Bristle brush set

These are probably the cheapest brushes you can find! They have harder bristles and are nice for smudging techniques, painting textures and dry brushing (I normally avoid dry brushing but sometimes it just works).

*Synthetic liner brushes

These are my finest detail brushes. I can do most fine details with round brushes, but I mean these are for really FINE details, like hair-thin lines. It takes a little practice to learn how to use these, but once you've learned, nothing will get as thin lines as a liner brush! I use the Ami liner brush set.

*Make-up blush brushes

Big & fluffy make-up blush brushes are way better and cheaper than actual mop brushes for art! They are for smoothing out wet brush strokes, (lightly move back&forth over the painted area to smooth out strokes) I like to have a couple on hand because they need to be clean & dry to work. If it starts creating brush strokes instead of removing them, the brush is too dirty or wet - dip the tips in water and rub dry on a paper towel immediately, set aside and grab a new one!

*Large brushes

Some wide large flat paint brushes for painting large areas quickly, sometimes I use 2-3 paintbrushes each already loaded with a different color so I can blend large areas super quickly (acrylics dry fast!).

*Master's brush cleaner soap

Does a good job getting paint out and also conditions the paint brushes to make them last longer. If you have a brush with dried paint in it, try soaking it with the soap overnight and rinse with warm water. I have saved a few brushes like this.

Charcoal

 

*FaberCastell Pitt charcoal pencils

I have the set of 3: soft, medium and hard. These have a lovely soft feel but they break very easily!

 

*Derwent tinted charcoal pencils

I have mostly used the dark black, white and grays. Not as soft as the FaberCastell's, easier to sharpen.

*Razor blade or craft knife

Sharpening charcoal pencils to a fine point is almost impossible, but you can make the tip pointier by carving it with a razor blade or craft knife! You can also try to roll the tip side-ways on a piece of sandpaper.

*Paper blending stumps

These are my favorite blending tools, they usually come in a set of different sizes. You can use the tip for finer blending and the side for blending larger areas. Wipe clean on a paper towel.

*Sofft tools

A nice addition to the blending stumps, they are amazing for blending light soft areas but for darker areas I find the blending stumps work better. It feels like the sofft tools wipes off more product while the blending stumps sort of pushes more product into the paper instead of wiping it off.

*Tombow Mono Zero Eraser

Great for fine detail erasing! 

*Bristle brush

For flicking off eraser crumbs! Do NOT use your hands, or you will smudge EVERYTHING. And you won't be happy.

*Krylon workable fixative

Allows me to add more layers! Which means, I can go darker, lighter, add more details without smudging previous layers and so on. I LOVE this stuff! However... it has killer fumes - spray outside or in a well ventilated area! Works with both charcoal and soft pastels.

*Synthetic round brush + water

Most of the time I use this for sharpening edges and tiny details. Dip the brush in a little water and paint on an edge you want to sharpen or pull out whisps of hair for example. Keep in mind that once you've added water it stays permanent, you can't erase it or smudge it after that. You can also mix charcoal with water to make a watercolor paint but then you must be working on a watercolor paper or canvas that can take the water, or you won't be happy.

*Transparent tracing paper

For my line drawing. I don't want to ruin my good paper so all erasing, smudging and sketching happens on the tracing paper and when the line drawing is done I transfer it onto my good paper. I also use a clean sheet of tracing paper or better, glassine, to rest my hand on while drawing, so I don't rest my hand on the actual drawing and smudge eveything. Keep your hands OFF the paper as much as you can!

*White & gray transfer paper

Use a piece of transfer paper underneath and trace the drawing onto the good paper using a stylus or an empty ball point pen (I use a nail dotting tool, it's way cheaper than an art stylus and pretty much the same thing!)

 

*PH neutral, Acid-free tape

I use an acid-free tape to tape down my paper all around the edges onto a board and put it on my easel. I prefer drawing upright at an easel, once you're used to it, it's easier to see proportions correctly and most of the fall out just falls right off the paper instead of laying around on it! If there's any left do NOT touch it! HANDS OFF, blow it away! And you'll be happy.

