This blog post isn't sponsored. Colours and tools listed here below are simply pure love.
They are... my essentials, and if I was an influencer I would never travel without them 😃
Enjoy and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out!
If you are into line making and you've been watching some of my reels, then you need to try the Fineline Applicator.
I have written a very comprehensive blog post about what it is, where to get it and how to use it here.
While I have been using a lot of different sponge, the ones I'm currently using aren’t branded, I got them in an hardware store rather than in the art shop.
And they look like these.
For straight lines they are very good and the size is just right to cover big canvases as well as providing small details.
Alternatively you can use a kitchen sponge.
I use deep edge canvases, and I buy them locally here.
I find the deep edge canvas great to work on the edges too and to bring the artwork closer to the viewer as well.
I use Galeria Acrylic by Windsor & Newton (Irish link here), the come in few different sizes which makes it easier for framing as well.
The paper quality is good and the thickness is perfect for a good and durable artwork.
The acrylic pads are made from 100% acid free, mould-made paper for stability and resistance to ageing. It is both internally and externally sized to provide maximum colour brilliance. The paper is 300gsm and has been embossed to produce a 'canvas-like'. Each pad contains 15 sheets.
Let me nerd out a bit here :)
Tape is very important, because if you get the wrong one it might tear a precious artwork you’ve spent a lot of time on.
So before you use it on a good artwork, just test it out. Some kinds of tape are branded to be amazing and … they are not. So do your own research.
Tape for canvas: I suggest Yellow Frog Tape
Tape for paper is trickier. This (picture below) is the one I use as it’s - in my opinion - a bit more gentle than Yellow Frog tape.
I can only find it in Italy, and only in some shops. I have reached out to the company but while they do have a website, they do not sell their products online, not even on Amazon.
So… just to close this paragraph :D do your research locally and test the product. Also because good tape is expensive, so do not waste your money on something that will tear your paper up.
While my art is quite colourful, you’d be surprised to know that I buy very few colours as I love mixing what I have.
I mainly use 2 brands: Golden Acrylics and Amsterdam Acrylics.
And these are my colours:
Amsterdam Acrylics - Titanium White. I buy the 2.5L for this because white is, undeniably, the colour I use the most.
Amsterdam Acrylics - Greenish Blue. This colour is my life.
Amsterdam Acrylics - Prussian Blue Phthalo.
Amsterdam Acrylics - Primary Yellow.
Golden Acrylics - Quinacridone Magenta. I have used both the Fluid colour as well as the Open one. I'd love to put my hands on a big pack of the heavy body but I can't find it in Ireland.
Winsor & Newton Professional Acrylic - Dioxazine Purple. This colour is beautiful and very dark and I love it because with it and a bit of white you can create a lot of Purple variations.
Pēbēo Studio Acrylics High Viscosity - Iridescent Blue Green 357. This is the only colour I buy on Amazon, and when I purchase it, I get 3 litres of it because it's a-m-a-z-i-n-g.
Culture Hustle - The World's Pinkest Pink - Powdered Paint by Stuart Semple.
Culture Hustle - Black 3.0 The World's Blackest Black Acrylic Paint.
A couple of words about these last 2 colours. They are absolutely fantastic and I think everyone should try them, however they are quite expensive. I think they are worth it, but in a world after Brexit where I do have to pay customs as well on top of everything else... they have become a treat more than a necessity.
I have purchased other colours from all these brands, but more to test them out than anything else. If I like a colour a lot, then it's in the list above.
I have written an extensive blog post about gold, and you can find it here.
My 2 current gold options are:
- Gold Leaf: PEBEO Pbo-Deco Gold Booklet of 12 Leaves
to be used with Gilding Paste: Pébéo Water Preparation for Gluing Gold Leaves and Flakes, Paste, White, 75 ml
The first one is a bit messier and sometimes it generates too much waste in my opinion, but it's as gold as you can get. Just get yourself some cotton gloves to handle the leaf, otherwise it'll stick too your hands and tear.
The second option I'd say is for smaller sections.
I have written a blog post about the varnish(es) I use and you can find all the info here.
I tend to choose brushes in the middle range. Stay away from cheap brushes because they loose a lot of hair while painting and mixing and it’s not worth the hassle.
Additional tools + info
- I do not have a colour palette, I use washed (sterilised) jam jars with their lids. Perfect for storing colours and see what’s in them.
- I mix paint with brushes and always in the jars or on the canvas.
- I use a spray bottle to make colours smoother on canvas, very easy to use and fill up.
- Keeping my painting sponges very clean is a priority, and I do not use them for cleaning up.
I think I have covered all my essentials... and as I said in the very beginning, this blog post isn't sponsored.
I have fallen in love with these colours and tools over the years and if they are in this list it's because I truly recommend them and I hope you'll love them too!