Art Supplies

Please Note // This following information contains affiliate links that I am compensated for if you make a purchase (at no additional cost to you). Thank you kindly.

 When it comes to art supplies, I usually shop at or for the majority of my needs. I cluster my orders to wait for coupon deals or to reach free shipping minimums. 

WATERCOLORS (transparent pigments)
The #1 question I get asked is what type/brand of watercolors do I use. In general, I use professional, artist grade tube watercolors. 

The Blick "Shop Now" is a button ---->
that will get you to their main watercolor products page. From there you can buy paints according to your budget. Generally, when it comes to watercolor and quality, you get what you pay for. 

To fill your color wheel palette with professional artist-grade tube watercolors like mine, I've made a convenient watercolor supply list with BlickU, so you can add them directly to your cart. I've tested these colors so that any opposite or complimentary color pair will yield nice neutrals, darks, and beautiful blacks/grays. Here's how I fill my color wheel palette, going counter-clockwise:

12 o'clock = Yellow
11 o'clock = Yellow-orange
10 o'clock = Orange
9 o'clock = Red-orange
8 o'clock = Red (Rose)
7 o'clock = Red-violet (Magenta)
6 o'clock = Violet
5 o'clock = Blue-violet
4 o'clock = Blue
3 o'clock = Blue-green (Turquoise)
2 o'clock = Green
1 o'clock = Yellow-green

GOUACHE PAINT (opaque pigments)

Holbein Gouache has some of the most beautiful pastels and brilliant colors in their line. Squeeze out fresh gouache colors from the tube as you paint. Left over time, gouache tends to crumble & crack off your palette.
M. Graham is great another great brand. Very opaque and colors true.
If you need a more affordable approach, Arteeza offers a variety. These have moderate coverage.
A nice, large tube of white gouache. Because I always run out of white.
Synthetic ox gall is an important wetting agent and additive while painting with gouache. I like how this one comes in a dropper bottle.


Color wheel palette. This palette has 12 wells and corresponds nicely with the traditional color wheel study.
Airtight travel palette. 18 wells made with durable plastic. What I love most about this palette is its air-tight seal which keeps my gouache paint moist.
I often fill an empty metal tins with tube watercolors to customize a palette into a personalized set. 
Japanese Gansai Tambi Watercolors that also come in smaller sets, too.
These are my favorite water brushes for travel. I've tested many other brands and these are simply the best; the one-way valve works consistently. 
Sakura watercolor set. A great field sketch box that's easy to carry and made with durable plastic.
Cotman watercolor set comes with a brush.
Prima watercolor set. I own several of these and they are worth the price just for the metal tin.

One of my favorite 140lb. cold press watercolor papers that's truly luxurious to work with has a high cotton-rag content. Wonderful for lifting and/or glazing color! I cut a full-sheet (22 x 30") into manageable quarter sheets.
If you like softcover journals, this 90 lb. mixed-media sketchbook contains lovely paper that handles watercolor superbly.

A good white gel pen is essential in art journaling [tip: you need to write very slow].
I think Sharpie makes the best opaque white, extra fine paint pens for journal writing--unfortunately they are hard to find. Posca is the next best opaque water-based paint marker.
If you need additional colors of paint markers, these are a must-have for art journaling.
Sakura makes a wonderful water-based brush pen that acts like an artist brush. You can blend and layer the colors. There are smaller sets to fit your budget.
Liquid watercolor or "watercolor inks" are dye-based, not pigment. But because of their fluidity and instant bright colors, I use them often especially for celestial or galaxy paintings. The 2 liquid watercolor brands I like are Ecoline (brush pens) and Dr. Ph. Martin's (dropper bottles).
Watercolor pencils are great if you don't want to worry about erasing pencil lines on watercolor paper. 
Crayola makes oil pastels that are great for resist techniques. I love the neons (non-watersoluble)
If you're a mixed-media artist or art journaler, you must have NeoColor IIs (watersoluble)

Note: from washes to glazes to painting trees, I can't live without my large round brush. It is the workhorse in my studio. Trying to find one online can be confusing due to manufacturers using their own size numbering systems. Here, I did the leg-work for you:
Studio Blick Rounds #16 or #20 synthetics perform well.
Princeton Heritage Rounds #16, #24 or #30 comes to a nice point.
Robert Simmons Sienna #30 or 36 synthetic.
Silver Black Velvet (medium jumbo) natural squirrel hair mixed with synthetic. 
Da Vinci Cosmotop #20 natural kolinsky red sable, sabline & russian fitch hair mixed with synthetic. Warning: cost > $50 but handles washes like nothing else.
Robert Simmons White Sables oval wash synthetics. The tips are flat yet rounded and are truly versatile (from making leaves or puffy clouds). I own all sizes.

Binding machine along with different binding wires to choose from. (I love my art journaling this way, as I explain so here).
A great color chart that includes grayscale value. Very handy.
Transparency sheets or Dura-lar (I like the .005" thickness....great for sewing and making stencils).
Foil transfer sheets to add some bling to any project. Be sure to get the special tacky adhesive as well.
I love these metal palette knives! Beautiful and well-made.


Unknown said...

Hi Gina,
I love your work and have purchased a few of your lessons. I have always used markers and acrylics in the past for paper art (I'm a mixed media artist, usually sculpting) and I am loving my new play with watercolors! One question, what do you use to seal your work? I have Krylon Crystal Clear spray as well as other brush on options. Also, what do you recommend if I want to add a gloss finish! Thank you!!

Gina Lee Kim said...

Thanks Dawn! You don't really need to seal or fix watercolors. I have done so in the past and any moisture in the chemical sealants will risk disrupting the watercolor layers. If you absolutely need a gloss finish, then I'd use this product sparingly:

Again, I don't seal my watercolors. Never had the need to. Hope that helps!

maeve said...

I really love your art, Gina. Such beautiful color in all your work! Thanks so much for sharing your supply list. I too have the Koi paint kit. Question: Did you make your own paint color chart to carry inside the tin? (It looks so professional that I wondered if I was missing something with my kit!)

Gina Lee Kim said...

Thank you, maeve. Yes, I did make my own color swatch. I cut a piece of watercolor paper, laminated it, and then taped it on the outside of my DIY watercolor tin. Hope that helps!

Ark Presentation & Supplies Ltd said...

This is a really good read for me, That You Must admitted are one of the best bloggers I ever saw. Thanks for posting this informative article.

second hand laminator

rotary paper trimmer

comb binding machines

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...