15 Essential Art Supplies

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In today's post I'll be bringing you my 15 art supply essentials. I have compiled a list of my absolute favorite items ranging from pens to paints. I absolutely love shopping for new art supplies. Nothing is more fun then coming home to crack open a new sketch pad with endless possibilities.   

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1. Canson XL Mixed Media Pads

First up, these mixed media sketchbooks. These are a staple in my collection and I own at least 10. These sketchbooks are so great because the paper inside them holds an incredible amount of paint. Especially if I am working with thick acrylic that is layered. I've never had one rip or bleed through on me. They also come in every size which is very convenient depending on the project I'm using it for.

 

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2. Moleskine Watercolor Coldpress

I can't speak highly enough about the quality of Moleskine products. They produce a wide variety of notebooks and sketchbooks and all of them are awesome. The thick paper is a dream to write and paint on. I tend to use these for travel because they have excellent covers that keep them well protected on the go.

 

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3. Sakura 24 Watercolors Field Sketch Set with Brush

Speaking of on the go, these Sakura watercolors are the best to travel with! It includes a variety of deep pigments that have excellent coverage. Any time I take a trip this is in my bag. Plus the set comes with the handy water brush!

 

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4. Winsor & Newton Designers Gouache

Can you marry paint? Is that weird? Yes... okay. Anyways, I first started using these in college for my rendering class and I've been hooked ever since. If you love watercolors but have never used gouache before, this is the place to start. Although they are pricey, I've never had to buy a second tube, they last forever. The coverage is more opaque than a watercolor but blends so magically with water or other pigments. They are by far my most favorite paint to use, ever.

 

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5. Liquitex Basics Acrylic Color

As far as quality value acrylic paint goes, this is your best bet. The consistency and coverage of these paints makes them easy to work with. The dry time is predictable and they blend or water down nicely depending on your project. I have a full stock of colors ready at all times.

 

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6. Liquitex Flow-Aid

I tend to do a lot of work with acrylics and movement. This is my favorite product to help me thin out my acrylics without losing pigment. You only need 1 part flow-aid to 20 parts water, making it a cheap alternative to buying actual fluid acrylic paint.

 

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7. Golden Artist Colors Gels and Pastes

Conversely, if you are looking to thicken your paint, Golden's gel mediums are an amazing way to add texture to your work. They are top notch products that you can mix and match with your acrylics to create specialized techniques and looks.

 

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8. X-Acto Z Series #11 Blades with an A Handle 

"You aren't a true artist until you've bled at the mercy of an x-acto knife." Said every artist ever. Okay, every artist probably hasn't said that, but I definitely have. To get exact cuts, this is the only way to go. I can't image not having this at my sides at all times. X-acto's are second to pencils in terms of usefulness and necessity. My favorite blades are the z series. They are extremely sharp and don't dull as easy as the cheaper options. A 100 pack usually lasts me about a year and a half. A great investment for sure.

 

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9. Faber-Castell PITT Artist Pens in size B

As far a brush pens go, Faber-Castell's are a top pick. I love using these for brush lettering practice or in my planners. They don't typically bleed through paper and they are waterproof and archival, if you're into that sort of thing.

 

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10. Tombow Duel-Tip Pens

If you have recently jumped on the hand lettering bandwagon, you've probably heard of Tombow. They are frequently recommended as the go-to choice for professional lettering. I would agree with anyone who said these pens are perfect for beginners through advanced levels. They have clean crisp lines and they are easy to transition from the beautiful thick down stroke to crazy hard thin up stroke. They also come in many, many fun colors and are great for blending to create ombres.

 

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11. Pigma Micron Archival Ink Pen

Micron's are my favorite pen when it comes to taking notes or jotting things down. They provide archival ink that won't fade and they typically do not bleed. Try these out if you haven't already, they will not disappoint.

 

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12. Windsor & Newton Indian Ink

I use a lot of inks when I working with watercolor and gouache. I am able to get a very deeply pigmented color that waters down nicely. They are great for layering and sketching. The Windsor & Newton is my favorite black ink that I've found. It's hard to find better quality in another product.

 

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13. Liquitex Professional Acrylic Ink

When it comes to colored inks, these are great. I recently discovered these over Christmas break and I went out and bought the entire set of colors. They allow me to work with fluid techniques on a smaller scale. Blending, mixing, and layering all while having the pigmentation of an ink.

 

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14. Royal & Langnickel Acrylic Brushes

I'm reasonably picky about my brushes. Although I have a lot of them, I typically am reaching for these Royal & Langnickel for anything involving acrylic and sometimes even inks and watercolors. They are sturdy, easy to clean, and don't shed. The best part about them is their flatten bottom. I find it super useful for times when I need to quickly scrape, move, or peel anything.

 

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15. Robert Simmons Sapphire Brushes 

Last but definitely not least, are these Sapphire watercolor brushes. I love them with all my heart. They give me excellent control and they soak up the pigments and then lay them down easily and evenly.

Let us know in the comments what you're favorite art supplies are? We love to hear what you're using.

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