Here I'm sharing a few of my favorite art supplies and tools (favorite colors and all!)
I have included links so you can order directly from amazon.com: whenever possible, these are the exact products and brands that I use (tried and tested!) or the closest replacement I could find available outside of France.
NB: I really encourage you to go on a scavenger hunt in your home (kitchen, basement, office, gardening shed...) and collect any tools and materials that you can (safely!) experiment with. It's the beauty of mixed media and it is exactly how it all started for me, and how I came up with some of my favorite techniques (... oh that white-out pen!)
setting up your space
- A palette (or a white plate etc.): I personally like to have a big glass palette on my table + a whole lot of small transparent plastic lids (as some of you have guessed, yes, mine are from... Pringles cans!). I also recently found these awesome mini Petri dishes below, which have a lid to prevent paint from drying.
- Small Heat Gun: to speed up drying and for encaustic.
- Spray bottle: I prefer a small, colorful one so it's easy to find in the chaos of my art table!
- A good pair of scissors
- Something to protect your surface (old towel, table-cloth, plastic bag...)
- Something to protect your clothes (apron, old shirt...)
Basic painting supplies & tools
- White gesso
- Matte acrylic gel medium: for collage and my "encaustic effect" technique. My favorite is the "Binder" by Lefranc-Bourgeois which I find easily in France. Golden and Liquitex are great options too.
- Gloss acrylic gel medium: I mix it with the matte one to create a soft, satin finish
- Your fingers!
- Your choice of paintbrushes (one or two can be enough, we will be using our fingers a lot!)
- An old plastic card (credit card, key card...) and/or palette knives
- Craft Heat Gun: To speed up drying and for encaustic.
- Gallery-wrapped stretched canvases
- Wood panels: primed or unprimed, cradled or not... (NB: wood & MDF left-overs from your DIY store are a great, inexpensive option!)
- Heavy (300gsm) watercolor paper
- Card-stock, cardboard, cereal boxes, old mailers...
A few favorite soft colors
A few favorite intense colors
All about Inks!
Black & Permanent
Distress Ink Pads
For color accents and shading portraits
Pitt artist brush-tip pens
These are wonderful India ink pens, great for all kinds of finishing touches!
Pastels & oil sticks
Drawing & Journaling
- Regular HB to 4B pencils
- Stabilo All Black Water-soluble pencil (seriously awesome, SO black!)
- Stabilo All White Water-soluble pencil (also nice though much less pigmented)
- Graphite Water-soluble Pencil
- Black, fine-tip permanent pen: pigment pen or india ink pen like Pitt Artist pens, or fine-tip Sharpie. Regular ball-point pens are a nice option too!
- White fine tip pen like Posca pen or Liquitex acrylic pen
- Fine-tip correction pen ("white-out")
Black Posca Pen (Fine)
Stamping & mark-making
I love to have a variety of materials around to stamp and make marks with. Look around you and use your imagination!
Some of my favorites are:
- plastic mesh
- textured wallpaper
- corrugated cardboard
- wood skewers and coffee stirrers
- plastic cards & business cards
- Catalyst tools
- scrapbooking and homemade stamps and stencils
- Gelli plate
A few stencils & stamps (choose basic designs you'll never get tired of)
collage & transfers
- Old magazines with images that you love (libraries will often happily give away outdated issues)
- A variety of papers in neutral tones: tissue paper, packing paper, bookpages (preferably from a book that inspires you), sheet music, dried, empty tea bags, sewing pattern paper...
- Vintage photos, postcards and greeting cards
- Some pieces of fiber: old clothes, cheesecloth, ribbon, lace...*
Ask around to friends and family!
Please visit the "Encaustic Set-Up" page: