The best art supplies can cost a pretty penny, but you don’t have to spend all your savings to acquire great materials.
We have rounded up the best traditional art equipment you can purchase online, including graphite, charcoal, pastels, watercolors, oil, oil paints, sketchbooks, canvas, and more. }
If you are going off to art school or you just love to make, you need quality art equipment. While artists who’ve made it past the”starving artist” stage may use exceptionally expensive supplies to create their masterpieces, you do not have to spend an arm and a leg on top-tier materials. Often, more affordable options will serve you just as well, as long as you possess the know-how to make them work to your advantage. We have piled up many of the basic art supplies that you need in your studio in a single handy guide.
I’ve tried dozens of different brands through time, and a few are still my favorites.
Here are the best art supplies you can buy:
- Best sketchbooks: Strathmore sketchbooks
- Best graphite pencils: Staedtler Pencil Mars Lumograph 12-Piece Set
- Best charcoal: General 33-piece charcoal set
- Best colored pencils: Prismacolor Quality Art 48 Pencil Set
- Best erasers: Prismacolor Premier Kneaded, ArtGum, and Plastic Erasers
- Best pastels: Sennelier, Van Gogh, Koh-i-noor, and Prismacolor
- Best watercolors: Winsor & Newton watercolor paint and Derwent watercolor pencils
- Best acrylic paints: Liquitex BASICS Set and Winsor & Newton Galeria Set
- Best oil paints: Winsor & Newton, Gamblin, and Williamsburg
- Best paintbrushes: Da Vinci brushes
- Best canvas: Fredrix canvas
The Very Best sketchbook Strathmore/Facebook
Strathmore makes excellent sketchbooks with all sorts of paper, including drawing, watercolor, pastel, charcoal, and much more. }
I’ve used Strathmore sketchbooks for ages. I typically buy the ones using recycled paper, but I have also used the pastel, charcoal, and watercolor pads for if I want a different texture of paper. No matter what media you select, these sketchbooks can handle it.
Of course, the typical paper will warp should you watercolors on it, but for any kind of pen, pencil, mark, or another drawing apply, it’ll do the task. The paper is a good depth and weight.
If it comes to the watercolor paper, it’s sturdy and strong enough to stand up to lots of water. The charcoal and pastel paper have a wonderful texture to those who actually works for the softer press and decent mixing. Starthmore’s costs are fairly reasonable, too, so you can sketch away.
Experts: Sturdy sketchbooks, great paper quality, paper types for different media, affordable
Cons: Larger sizes cost more, specialty papers have less pages
The best graphite pencils Staedtler
The Staedtler Pencil Mars Lumograph 12-Piece Establish comes with the graphite pencils you want to draw like a pro.
Should you draw with graphite pencils, you realize that not all of graphite is the same. This Staedtler collection comes with 12 pencils in different hardnesses from 8B to 6H. For the uninitiated, the higher the number facing the B, the milder the lead. Conversely, the greater the number in front of the H, the tougher the lead.
The majority of folks will utilize 2B, HB, and B the most, but if you need deep dark blacks which mix nicely, you’re going to need 4B and up. For tough, light traces, H pencils are ideal.
The pencils come in a tin for safe keeping, they are easy to sharpen, and they’re comfortable to maintain — even once you draw for long periods of time. I have used dozens of graphite pencils, but Staedtler’s are the best for the price.
Pros: Bold graphite pencils, 8B to 6H range, cheap, long lasting
The best charcoal drawing collection
General 33-Piece Classic Charcoal Drawing Place has every kind of charcoal you need to create lovely work.
If you’re just getting started with charcoal or you also want to try a new medium, this General charcoal collection has all you need, including 18 pencils, 12 sticks, a sharpener, an eraser, and a drawing pad.
Each pen is labeled with its hardness degree, and the pair contains white charcoal pencils for highlights, also. The kneaded eraser is a great mixing tool, but it can also erase any errors fairly well. The charcoal sticks come in a variety of thicknesses, so you may work big or little.
The only charcoal types that are missing are powder and vine charcoal, but these are specific resources which most people won’t need right away. I have used General charcoal pens for years, and they’re able to produce some fantastic sketches, even though they’re relatively inexpensive.
Experts: Big set with many bits, includes white and black charcoal, includes eraser, charcoal sticks and pens, affordable
The best colored pens Prismacolor
The Prismacolor Quality Art Collection comes with 48 colored pens in beautiful, bright colors. You will also get a sharpener and a Latex-Free Scholar Eraser from the set.
These colored pencils aren’t like the fundamental Crayola ones you used in elementary school — They’re high quality, soft lead pencils with rich colours. You can create extraordinary drawings together with these Prismacolor pencils or you can colour in an adult coloring book to earn a white and black design come to life.
These are the colored pens I turn to when I am not interested in black and white images .
Experts: Bold colours, a Great Deal of selection, long lasting, eraser and sharpener contained, affordable
The Very Best erasers
Prismacolor/Business Insider – Prismacolor Premier Kneaded, ArtGum and Plastic Erasers will erase any mistake you make.
This three-pack gives you a Kneaded rubber eraser, an artist gum eraser, and a plastic eraser that’s latex-free.
I personally just use kneaded erasers, since they operate with all media and they do not discard eraser bits anywhere, however, also the ArtGum eraser is great for stubborn graphite and the Plastic eraser doesn’t shed, either.
