The very best art supplies can cost a pretty penny, but you don’t have to spend your entire savings to get fantastic materials.
We’ve rounded up the most effective traditional art supplies you may buy online, including graphite, charcoal, pastels, watercolors, oil, oil paints, sketchbooks, canvas, and much more. }
If you’re going off to art school or you just love to make, you need quality art supplies. While artists who have 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 onto top-tier materials. Often, more affordable options will serve you just as well, as long as you have the know-how to make them work to your advantage. We have rounded up many of the fundamental art supplies you need in your studio in one handy guide.
I’ve tried heaps of different brands over the years, 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 have used Strathmore sketchbooks for years. I typically purchase the ones with recycled paper, but I have also used the pastel, charcoal, and watercolor pads for when I want another feel of paper. No matter what media you select, these sketchbooks can handle it.
Of course, the standard paper will warp if you do watercolors onto it, but for any kind of pen, pen, mark, or a different drawing implement, it will do the job. The paper is a good thickness and weight.
If it comes to the watercolor paper, it is sturdy and strong enough to stand up to lots of water. The charcoal and pastel paper have an excellent texture to them that actually works for the milder press and good mixing. Starthmore’s costs are fairly reasonable, also, which means you can sketch away.
Pros: Sturdy sketchbooks, Good newspaper quality, paper forms for different media, affordable
Cons: 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 like a pro.
If you draw with graphite pencils, you realize that not all graphite is the exact same. This Staedtler set comes with 12 pens in different hardnesses in 8B to 6H. For the uninitiated, the greater the number in front of the B, the softer the lead. Conversely, the higher the number in front of the H, the harder the lead.
Most folks will use 2B, HB, and B the most, but should you require deep dark blacks which mix nicely, you’re going to need 4B and upward. For hard, light lines, H pencils are perfect.
The pencils come in a tin for safe keeping, they are easy to sharpen, and they’re 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 price.
Pros: Bold graphite pencils, 8B to 6H range, cheap, long lasting
The best charcoal drawing set
General 33-Piece Classic Charcoal Drawing Set has every sort of charcoal you need to create beautiful work.
If you are just getting started with charcoal or you also want to try out a brand new medium, this General charcoal set has all you need, such as 18 pens, 12 sticks, a sharpener, an eraser, and a drawing pad.
Each pencil is labeled with its hardness degree, and also the pair has white charcoal pencils for highlights, also. The kneaded eraser is a superb mixing tool, but it may also erase any errors fairly well. The charcoal sticks come in a variety of 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 which most people won’t need straight away. I have used General charcoal pens for many years, and they can produce some great sketches, despite the fact that they’re relatively inexpensive.
Experts: Big set with many pieces, includes white and black charcoal, includes eraser, charcoal sticks and pens, affordable
The best colored pencils Prismacolor
The Prismacolor Quality Art Collection includes 48 colored pens in exquisite, bright shades. You’ll also get a sharpener and a Latex-Free Scholar Eraser from the set.
These colored pencils are not enjoy the basic Crayola ones that you employed in elementary school — They are high quality, soft lead pencils with rich colors. You can create extraordinary drawings together with these Prismacolor pencils or you’ll be able to colour in an adult coloring book to earn a white and black layout come to life.
These are the colored pens I turn to when I’m not interested in black and white images .
Pros: Bold colors, a Great Deal of variety, long lasting, eraser and sharpener contained, affordable
The best erasers
Prismacolor/Business Insider – Prismacolor Premier Kneaded, ArtGum and Plastic Erasers will erase any mistake you make.
Personally, I only use kneaded erasers, because they work with media and they don’t shed eraser bits everywhere, however, the ArtGum eraser is very good for stubborn graphite and the Plastic eraser does not drop, either.
Since this set provides you three, you can pick and choose which one you want based on the medium you are working with.
