Favorite Art Supplies 2017

Hello friend! Today I want to share some of my absolute favorite art materials with you! These are the supplies I use for almost every painting and are my holy grails!

But first I want to apologize for the lack of content on my blog this year. (And apologizing is lame, I know!!). I’m currently in the middle of painting a new series – more details about this are coming soon – and I’m living with so many unfinished paintings that I didn’t post much on here.

And secondly: I’m working on video material at the moment. I’m filming lots of behind the scenes videos of me painting and want to get that going before I start with blog posts and Instagram again. I can’t wait to tell you everything about it soon! You’ll be the first to know!

BRUSHES

GERSTAECKER flat brushes, 2 & 3 inches

My favorite are these cheap flat brushes. Mine are from the German brand GERSTAECKER, but every cheap, flat brush would work. I love them because they get really scratchy and coarse over time. They give the paintings great texture and you are able to see the brush strokes in the finished painting. I love how it gives life to my art.

I also don’t need to take good care of them, they work even if I leave them in the dirty paint water for a few hours….or days. I usually work with a 50 & 70mm size, which is around 2 & 3 inches.

Also, the bigger the better! Don’t use brushes that are too small, it will make such a huge different in how loose your painting will look. Give it a try!

ACRYLIC PAINTS

GOLDEN acrylic paints – standard & fluid acrylics.

I always try out different paint brands, but there are some I come back to quite often. #1 is GOLDEN acrylics. These are probably the most famous acrylic colors out there at the moment, the pigmentation is amazing and they have a huge color range. They also come in different formulations, such as open acrylics (a slower drying version that simulates the feeling of painting with oil paints), heavy body or fluid acrylics.

The downside is that they are very expensive. If you are like me and like to waste lots of paint (meaning: putting thick blobs on your canvas or palette) this might not be for you. If you work on a smaller scale or already sell your paintings, these are definitely highly recommended!

I think the downside to having amazing art supplies is the fear of using them up because…well…you paid a whole lot of cash for them. If this is going to stifle your creative process I suggest opting for cheaper paints and upgrading when you are ready.

AMSTERDAM Expert acrylics

My favorite cheaper-but-still-awesome paints are AMSTERDAM Expert acrylics as well as the SCHMINCKE Akademie acrylics. They are both artist grade paints that just aren’t as highly pigmented as GOLDEN.

When I work with them I use my paints more freely and I’m not too concerned about my paint budget. They also have a great color range and are easy to get (at least here in Germany!). I think for most artists these are good enough for any work you do.

DALER ROWNEY system 3 Heavy Body acrylics.

The last on my list are these heavy body acrylics by DALER ROWNEY system 3. They are even cheaper than the others, not as lightfast and pigmented, but I do love their heavy body texture. They are very thick and creamy and perfect for parts of my paintings where I want lots of texture & color or for working with a palette knife.

WATERCOLOR PAINT

SCHMINCKE Horadam watercolor 1/2 pans

When I work on a painting, I use acrylics. When I work in my sketchbooks or when I’m on the go, I usually use watercolor. My watercolor paints of choice for their excellent pigmentation and lightfastness are the SCHMINCKE Horadam pans. I tend to buy the 1/2 pans because I don’t go through a lot of them and I love the portability of the small pans.

My currently most used colors are: 216 Pure Yellow, 369 Quinacridone Magenta, 495 Ultramarine Violet, 480 Mountain Blue (I’d recommend getting a single pigment blue though, it’s better for mixing colors), 349 Cadmium Red Light & 787 Payne’s Grey Blueish.

The colors in my palette that I don’t use as often are: 214 Chromium Orange Hue, 519 Phthalo Green, 524 May Green, 655 Yellow Ochre & 668 Burnt Umber.

SPRAY PAINT

MTN (Montana) water based spray paint

There is only one spray paint I know about that I can use indoors and that does not smell chemically, and it’s the MTN water based spray paint. Perfect for using street art inspired marks in your paintings, or even on paper. The only negative thing is that the caps clog up really fast. So always work exactly as instructed on the back of the can! (And buy plenty of caps….)

CANVAS FABRIC

I love stretching my own canvases. If you buy pre stretched canvas they are usually already treated with a painting medium that seals the canvas, for example gesso. I however love to work on pure canvas and want the effect of the paints sinking into the fabric.

I buy my canvas from a fabric wholesale, it’s usually a lot cheaper than buying the canvas from art supply stores.
I love to use a heavy cotton fabric (’sailcloth‘) that isn’t bleached. The natural coloring gives it more character in my opinion, especially because I don’t like to cover every part of the surface with paint.

WATERCOLOR PAPER

HAHNEMÜHLE Britannia matt & rough 300 g/m²

Lastly, these are my favorite paper brands to use! I love the HAHNEMÜHLE Britannia for smaller works. The matt (cold pressed) version is perfect for watercolor, the rough version is great for smaller acrylic works. It’s so rough, that it even looks like a canvas texture.

GERSTAECKER Jubiläumsblock 425 g/m²

For larger works I love to use an even heavier paper. My favorite paper that’s on the cheaper side is the GERSTAECKER Jubiläumsblock, my favorite more expensive paper is the HAHNEMÜHLE Cornwall. Both of them are very heavy and don’t buckle much (or at all, depending on your way of using them). I love to use them mostly for acrylic painting studies or whenever I don’t feel like working directly on canvas.

That was it for my favorite materials! I’ve probably missed something, but I’m definitely going to do more articles like these in the future, there are so many topics to talk about: Favorite apps I use in my workflow, favorite pens & pencils, favorite art books, etc.
Please comment with what you’d love to see covered!

See you soon and have a fantastic day!
Franzi