There is a lot of talk going around about what is sparking joy in your life. I thought I’d share what art supplies make me happy and that I enjoy using. Please leave comments about what is sparking joy for you!
Note – I have no affiliations with these products.
Brushes – I’ve never spent much on paint brushes and bought whatever was cheap and available. As I’ve taken my art more seriously, I have been trying different products. I bought Simply Simmons round point and flat brushes for both acrylic and watercoloring. I do have a set dedicated to acrylics and WC, since acrylics are very hard on the bristles. For about $2 a brush from, Dick Blick – www.dickblick.com, give them a try. If you want to up the game, try the Escoda Versatil brushes also available at Blick.
Acrylic Paints – Again, I have tried many brands over the years and I love my Golden Acrylics, but my new favorites are Paper Artsy acrylic paints from the UK. The pigmentation is outstanding and they dry with a bit of a chalky finish. Paints come in opaque, semi transparent and transparent. I found mine at, Ephemera – www.ephemererapaducah.com, in Paducah, KY. The owner, Kristen is happy to ship.
While on the topic of acrylic paints, I can’t say enough good things about, Masterson Sta-Wet Palette. Typically, I mixed my acrylics on a paper plate. More often than not, they would dry out during a session. The Sta-Wet Palette has a special paper and sponge system to keep the paints wet for at least a week #moneysaver! Available at Blick.
Watercolors – Gansai watercolors from Japan have been a staple and are good quality watercolors. What’s igniting joy are watercolors from Daniel Smith and the German brand Schmincke (professional grade Horadam Aquarell). I am really finding that investing in supplies makes a big difference when it comes to pigmentation and mixing colors. You don’t have to go whole hog, just pick up one tube or pan and give them a try. Available on the web.
If you love metallic watercolors, a must have are watercolors from Coliro or Fine Tec both are made in Germany. Colors are simply amazing! Available from Amazon – www.amazon.com, or Blick.
Fountain Pens – Either for writing letters or adding detail to watercolors, fountain pens are a must have. A great entry level pen is the Platinum Carbon pen for about $9 and found on Amazon. They come with ink cartridges, but you can buy a converter and buy bottle inks. Step it up a bit and get a TWSBI ECO or a Lamy, both at about $29. I love the Lamy AL Joy with a 1.9 stub. This pen makes my penmanship look great. Both pens are available from Goulet Pen Company – www.gouletpens.com. Intimidated by fountain pens? Goulet has a fabulous library of short videos on fountain pens and maintenance.
Washi Tape – I have too much washi tape and seldom used it as it was stored willy nilly. I found a storage container at Michaels designed just for washi tape with multiple bins to separate colors and themes. Score one for Joy!
Handmade Paper – Through my travels and gifts from friends and family I had tubes of beautiful papers that were stored at the top of the closet. Not likely for me to use them there! I did have to cut them down, but they are now stored flat (key!) in an Itoya 13”x19” porfolio. Genius!
Ephemera – I am a paperholic and I love all kinds of paper. I have a stash of ephemera and wasn’t using it. Stay tuned! I will be posting examples of how I store it and how I am incorporating it into my artwork!
Podcasts on Art, Crafting and Pens – I am a lifelong learner and I enjoy online classes and YouTube, but there is something about listening to the radio that I like. I can now combine listening and learning while creating by listening to podcasts. There are many podcasts out there, but here are a few that I have found, Art Supply Posse, Erasable, RSVP, and The Pen Addict.
It’s the Little Things –
Eraser – Hard to believe that I would find joy in an eraser, but I do! My Moo Eraser was only $2.99 and it takes up even the darkest lines and doesn’t leave marks or tear the paper. Available on Amazon.
Teflon Bone Folder – Seriously, is there a difference?? There is and for about $12 this large flat teflon bone folder is triggering joy. Available on Amazon.
Chop Stick Holder – What? How did that end up on the list? Pens and brushes roll off the table all the time. Using a chop stick holder to rest the pen or brush ends that frustration! Shop local to find one!
Soap – Yes, soap. My hands are always full of paint, inks, gesso, etc. and I have tried so many soaps with limited success. I stumbled upon, “The Masters” Artist Soap, and now have clean hands – ah the little things!
Luna – My cat Luna, my constant companion in the studio. She brings me joy each day!
What’s sparking your joy? Please share!
Spark more joy for me by commenting, liking and sharing this post!