The very best art supplies may cost a pretty penny, but you don’t have to spend your entire savings to get fantastic materials.
We have rounded up the best traditional art equipment you can buy online, such as graphite, charcoal, pastels, watercolors, acrylic, oil paints, sketchbooks, canvas, and more. }
If you are heading off to art college or you just love to create, you want quality art supplies. While artists who’ve made it beyond the”starving artist” stage may utilize exceptionally expensive supplies to create their masterpieces, you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg onto top-tier materials. Often, more affordable options will serve you just as well, provided you possess the know-how to make them work to your benefit. We’ve rounded up a number of the basic art supplies you need in your studio in one 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 sets. I’ve tried dozens of different brands through time, and some 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 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 years. I typically buy the ones using recycled paper, but I’ve also used the pastel, charcoal, and watercolor pads for if I want a different texture of paper. Regardless of what media you choose, these sketchbooks can handle it.
Of course, the standard paper will warp should you watercolors onto it, but for any kind of pen, pen, marker, or another drawing apply, it will do the job. The paper is a great thickness and weight.
The light and charcoal paper have a wonderful feel to them that really works for the milder press and good blending. Starthmore’s prices are fairly reasonable, too, which means you can sketch away.
Pros: Sturdy sketchbooks, Good paper quality, paper forms for different websites, cheap
Disadvantages: Larger sizes cost more, specialty newspapers have less pages
The best graphite pencils Staedtler
The Staedtler Pencil Mars Lumograph 12-Piece Set includes all the graphite pencils you need to draw as a pro.
Should you draw with graphite pencils, you know that not all of graphite is precisely the exact same. This Staedtler set comes with 12 pens in different hardnesses from 8B to 6H. For the uninitiated, the higher the number facing the B, the milder the lead. Conversely, the higher the number in front of the H, the harder the lead.
The majority of people will utilize 2B, HB, and B the most, but should you require deep dark blacks which blend nicely, you’ll require 4B and upward. For tough, light traces, H pens are ideal.
The pens come in a tin for safe keeping, they are simple to sharpen, and they are comfy to hold — even when you draw for hours on end. I have used dozens of graphite pencils, but Staedtler’s would be the best for the purchase price.
Pros: Bold graphite pencils, 8B to 6H range, affordable, long lasting
The best charcoal drawing set
General 33-Piece Classic Charcoal Drawing Set has every kind of charcoal that you want to create lovely work.
If you’re only getting started with charcoal or you wish to try out a brand 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 pencil is labeled with its hardness level, and also the set contains white charcoal pencils for highlights, too. The kneaded eraser is a great blending tool, but it can also erase any errors fairly well. The charcoal sticks come in a variety of thicknesses, so that you can work big or little.
The sole charcoal types that are missing are blossom and vine charcoal, but those are specific resources that most folks won’t need right away. I have used General charcoal pens for years, and they can produce some fantastic sketches, even though they’re relatively affordable.
Pros: Large set with many pieces, 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 pencils in exquisite, bright shades. You’ll also get a sharpener and a Latex-Free Scholar Eraser in the set.
These colored pencils aren’t enjoy the fundamental Crayola ones that you used in elementary school — They’re high quality, soft lead pencils with rich colours. You may produce extraordinary drawings with these Prismacolor pens or you’ll be able to colour in an adult coloring book to earn a black and white design come to life.
These are the colored pens I turn to when I am not interested in black and white images .
Pros: Bold colors, a Great Deal 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 error you make.
Personally, I just use kneaded erasers, since they work with all media and they don’t shed eraser bits everywhere, but also the ArtGum eraser is great for stubborn graphite along with the Vinyl eraser doesn’t drop, either.
Since this set gives you three, you can pick and choose which one you want dependent on the medium you are working with.
