Monday, April 22, 2019

Tools of the trade

An artist’s tools of the trade are as personal as the artmaking itself, and involve a lot of trial and error to identify. I’ve been painting and drawing for a long time and have developed my own tools of the trade. Here’s a quick roundup of some supplies I find useful and cost-saving. 

Pentel brush pen 

This pen has a brush end with ink supplied by replaceable cartridges. The resulting stroke is luscious and smooth as butter. It takes a little practice to gain control of the stroke as the ink flows. As the pen runs out of ink it creates a nice sketchy effect too. 

Blick studio oil paints 

Oil paints are expensive and I’ve tried a few studio versions to try to cut costs, but always found the paint kind of gloppy and lacking in ‘body’. But these studio paints have a texture and body comparable with artist quality oil paints and are very affordable.

Kneaded eraser 

The good ole’ kneaded eraser is my preferred eraser when drawing. It can be reworked endlessly and doesn’t leave eraser crumbs behind.

Princeton Ashley Series 5200 Natural Bristle brushes

I work my paintbrushes hard and sometimes use up a brush a painting session. These brushes are a great value – good-quality Chinese hog bristle and very inexpensive. If you buy them in bulk from they are even cheaper.

Prismacolor Premier pencils 

Love the softness of these pencils, and they come in an endless array of colors.

Golden fluid acrylics iridescent gold

Mmm, acrylic paint with a totally yummy liquid texture and a gorgeous gold hue. Kind of pricey, but I find that a lot of gold paint is really mustard colored or ochre or something else not resembling gold. The texture and color of this paint make it worth the price.