Save or Splurge — Art Supplies Edition!
The other day I was pulling out a set of my paintbrush collection from Paint Pixie (you can find them here) and decided that it was time to buy a few other paintbrushes in sizes that I don’t carry.
When I got to the art store I thought it might be fun to stock up on some other “professional” grade supplies to see if splurging for “the good” stuff is really necessary. You see, a lot of beginners tell me that they haven’t gotten started painting because they can’t invest in the professional-level supplies. I’ve always thought that was a silly reason to hold yourself back from trying something creative, and now I can finally find out whether or not those fancy supplies are really necessary to create a beautiful piece of art.
While I was there, I also bought myself some acrylic canvas PAPER and some mixed media paper as well! A pad of paper worked out to be about the same as one nice canvas, so I thought to myself “wow, wouldn’t this be a much easier way to practice?!” I’m sure some of you are laughing at me because, duh Dionne, of course you can practice on paper. But it was something I’d genuinely never thought of until I saw the option! I wonder how many people haven’t tried painting because they didn’t want to splurge on a canvas and then “ruin” it with their practice. (Pro tip: it’s just paint! You can paint right over any mistakes!)
Here is what I bought:
- Level 3 Golden acrylic paints
- Level 3 Artist’s Loft high viscosity acrylic paint
- Level 3 Winsor & Newton Galeria acrylic paint
- Level 1 Strathmore Acrylic and Mixed Media paper blocks
**Note: I am not affiliated with these companies! This is just what I found at the local craft store.**
And here’s what I think:
The difference between a Level 1 paintbrush and a level 3 paintbrush is the amount of bristles and, folks, you want A LOT of bristles. Find a brush that has thick, soft, pliable bristles to ensure that your paint goes on smoothly without any visible gaps and that the brush doesn’t leave any unwanted friends behind (aka some scraggly bristles that will your painting).
Save… with an exception:
Hear me out: if you’re painting loose florals then you’ll achieve the same results regardless of the paint you choose. Level 1 acrylics are beautiful and pigmented and will do exactly what you need them to do… most of the time. But if you’re doing a highly-detailed portrait painting, you’re going to want to spend a little more and get high viscosity paints.
Save for practice, Splurge for sales
How did I not know that these exist? They will make practice and teaching so much easier! But if you plan on selling paintings you can’t go wrong with a high-quality wrapped canvas.
Don’t let anything come between you and your art.
What defines an artist isn’t the quality of the paints they use but the vision that they communicate through their work. You can use the cheapest paint and slap it on some paper with your fingers and still call yourself an artist! Stop waiting for “the good stuff” and put your own good stuff out into the world!
If you want to hear more about my opinions on everything I bought, head on over to YouTube!
Now go create!