The very best art supplies may cost a pretty penny, but you do not need to spend your entire savings to get great materials.
We’ve rounded up the most effective traditional art equipment you can purchase online, including graphite, charcoal, pastels, watercolors, acrylic, oil paints, sketchbooks, canvas, and more. }
If you’re heading off to art college or you simply love to create, you want quality art supplies. While artists who’ve made it beyond the”starving artist” stage might utilize incredibly expensive supplies to make their masterpieces, you do not have to spend an arm and a leg on top-tier materials. Frequently, more affordable options will serve you just as well, as long as you have the know-how to make them work to your benefit. We’ve piled up many of the basic art supplies you need in your studio in a single handy guide.
As somebody who’s been drawing since I could hold a crayon, I have been through my fair share of graphite pencils, charcoal, sketchbooks, erasers, and paint collections. I’ve tried heaps of different brands over the years, 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 exceptional sketchbooks with all kinds of paper, such as drawing, watercolor, pastel, charcoal, and more. }
I’ve used Strathmore sketchbooks for years. No matter what media you select, these sketchbooks can handle it.
Obviously, the typical paper will warp if you do watercolors onto it, but for any sort of pen, pencil, marker, or a different drawing implement, it’ll do the job. The newspaper is a great depth and weight.
When it comes to the watercolor paper, it is sturdy and powerful enough to stand up to plenty of water. The light and charcoal paper have an excellent feel to them that actually works for the softer media and good blending. Starthmore’s costs are quite reasonable, too, which means that you may sketch away.
Pros: Sturdy sketchbooks, Good newspaper quality, paper forms for different websites, affordable
Disadvantages: Larger sizes cost more, specialty newspapers have less pages
The Very Best graphite pencils Staedtler
The Staedtler Pencil Mars Lumograph 12-Piece Set includes all the graphite pencils you need to draw as a pro.
If you draw with graphite pencils, you know that not all of graphite is precisely the same. This Staedtler collection includes 12 pencils in various hardnesses in 8B to 6H. For the uninitiated, the greater the number facing the B, the milder the lead. Conversely, the higher the number in front of the H, the harder the lead.
Most people will use 2B, HB, and B the most, but should you need deep dark blacks that mix well, you’ll need 4B and up. For hard, light lines, H pencils are perfect.
The pencils come in a tin for safe keeping, they are simple 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 purchase price.
Experts: Bold graphite pencils, 8B to 6H range, cheap, long lasting
The best charcoal drawing collection
General 33-Piece Classic Charcoal Drawing Place has every sort of charcoal that you need to create lovely work.
If you are only getting started with charcoal or you wish to try a new medium, this General charcoal collection has all you need, such as 18 pencils, 12 sticks, a sharpener, an eraser, and a drawing pad.
Each pen is tagged with its hardness degree, and the pair has white charcoal pencils for highlights, too. The kneaded eraser is a superb blending tool, but it may also erase any errors fairly well. The charcoal sticks come in various thicknesses, so you can work big or little.
The only charcoal types that are missing are powder and vine charcoal, but these are specific tools which most people won’t need straight away. I have used General charcoal pens for years, and they’re able to create some fantastic sketches, despite the fact that they’re relatively affordable.
Experts: Large set with many bits, includes white and black charcoal, comes with eraser, charcoal sticks and pencils, affordable
The top colored pens Prismacolor
The Prismacolor Quality Art Collection includes 48 colored pens in beautiful, bright shades. You’ll Also Receive a sharpener and a Latex-Free Scholar Eraser in the set.
These colored pencils are not like the basic Crayola ones that you employed in elementary school — They are high quality, soft lead pencils with rich colours. You may create extraordinary drawings with these Prismacolor pens or you can colour in an adult coloring book to make a white and black layout come to life.
These are the coloured pencils I turn to when I’m not interested in black and white images .
Experts: Bold colors, lots of selection, long lasting, eraser and sharpener included, affordable
The Very Best erasers
Prismacolor/Business Insider – Prismacolor Premier Kneaded, ArtGum and Plastic Erasers will erase any mistake you make.
I personally only use kneaded erasers, because they work with media and they do not discard eraser bits anywhere, but the ArtGum eraser is great for stubborn graphite and the Plastic eraser doesn’t drop, either.
