I received great feedback on my first article on art supplies that are sparking joy. Here are additional art supplies that make me happy and that I enjoy using. Please leave comments about what are supplies spark joy for you!
Note – I have no affiliations with these products.
Black Pencils – A simple #2 Ticonderoga pencil can get you going, but there are many more to choose from that will perform better. For everyday work and sketching, I suggest the Kimberly #5 H or #6 H graphite pencils by, General Pencil Company – www.generalpencil.com, they are smooth and work well on most paper surfaces.
I am wondering if anyone has tried Blackwing pencils – www.blackwing602.com? I have heard great reviews, but haven’t purchased any yet. The price per piece is only $2, but you have to buy a box of 24. Please comment if you have tried them.
My favorite charcoal pencil is made by General’s and I like the 557-6B, extra soft. The extra soft makes blending and shading very easy to do.
Colored Pencils – I have used Prismacolor pencils – www.dickblick.com or www.amazon.com, for years and find them to be perfect for layering, blending and shading from very light to bold colors in just a few strokes. They do however have a soft core and will break fairly easily.
If you haven’t tried Stabilo Aquarellable pencils, you must. The pencils are great for mark making on almost any surface including paper, glass, plastic and metal. They are my go to for card making, watercolor or mixed media projects where I just want to add a bit more definition and outline. The “Aquarellable” mean that you can also apply a water brush to your pencil work and soften the line or drawing. Available at Blick’s and Amazon.
I just picked up some Koh-I-Noor, Progresso woodless colored pencils from Czechoslovakia and I am in love with them! They are so smooth to draw with and almost float over the paper. The color selection isn’t as broad as the Prismacolor pencils, but I like the color intensity of the lead. The finish on the pencils and the round body makes holding them very comfortable too.
This week I picked-up my first Caran D’Arche pencils, which are Swiss made. I have read so much about them that I can’t wait to try them and of course, I’ll let you know if they spark joy!
Another fun colored pencil to have in your stash is again by Koh-I-Noor and it is their Hardtmuth Tri-Tones. Each pencil has three different color leads, so as you write or sketch the color will change as you move the pencil over the paper. It is definitely bringing out the inner preteen in me!
Koh-I-Noor Hardtmuth Tri-Tones
Vintage Pencils – I love vintage and old pencils really do write and sketch differently than new ones. Not only do they write great, but as an added bonus they usually have very cool graphics on the body of the pencil. I find them at garage sales, vintage shops and flea markets. Be on the alert for vintage Prismacolor pencils; the colors are amazing and seem more pigmented than the newer variety.
Tip – Stop pencils from rolling off your work surface and breaking the lead inside. When not using the pencil, rest it on a chop stick holder. Electric pencil sharpeners are hard on the lead of the pencil; always use a manual sharpener.
Online learning is at your fingertips and there is great content for free or very reasonably priced. I stumbled upon Everything Art – www.everything-art.com run by Kasia and Jamie Avery based in the UK and I really like the format and content of their courses. I just finished their free, Encasutic Collage and Image Transfer, mini course and at over 45 minutes, it’s hardly “mini”. Kasia’s directions are clear, concise and jam packed with great tips. I’m putting their yearlong 2020 Wanderlust on my calendar for next year. The program will include 27 teachers and over 60 video lessons, one for every week in 2020 and at it’s current price of $99 for the entire year it’s a bargain.
IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS
Art Clips – I hate when my journal pages flip open and the big file folder clips either stick out too far or cover parts of the page. I found art clips at Michaels and at $1.49 each, they do the trick. I had to make mine pretty, so I added washi tape to each one.
I love these clips. Yes, that is a beaded belly band for my journal!
Brush Cleaner – After falling in love with “The Masters” Artist Soap, I thought I would try “The Masters” Brush Cleaner and Preserver. The product works like a charm and got even caked on paint off my brushes and left them soft and supple. I even bought a mini container of the cleaner for when I travel to workshops.
Shopping Local – I know that many many small art, scrapbook and rubber stamp stores have closed. If you are lucky enough to still have an independent store in your town, stop by. The owners are usually passionate about their store and very knowledgeable about the products.
Breville Tea Maker – While certainly not “technically” an art supply, I love a cuppa tea. I use the Breville Tea Maker – www.amazon.com and it heats the water to the right temperature if I want a cup of green, herbal, oolong, black or white tea. It is a splurge, but I love it and the pot keeps the tea warm for an hour. Now, if I just don’t put my paintbrush in my tea cup….
Luna – My cat Luna, studio cat, extraordinary companion, and art critic.
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