Since this set gives you all three, you can pick and choose which one you want based on the medium you are working with.
Pros: Three Kinds of eraser, affordable
The Very Best pastels
Sennelier makes the absolute best oil and soft pastels, however Van Gogh, Koh-i-noor, and Prismacolor are fine choices. }
One of my favorite mediums is twofold. The rich, bold colours and easy mixing make for the perfect drawing experience. Of all of the pastels I have used, Sennelier’s would be the ideal. Its oil pastels, in particular, are stunning. The richness of the colours is unparalleled and you’ll be able to feel that the oiliness of the pastel. I lust over them every time that I got to the art shop.
But, Sennelier’s products are extremely expensive, since they are among the very best in the company in pastels. Since not everyone is able to spend hundreds on pastels — myself included, alas — Van Gogh makes great oil pastels for less, Koh-i-noor sells wonderful soft light pens, also Prismacolor makes great soft pastels for an inexpensive price.
I mainly use soft pastel pencils, since the fine tip provides you more control over your drawing and nice detail. However, once you’re working large and you need to mix, Prismacolor’s pastels are perfect.
You can even narrow them together with linseed oil, just like you’d oil paint if you want a painterly look.
Experts: Beautiful oil and soft pastels, Fantastic variety of colors, powerful pigments
Disadvantages: Sennelier’s pastels are expensive
Besides the product shown at the top, here are other Strathmore products we recommend:
- Buy two Strathmore Series 400 Sketch Pads, 9 x 12, Wire Bound, 100 Sheets on Amazon for $14.44
- Buy the Strathmore 400 Series Watercolor Pad, 9 x 12, Wire Bound, 12 Sheets on Amazon for $8.67
- Buy the Strathmore 300 Series Charcoal Pad, White, 11 x 17, Wire Bound, 32 Sheets on Amazon for $10.54
- Buy the Strathmore 400 Series Pastel Pad, Assorted Colors, 11 x 14 Glue Bound, 24 Sheets on Amazon for $12.71
The best acrylic paint
Liquitex – Galeria Acrylic Paint 10 Tube Place are excellent starter kits for painting
My very first pair of acrylic paints was the BASICS set by Liquitex. The set comes with 12 colors which you can mix to your heart’s content to create more colors. You really only need these basic colours to make every colour of the rainbow.
Obviously, this funding collection is not that high-end, so if you’re looking for something a bit better, the Winsor & Newton 10-tube set is a superb alternative. You’ll pay more for higher quality paint and strong pigments. You can’t go wrong with either one, really.
Experts: Strong colors, affordable options, high-quality options, sets offer great value
Cons: Little tubes, can get pricey
The best oil paint
Represent quite different price points to satisfy any budget
The most expensive art you can get into is oil painting, but it is also among the most powerful kinds of art. Oil paint is more richer than oil and it stays wet longer for greater mixing, blending, and use over the span of long-term jobs.
Winsor & Newton make a good oil paint that is suitable for novices or artists on a budget. Gamblin falls in the middle, whilst Williamsburg’s handmade oils are regarded one of the very best. They are sold by tubes and not by sets, which means you can pick the colors you need.
The differences are at the richness of the pigments, the oils used to make the paints, and also the procedure by which the paint is made. You can spend hundreds on little tubes of the best oils, however these three choices will serve you well until you become as famous as Picasso.
Experts: Strong colours, affordable options, high quality options, sets provide great value
Cons: Little tubes, can get pricey if you go with the luxury paint
The best brushes [DaVinci Brushes]
Regardless of what medium you paint , da Vinci Brushes gets the brush you need. There are far more brushes on the market than can be put in a simple guide like this, but da Vinci’s wares are relatively inexpensive and durable, so we’ve included them here.
A few of the brushes are synthetic, although some are made from real animal hair and bristle. There is a good deal of argument over what substances are best, but we have included a mixture at different price points.
The major advice we’ve got on brushes is do not get cheap terrible ones which shed all on your own canvas.
Pros: Brushes for all media, comparatively cheap, no losing, sets provide great value
Disadvantages: Real hair and bristle cost more
The Ideal canvas
Fredrix makes great canvas, and it’s almost always more economical to stretch your canvas compared to purchase pre-made ones. }
If you’re operating in oil or oil, it is tempting to buy pre-stretched canvases and get it done. However, you can save plenty of money — especially in the event that you paint on huge canvases — should you make your own canvases.
To do it yourself, you’ll need wood for the frame, canvas, a staple gun, and yarn pliers to stretch it correctly. I’ve made canvases before, and it may be difficult work, but it’s worth it.
Plus, you could say you left it in the long run.
Fredrix sells canvas in many forms and sizes. You can get it primed or unprimed if you would rather do it yourself using a giant bucket of gesso or in the event that you only need a raw yarn.
Experts: Canvas is cheaper when you make your own, good quality canvas material, primed or unprimed
Disadvantages: Canvas is expensive, time-consuming to create
The best school supplies and dorm room principles
Sending your child off to college is nerve-wracking. The best you can do is impart a few life lessons and outfit your child’s dorm room including all the essentials. We have rounded up everything your child needs for their dorm area from bedding and decor to technician and school supplies.