Because this set provides you all three, you can pick and choose which one you want dependent on the medium you’re working with.
Pros: Three Kinds of eraser, cheap
The best pastels
Sennelier makes the best oil and soft pastels, but Van Gogh, Koh-i-noor, and Prismacolor are good choices. }
One of my favorite mediums is pastel. The rich, bold colours and effortless mixing make for the perfect drawing experience. Of all of the pastels I have employed, Sennelier’s are the ideal. Its oil pastels, particularly, are magnificent. The richness of the colours is unparalleled and you can feel that the oiliness of this pastel. I lust over them each time I got to the art shop.
But, Sennelier’s products are extremely costly, since they are among the very best in the company in pastels. Since not everybody is able to spend hundreds on pastels — myself included, alas — Van Gogh makes great oil pastels for much less, Koh-i-noor sells wonderful soft light pens, also Prismacolor makes great soft pastels for an inexpensive price.
I mostly use soft pastel pencils, because the fine tip gives you more control over your drawing and fine detail. But once you’re working large and you want to blend, Prismacolor’s pastels are ideal.
You may even thin them with linseed oil, just like you’d oil paint if you want a painterly look.
Experts: Beautiful oil and soft pastels, good variety of colors, powerful pigments
Cons: Sennelier’s pastels Are Costly
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 oil paint
Liquitex – Galeria Acrylic Paint 10 Tube Set are excellent starter kits for painting
My first pair of paints was the BASICS collection by Liquitex. You really only need these basic colours to make every colour of the colour.
Obviously, this budget collection isn’t that high-end, so if you’re looking for something a bit better, the Winsor & Newton 10-tube collection is a great option. You will pay more for higher quality paint and strong pigments. You can’t go wrong with either , actually.
Experts: Strong colours, affordable options, high-quality options, sets offer good value
Cons: Small tubes, can get expensive
The best oil paint
Represent very different price points to satisfy any funding
The most expensive art you can get into is acrylic painting, but it’s also one of the most powerful forms of artwork. Oil paint is richer than acrylic and it stays wet longer for greater mixing, mixing, and use over the span of long-term projects.
Winsor & Newton make a good oil paint that’s suitable for beginners or musicians on a budget. Gamblin falls from the center, whilst Williamsburg’s handmade oils are considered one of the best. They are sold by tubes and not by sets, which means you can pick the colors you want.
The gaps are in the richness of these pigments, the oils used to make the paints, and also the procedure where the paint is created. You can spend hundreds on little tubes of the very best oils, however these 3 options will serve you until you become as famous as Picasso.
Pros: Strong colours, cheap options, high-quality options, sets offer great value
Cons: Small tubes, can get pricey if you go with the luxury paint
The best brushes [DaVinci Brushes]
No matter what medium you paint , da Vinci Brushes has the brush you want. There are far more brushes on the market than can be set in a easy guide like this, but da Vinci’s wares are rather affordable and long-lasting, so we’ve included them here.
A few of the brushes are synthetic, although some are made from real animal hair and bristle. There’s a good deal of argument over what substances are best, but we’ve included a mixture at different price points.
The main advice we have on brushes is don’t get cheap terrible ones that shed all over your own canvas.
Pros: Brushes for all media, comparatively cheap, no shedding, sets offer good value
Cons: Actual hair and bristle cost more
The Ideal canvas
Fredrix makes great canvas, and it is almost always cheaper to stretch your own canvas than to buy pre-made ones. }
If you’re working in oil or oil, it is tempting to buy pre-stretched canvases and get it done. However, you can save plenty of money — particularly if you paint on huge canvases — if you create your own canvases.
To do it yourself, you are going to need wood to the frame, canvas, a staple gun, and canvas pliers to stretch it properly. I have made canvases earlier, and it may be difficult work, but it is well worth it.
Plus, you could say you made it in the long run.
Fredrix sells canvas in many forms and sizes. You are able to get it primed or unprimed in case you prefer to do it yourself with a giant bucket of gesso or if you just need a raw canvas.
Experts: Canvas is cheaper when you make your own, good Excellent canvas fabric, primed or unprimed
Disadvantages: Canvas is expensive, time-consuming to make
The best school provides 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 to their dorm room from bedding and decor to technician and school supplies.