The very best art supplies may cost a pretty penny, but you don’t need to spend your entire savings to get great materials.
We have rounded up the best traditional art supplies you can purchase online, such as graphite, charcoal, pastels, watercolors, oil, oil paints, sketchbooks, canvas, and more. }
If you are going off to art school or you simply love to make, you need quality art equipment. While artists who’ve made it beyond the”starving artist” stage might use exceptionally expensive supplies to make their masterpieces, you do not have to spend an arm and a leg onto top-tier materials. Often, cheaper options will serve you just as well, provided you possess the know-how to make them work to your advantage. We’ve rounded up many of the fundamental art supplies that you need in your studio in one handy guide.
I have tried heaps of different brands over 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 Very Best sketchbook Strathmore/Facebook
Strathmore makes excellent sketchbooks with all sorts of paper, such as 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 when I need another feel of paper. Regardless of what media you choose, these sketchbooks can handle it.
Of course, the typical paper will warp if you do watercolors on it, but for any kind of pen, pen, marker, or another drawing implement, it’ll do the job. The paper is a good depth and weight.
The charcoal and pastel paper have an excellent texture to those who really works for the softer media and good mixing. Starthmore’s costs are quite reasonable, too, which means you can sketch away.
Experts: Sturdy sketchbooks, Good newspaper quality, paper forms for different websites, cheap
Cons: Larger sizes cost more, specialty papers 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.
Should you draw with graphite pencils, you know that not all graphite is the same. This Staedtler set includes 12 pencils in various hardnesses from 8B to 6H. For the uninitiated, the greater the number in front of 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 use 2B, HB, and B the most, but if you require deep dark blacks which blend nicely, you’re going to require 4B and up. For hard, light lines, H pens are perfect.
The pencils come in a tin for safe keeping, they are simple to sharpen, and they are comfortable to hold — even once you draw for hours on end. I’ve used dozens of graphite pencils, but Staedtler’s would be the best for the purchase price.
Pros: Bold graphite pencils, 8B to 6H range, cheap, long lasting
The best charcoal drawing set
General 33-Piece Classic Charcoal Drawing Place has every sort of charcoal that you want to create lovely work.
If you are only getting started with charcoal or you want to try a new medium, this General charcoal collection has everything you need, including 18 pens, 12 sticks, a sharpener, an eraser, and a drawing pad.
Each pen is tagged with its hardness level, and also the pair has white charcoal pencils for highlights, also. The kneaded eraser is a great blending tool, but it may also erase any errors fairly well. The charcoal sticks come in various thicknesses, so that you may work big or small.
The sole charcoal types which are missing are powder and vine charcoal, but these are specific resources that most people won’t need straight away. I have used General charcoal pencils for many years, and they’re able to produce some great sketches, despite the fact that they’re relatively inexpensive.
Experts: Big set with many pieces, includes white and black charcoal, comes with eraser, charcoal sticks and pens, affordable
The top colored pens Prismacolor
The Prismacolor Quality Art Set comes with 48 colored pencils in beautiful, bright colors. You will Also Receive a sharpener and a Latex-Free Scholar Eraser in the set.
These colored pencils aren’t like the fundamental Crayola ones you used in elementary school — They are high quality, soft lead pencils with rich colours. You can create extraordinary drawings together with these Prismacolor pencils or you’ll be able to color in an adult coloring book to make a black and white design come to life.
These are the colored pens I turn to if I am not interested in white and black pictures anymore.
Pros: Bold colors, lots of variety, 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.
To err is human, and also here to repair your mistakes are Prismacolor’s erasers.
Personally, I just use kneaded erasers, because they operate with all media and they don’t shed eraser bits everywhere, but also the ArtGum eraser is great for stubborn graphite and the Plastic eraser doesn’t shed, either.
Since this set provides you all three, you can pick and choose which one you want dependent on the medium you’re working with.
Experts: Three Kinds of eraser, cheap
The best pastels
Sennelier creates the absolute best oil and soft pastels, however Van Gogh, Koh-i-noor, and Prismacolor are good choices. }
One of my favorite mediums is pastel. The rich, bold colours and easy mixing make for the ideal drawing experience. Of all the pastels I have used, Sennelier’s would be the ideal. Its oil pastels, in particular, are stunning. The richness of the colors 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 wares are very expensive, since they are one of the best in the business in pastels. Because not everyone can spend hundreds on pastels — myself included, alas — Van Gogh makes great oil pastels for less, Koh-i-noor sells fantastic soft pastel pens, also Prismacolor makes amazing soft pastels for an inexpensive price.
I mainly use soft pastel pens, because the fine tip gives you more control over your drawing and fine detail. But once you’re working large and you want to mix, Prismacolor’s pastels are perfect.
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, good 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 Set are great starter kits for painting
My very first pair of acrylic paints was the BASICS set by Liquitex. The set includes 12 colors that you can mix to your heart’s content to make more shades. You only need these basic colours to make every colour of the colour.
Obviously, this funding collection isn’t that high-end, so if you’re looking for something a bit better, the Winsor & Newton 10-tube set is a great alternative. You will pay more for higher quality paint and strong pigments. You can’t go wrong with either one, actually.
Pros: Strong colours, affordable options, high quality Alternatives, sets provide good value
Cons: Little tubes, can get expensive
The best oil paint
Represent quite different price points to satisfy any funding
The priciest 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 projects.
Winsor & Newton create a fantastic oil paint that’s acceptable for beginners or musicians on a budget. Gamblin falls in the center, while Williamsburg’s handmade oils are regarded among the very best. They’re sold by tubes rather than by sets, which means that you can pick the colors you need.
The differences are at the richness of the pigments, the oils used to make the paints, and the process where the paint is made. You can spend countless small tubes of the very best oils, but these 3 choices will serve you well until you become as famous as Picasso.
Experts: Strong colors, cheap options, high-quality Alternatives, sets provide good value
Disadvantages: Small tubes, can get pricey if you go with the luxury paint
The best brushes [DaVinci Brushes]
No matter what medium you paint in, da Vinci Brushes has the brush you want. You will find more brushes out there than could be put in a simple guide like this, but da Vinci’s wares are rather affordable and durable, so we’ve included them .
A few of the brushes are artificial, although some are made from real animal hair and bristle. There is a good deal of argument over what materials are best, but we have included a mix at different price points.
The major advice we have on brushes is don’t get cheap terrible ones which shed all over your canvas.
Pros: Brushes for many media, relatively cheap, no shedding, sets provide great value
Disadvantages: Actual hair and bristle cost more
The Ideal canvas
Fredrix makes great canvas, and it is almost always cheaper to stretch your own canvas compared to purchase pre-made ones. }
If you’re working in oil or oil, it’s tempting to purchase pre-stretched canvases and get it done. But you can save loads of money — especially if you paint on huge canvases — should you create your own canvases.
To do it yourself, you’ll need wood for the frame, canvas, a staple gun, and yarn pliers to elongate it correctly. I’ve made canvases before, and it might be hard work, but it’s well worth it.
Plus, you can say you made it in the end.
Fredrix sells canvas in many forms and dimensions. You are able to get it primed or unprimed in case you would rather do it yourself with a giant bucket of gesso or in the event that you only need a raw yarn.
Pros: Canvas is cheaper when you create your own, Fantastic quality canvas fabric, primed or unprimed
Cons: Canvas is pricey, time-consuming to make
The best school provides and dorm room essentials
Sending your child off to college is nerve-wracking. The best that you can do is impart a few life lessons and outfit your kid’s dorm room including all the essentials. We’ve rounded up everything your child needs to their dorm room from bedding and decor to tech and college supplies.