Pros: Three types of eraser, affordable
The best pastels
Sennelier makes the best oil and soft pastels, however Van Gogh, Koh-i-noor, and Prismacolor are good choices. }
One of my favourite mediums is twofold. The rich, bold colours and effortless mixing make for the ideal drawing experience. Of all of the pastels I’ve employed, Sennelier’s are the ideal. Its oil pastels, particularly, are stunning. The richness of the colors is unparalleled and you can feel the oiliness of this pastel. I lust over them each time I got to the art shop.
However, Sennelier’s products are extremely expensive, since they are among the best in the business in pastels. Because 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 pastel pencils, also Prismacolor makes amazing soft pastels for an inexpensive price.
I mostly use soft pastel pencils, since the fine tip gives you more control over your drawing and nice detail. But once you’re working big and you need to blend, Prismacolor’s pastels are perfect.
You may even narrow them together with linseed oil, just like you’d oil paint if you want a painterly look.
Pros: Beautiful oil and soft pastels, good variety of colors, strong 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 acrylic paint
Liquitex – Galeria Acrylic Paint 10 Tube Place are great starter kits for painting
My first pair of acrylic paints was that the BASICS collection by Liquitex. You really only need these basic colors to create every colour of the rainbow.
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 superb alternative. You will pay more for higher quality paint and powerful pigments. You can’t go wrong with either one, actually.
Pros: Strong colours, affordable options, high-quality Alternatives, sets offer great value
Disadvantages: Little tubes, can get pricey
The Ideal oil paint
Represent very different price points to satisfy any budget
The priciest art you can get to is oil painting, but it is also one of the most powerful kinds of art. Oil paint is richer than oil and it stays wet longer for better mixing, blending, and use over the span of long-term projects.
Winsor & Newton make a good oil paint that’s acceptable for beginners or artists on a budget. Gamblin falls in the middle, while Williamsburg’s handmade oils are regarded among the best. They’re sold by tubes rather than by places, which means you can select the colors you need.
The differences are at the richness of the pigments, the oils used to produce the paints, and also the process by which the paint is created. You can spend hundreds on little tubes of the best oils, but these 3 options will serve you until you become famous as Picasso.
Pros: Strong colours, affordable options, high-quality options, sets offer good value
Cons: Little tubes, can get pricey if you go with the high-end paint
The best brushes [DaVinci Brushes]
No matter what medium you paint , da Vinci Brushes gets the brush you need. You will find far more brushes out there than can be set in a simple guide similar to this, but da Vinci’s products are relatively inexpensive and long-lasting, so we’ve included them here.
Some of the brushes are synthetic, but others are made from real animal hair and bristle. There is a lot of debate over what substances are best, but we’ve included a mix at different price points.
The main advice we’ve got on brushes is do not find cheap terrible ones that shed all over your own canvas.
Experts: Brushes for many media, relatively cheap, no losing, sets offer great value
Disadvantages: Real hair and bristle price more
The best canvas
Fredrix makes great canvas, and it is almost always more economical to stretch your canvas compared to buy pre-made ones. }
If you’re operating in oil or oil, it’s tempting to purchase pre-stretched canvases and get it done. However, you can save loads of money — particularly if you paint on huge canvases — should you create your own canvases.
I have made canvases before, and it may be difficult work, but it’s worth it.
Besides, you can say you left it in the end.
Fredrix sells canvas in several forms and sizes. You are able to get it primed or unprimed if you would rather do it yourself with a giant bucket of gesso or in the event that you just need a raw canvas.
Experts: Canvas is cheaper when you create your own, Fantastic quality canvas fabric, primed or unprimed
Cons: Canvas is expensive, time-consuming to create
The best school supplies and dorm room essentials
Sending your kid off to college is nerve-wracking. The best that you can do is impart a couple of life lessons and outfit your kid’s dorm room including all the essentials. We’ve piled up everything your child needs for their dorm room from bedding and decor to tech and school supplies.