*Paper

I have used Canson Mi teintes pastel paper and Daler & Rowney Heavyweight smooth paper but haven't found my favorite. To be continued...

Pastels

 

*Toison D'or soft pastel sticks

Great pastel sticks for a very reasonable price! I like that they are not too soft so they don't fill up the tooth of the paper as quickly as softer ones do. Most are lightfast, check their colorchart. I use these for coloring larger areas and my pencils for more detail work.

 

*Derwent pastel pencils

Great pastel pencils, a bit softer than the FaberCastell's. The Derwent black is more of a dark gray so I recommend buying a separate black from another brand. Most of them are lightfast but not all (not a problem if you're not planning to sell your work). If you only want to use lightfast colors you can mix &match from different brands, some colors are lightfast in one brand but not the other and so on which is what I do.

 

*FaberCastell Pitt pastel pencils

Also great pastel pencils! They feel a little harder than Derwent's. Most of them are also lightfast but not all. Concerning lightfast colors, FaberCastell and Derwent complement each other well, both of them are sold open stock so you can mix & match what you're missing from one brand from the other.  

 

*Razor blade or craft knife

Sharpening pastel pencils to a fine point can be hard without them breaking, but you can make the tip pointier by carving it with a razor blade or craft knife! You can also try to roll the tip side-ways on a piece of sandpaper.

*Clairfontaine Pastelmat

This is the stuff to use with soft pastels! It's pricey... but don't try to use soft pastels on regular paper, it'll be a disaster... and you won't be happy. Use pastelmat or a sanded paper for them to work properly.

*Paper blending stumps

These are my favorite blending tools, they usually come in a set of different sizes. You can use the tip for finer blending and the side for blending larger areas. Wipe clean on a paper towel when switching between colors.

*Sofft tools

A nice addition to the blending stumps, they are amazing for blending light soft areas but for darker or more pigmented areas I find the blending stumps work better. It feels like the sofft tools wipes off more product while the blending stumps sort of pushes more product into the paper instead of wiping it off.

*Tombow Mono Zero Eraser

Works for some small erasing, pastels don't erase as well as charcoal though but it does work to an extent. 

*Koh I noor extra hard art eraser

Erases pastels pretty good, obviously it won't erase all the way but good enough. 

*Bristle brush

For flicking off eraser crumbs! Do NOT use your hands, or you will smudge EVERYTHING. And you won't be happy.

*Krylon workable fixative

Allows me to add more layers! Which means, I can go darker, lighter, add more details without smudging previous layers and so on. I LOVE this stuff! However... it has some serious fumes - spray outside or in a well ventilated area! Works with both charcoal and soft pastels.

*Transparent tracing paper

For my line drawing. I don't want to ruin my good paper so all erasing, smudging and sketching happens on the tracing paper and when the line drawing is done I transfer it onto my good paper. I also use a clean sheet of tracing paper or better, glassine, to rest my hand on while drawing, so I don't rest my hand on the actual drawing and smudge eveything. Keep your hands OFF the paper as much as you can!

*White & gray transfer paper

Use a piece of transfer paper underneath and trace the drawing onto the good paper using a stylus or an empty ball point pen (I use a nail dotting tool, it's way cheaper than an art stylus and pretty much the same thing!)

 

*PH neutral, Acid-free tape

I use an acid-free tape to tape down my paper all around the edges onto a board and put it on my easel. I prefer drawing upright at an easel, once you're used to it, it's easier to see proportions correctly and most of the fall out just falls right off the paper instead of laying around on it! If there's any left do NOT touch it! HANDS OFF, blow it away! And you'll be happy.

Congratulations!

You have officially graduated Marika's one year reading Supply list course! 

Marika Sinclaire ART Logo Guldram.png
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube