My Shopping List of Art Supplies

I get to go shopping for new art supplies next week and I would like to know what kind of colored penciles art the best.  I have used prisims, are there better ones out there?  What is the best kind of markers?  Where is the best place to buy these? I do mostly odd, unusual type stuff, especially faces, but not real-looking,  more cartoony.  I mostly have sharpies and cheap markers.  What else can you not live without for drawing supplies?  What about watercolor penciles.?

Thanks for the help,

Carolyn H.

One of the ladies from Soul Food sent out these questions earlier today, and I thought the wisest answer would be on my blog, so she can add it to her favourites amd refer to it at any time.

First, I am partial to the Prismacolors for sharp-edged colouring, they hold the point well, and the colour can be applied evenly, and will blend a bit with application of a blending stick.  Granted the less ‘forgiving’ a medium is the more I like it.  The Crayola coloured pencils are good for laying down a base colour layer to put your details over.  And I would recommend a can of Workable fixatif, as well as some fine sandpaper to keep your Blending Sticks clean and pointed.

Markers are sadly, limited and limiting.  Because they dry so quickly, they don’t make a uniform layer without a great deal of poring over, and working in a demented degree of pointillism; there  is not much ‘blending’ that happens, just some bleary mushy-paperness.  They could work well with a dry-paper watercolour work.

I have Sharpies, and they are as good of a watercolour pen as your going buy.   They have a lovely shelf life, as well as tons of tint, and blend well with other media, i.e. watercolour and pen-and-ink.  Again we’re talking about the dry paper watercolour work.

I keep a range of charcoal and graphite pencils, there don’t seem to be too many producers of quality ones out there, I have been using  General’s ‘Kimberly’  for over 30 years and I have very little problem getting what I want out of them.  I also keep a broad selection of coloured chalk, the wee pillars of charcoal in all of the  B values, lots of black and white charcoal, and the graphites in a range of H values.  Again, blending sticks, sandpaper, and Workable Fixatif is a must.  That gives you a non-smudge base for adding details.  When I do pencil work I add a spray of fixatif up to five or six times before I say, “Enough.”

My #1 tool for drawing is my Conté coloured charcoal pencils.  They are a tad delicate so I don’t consider them portable, but they can stay home and keep on doing what they’re wonderful for, detail work on a coloured chalk base.

Watercolour pencils… Watercolour is actually my favourite media.  I have played with watercolours for over 35 years and I am totally committed to Rexel Derwent watercolour pencils.  They’re pricey, but the investment shows in the quality of your finished product.  They work excellently with the tubes of watercolour paint, and have the most amazing colour, not smudgy or murky, but clear and consistently the same colour.  I have been using my present set for about 20 years, and I only need to replace two or three of them.

One thing to never skimp on, what you are putting your artwork on.  Your work won’t looks its best if it is on corasible bond typing paper.  I like a softly ‘toothed’ watercolour paper for watercolours and acrylics, and real canvases for oils.  Nothing else has the right feel for me.

Ialso keep an old fashioned fountain pen with a variety of nibs in sizes from Crowquill to Extra-Bold Calligrapher’s and a bottle of India Ink.  I enjopy the confidence one must have to work in ink.  Good ink does not erase or get covered over well, if at all.

As far as where to buy them, any art supply or crafting store should carry all of these goodies.  I have found a few gently-used goodies at second-hand stores, but not enough to count on it as a source.  I have found the drawing charcoals, charcoal pencils, and coloured charcoals at Wal-Mart, and I’m sure it could be found in most of the department Stores.

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4 Responses to “My Shopping List of Art Supplies”

  1. No wonder we see so many beautiful signatures. Fran

  2. Almost all of the signatures are ade with Paint Shop Pro and is other digital artists’ work. Now the scene behind the name of my blog is my watercolour work, it boasts the name, “High Water”. I really should display some of my art work and some digital art on my blog. Thank you for the idea Fran

  3. I don’t know if my art supplies are the best, but they are my favorites:

    Prismacolor pencils
    Faber-Castell Pitt Artist’s Pens
    Loew-Cornell Watercolor Pencils
    Crayolla (formerly Binney & Smith) Portfolio Series Water Soluble Oil Pastels
    Moleskine Sketchbook, large (I love the wait of the paper)

  4. Oh, and for plain drawing, a plain old #2 Ticonderoga, better than any fancy-shmancy graphite pencil.

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