11 art supplies I can’t paint without!


Painting Essentials:

  1. Canson Multimedia sketchbook. Love the thicker paper in this sketchbook. I can add watercolor without the pages buckling.
  2. Fluid Cold Press watercolor paper. I especially love the square shape of this high quality thick watercolor paper!
  3. Uniball signo 207 bold gel pen. I love how smooth these pens are when I want to add ink details to my paintings.
  4. Palette with cover.
  5. Painters tape – to tape down my paper
  6. Grumbacher watercolor brush. Favorite sizes: 8, 6, 4, and 2
  7. Van Gogh watercolor paints
  8. Holbein Gouache mixing set of 5. I love adding the opaque look of gouache to my paintings!
  9. Derwent drawing pencils. Especially with figures, I like to sketch in pencil before starting a painting.
  10. Kneaded eraser. For erasing and leaving only faint lines when I begin to paint.
  11. Paper towel – I have to have a piece of paper towel to suck water off the brush when I need a drier brush. Or to blot the brush after dipping in the water. It’s a good way to check the brush is clean.

Other Essentials:

  • iPad – I do everything on my iPad – google reference photos, take photos, write posts, create digital art, look through and post on Instagram, read WordPress blogs, and more. I made the investment when my Kindle cracked and it was the best thing I did. I couldn’t live without it!
  • ZXU Stylus pen – for drawing on the ipad. I use the apps Adobe Draw and Adobe Sketch because they link up with Photoshop and Illustrator on my desktop.

Other stuff in my supply tray:

  1. Reeves watercolor pencils for adding details
  2. Tombow markers for handletter

Recycled stuff:

  1. Tray from a holiday gift “basket” to hold everything
  2. Plastic egg container for mixing colors to keep the paints in my palette “pure”
  3. Back of the watercolor paper pads – to tape down my paper so it doesn’t buckle when it gets wet
  4. Recycled container (Ricotta or sour cream) for water
  5. Cracked mug for my brushes. It was too pretty to throw away!

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24 thoughts on “11 art supplies I can’t paint without!

  1. Wonderful post! I am considering either acrylics or gouache and I can’t decide. I am currently working mainly with trans. watercolors and I do love them but wanting to expand a bit. Also I was thinking of getting an Ipad especially because I work from my reference photos via my laptop and sometimes it is a feat just to get my computer set up to view from. How do you use your Ipad to do this? also what size screen does it have? I am wanting to get into Instagram but detest how my photos show up using my cell phone. You actually can take photos with your Ipad and then post them directly to IG? So many questions, I apologize but I am looking at all these issues. Thank you!

    1. Thank you Margaret! Wonderful post! If you really love your watercolors, gouache might be a better fit, because you can use them together or use them in a similar way to working with watercolor – thinning them out with water, etc.
      I often paint with my iPad right next to me. I either take a photo with my iPad, or send a photo from my phone using iCloud sharing, or I’ll google an image.
      I take photos with my iPad, and then adjust the brightness and color, and crop (all on my IPad). I have Instagram on my iPad and usually post directly from there. And the screen is bigger than my phone which is nice. If you click the iPad link in the post, you should be able to see more about the model that I have, screen size, etc.
      I’m happy to answer your questions. 😀 let me know if you have any other! – Eileen

      1. thank you so much! I have been thinking about getting an iPad and I’ll be looking into it. I will do my research about acrylic and gouache and weigh the differences and decide which would be my other avenue.

    1. They were the first nice set I owned and I’ve used up most of the tubes. I always liked them because they are creamy and the colors are bright, and I found they mixed well. I always thought they were “artist” grade. Today I went to the store to get more paint and asked specifically about the Van Gogh paints – inspired by your question. I learned they are not considered artist grade, and therefore contain more filler. In the end I purchased a few different blues in the Windsor Newton artist grade AND the same blues in Van Gogh. I won’t really know if there is a difference until I compare them right?😄

  2. My friend is starting school and needed some tips for art supplies, so this is perfect! I had no idea an iPad could be so useful in “traditional” art even if it’s just for taking pictures or researching, so I will have to recommend this to him. Thanks for sharing all these great painting supplies.

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