Pros: Three types of eraser, cheap
The Very Best pastels
Sennelier makes the best oil and soft pastels, but Van Gogh, Koh-i-noor, and Prismacolor are good alternatives. }
One of my favorite mediums is twofold. The rich, bold colors and effortless mixing make for the perfect drawing experience. Of all of the pastels I have used, Sennelier’s are the best. Its oil pastels, particularly, are magnificent. The richness of the colours is unparalleled and you’ll be able to feel the oiliness of this pastel. I lust over them every time I got to the art shop.
However, Sennelier’s products are very expensive, since they are among the best in the company in pastels. Because not everyone can spend hundreds on pastels — myself included, alas — Van Gogh makes great oil pastels for much less, Koh-i-noor sells wonderful soft light pens, and Prismacolor makes great soft pastels to get an affordable price.
I mainly use soft pastel pens, since the fine tip provides you more control over your drawing and fine detail. However, once you’re working large and you need to mix, Prismacolor’s pastels are ideal.
Van Gogh’s oil pastels are nearly as pigmented and wealthy since Sennelier’s and they mix very well. You can even narrow them together with linseed oil, just like you’d oil paint if you’d like a painterly look.
Experts: Beautiful acrylic and soft pastels, Fantastic 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 set of paints was that the BASICS set by Liquitex. You really only need these basic colors to make every shade of the rainbow.
Of course, this funding set is not that luxury, so if you’re searching for something a bit better, the Winsor & Newton 10-tube set is a superb alternative. You’ll pay more for high quality paint and strong pigments. You can not go wrong with either one, actually.
Pros: Strong colors, cheap options, high quality Alternatives, sets offer great value
Cons: Small tubes, can get pricey
The Ideal oil paint
Represent quite different price points to satisfy any funding
The priciest artwork you can get into is acrylic painting, but it is also among the most effective forms of artwork. Oil paint is more richer than acrylic and it stays wet longer for better mixing, blending, and use over the span of long-term projects.
Winsor & Newton create a fantastic oil paint that is suitable for beginners or musicians on a budget. Gamblin falls in the center, whilst Williamsburg’s handmade oils are considered among the best. They are sold by tubes rather than by sets, which means you can select the colors you want.
The differences are in the richness of the pigments, the oils used to make the paints, and also the process where the paint is made. You can spend hundreds on small tubes of the very best oils, however these three options will serve you until you become as famous as Picasso.
Pros: Strong colors, affordable options, high-quality options, sets provide great value
Disadvantages: Little tubes, can get expensive if you go with the luxury paint
The top brushes [DaVinci Brushes]
No matter what medium you paint in, da Vinci Brushes has the brush you want. There are far more brushes out there than could be put in a easy guide like this, but da Vinci’s products are rather affordable and durable, so we’ve included them here.
Some of the brushes are synthetic, although some are created 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 find cheap terrible ones which shed all on your own canvas.
Experts: Brushes for all media, comparatively cheap, no losing, sets offer great value
Disadvantages: Actual hair and bristle cost more
The best canvas
Fredrix makes great canvas, and it’s almost always more economical to stretch your own canvas than to purchase pre-made ones. }
If you are operating in oil or oil, it is tempting to purchase pre-stretched canvases and have it done. But you can save loads of money — particularly in the event that you paint on huge canvases — if you create your own canvases.
I have made canvases earlier, and it may be hard work, but it is well worth it.
Besides, you could say you left it in the long run.
Fredrix sells canvas in several forms and sizes. You are able to get it primed or unprimed in case you would rather do it yourself using a giant bucket of gesso or in the event that you just want a raw canvas.
Pros: Canvas is more economical when you create your own, Fantastic quality canvas material, primed or unprimed
Disadvantages: Canvas is expensive, time-consuming to create
The best college supplies and dorm room essentials
Sending your kid off to college is nerve-wracking. The best you can do is impart a few life lessons and outfit your child’s dorm room with all the essentials. We have piled up everything your child needs to their dorm room from bedding and decor to tech and school supplies.