Great Artists’ tools…

   Oil paint is my personal favorite medium, but I can never get enough of all the wonderful supplies that are out there for artists! This page is for artists’ tools I recommend and my favorites that I use. I purchase many of my supplies from Dick Blick and Michael’s Arts&Crafts stores.


      1.) Pencils: For great drawings, I use Prismacolor woodless graphite pencils and Color pencils, these are high quality: 

  The color Pencils, some sets are expensive but they are worth it!: 

The Woodless graphite and water-soluble graphite pencils:

 2.) Oil colours for oil paintings, I love Winsor&Newton tubes wide range of colours:   My favorite color from this series would be Cadmium Red Deep, Its Blood Red, Rose Red, beautiful color.

  3.) Great art supplier: They have a huge range of tools from different distributors and even unique hard to find products. Walnut Oil, my favorite medium when I’m not using Liquin, I get it here.

 4.) Michael’s Arts&Crafts Store: I shop here for drawing pads and sketchbooks, I also like their Brush setup they have more and lower prices than Aaron Bros. usually.

I’ve recently started working with oil color pencils, they are mainly found in woodworker’s tool stores. But they are great on canvas, paper, and very smooth.
A company called, Walnut Hollow makes these pencils, they come in sets, I wish they were bigger sets! I love them!

 Walnut Hollow has cancelled their pencils, but other companies make them thank goodness:

  I like to work with Oil pastels, especially when I’m covering large areas of canvas or paper. I love Sennelier pastels, they are like buttery lipstick crayons, pricey but worth it:                                                                                                          Pablo Picasso himself helped create these pastels, they do not disappoint, very good quality! 


Snapshot of my Black Gesso

 For dramatic effects with art mediums, Black gesso is perfect!

Photo of my protractor and compass sets

For arches, circles, elipses, all the ins and outs of drawing. 

Snapshot of Gessos I use and Gesso brushes. Copyright c. 2011

There are many good quality Gessos to work with for artists, I’ve used most of what’s out there, but I found that Blick’s gesso stays flexible, doesn’t crack and the surface texture comes out just right. For my darker paintings, like Linto’s and Marinette’s, I love using Black gesso as my base color. The gesso spray works well if you want to prime a heavy paper and use light oils and pastels on the sheet. 

Snapshot of my canvas pads and fabrics I use for my artwork. Copyright c. 2011

  For my canvas I usually head to Hancock Fabrics and buy an entire roll of canvas in different colors. The Fredrix pads are great for traveling painters, I like to take my pads and go off to the lake and sketch sometimes.  The canvas doesn’t warp or wrinkle, its very well made and you can re-gesso it.

Some of my art mediums I work with. Maimeri Walnut Oil, Liquin. and Bob Ross Liquid Clear. Copyright c. 2011

I was reading one day about one of my favorite artists,  the legendary Leonardo Da Vinci. I read that he used Walnut oil to paint with in addition to other mediums. He was always pushing the limits and trying new things, experimenting and always creative. I had not used this extender before, mainly Linseed and Alkyds, so I bought some bottles. Its non-yellowing, makes painting smooth and the feel of the oil as it glides on the canvas is divine. I love it. Liquin is perfect for times you want your paint to dry quickly and for oil glazing. Bob Ross liquid clear makes the oil paints gloss and glow, really brings out the colors.

My oil painting brushes and bottle of Walnut Oil. Copyright c. 2011

  I have all kinds of brushes and sizes for my artwork. I would say that Robert Simmons’ brushes last the longest and are good quality for paints. Some brushes I have had for more than 6 years and they haven’t quit yet! They stay strong and maintain their shape after years of cleaning and working.

My Lyra Graphite sticks and drawing. Copyright c. 2011

The Germans make some dang fine pencils! I have a few of Lyra’s Graphite crayons, they are mainly for large area coverage and broad stroke sketching. They do make a sharpener though that works with the size of the pencils. The drawing here is on Canson mixed media paper, it’s a nice heavyweight paper that doesn’t rip easily and holds alot of layers. If you spray gesso it right the paper will hold oil paint. 

Photo of my Lyra oil colors and Portrait flesh tone sets. Copyright c. 2011

 Brand spanking new, and can’t wait to try them. Lyra also sells a pencil set called “Lyra Skin Tones.” These are wax based but they provide a full range of flesh colors perfect for portraits of the human race.

My new Oil Color pencils from Lyra. Copyright c. 2011

Prismacolors are nice pencils, but they are wax based. Many artists complain about wax bloom and the pencils breaking easily especially during sharpening. I love the Lyra pencils, they are very well made and have a nice color range.                                                                                                                                                    They blend smoothly and layer excellently, I can feel the oil base in the pencils. Superb!

Photo of my paint box, hundreds of colours. Copyright c. 2011

I keep my oil colours stored in a nice gift box that holds hundreds of my paint tubes. The colours last and last, they don’t dull or lose their chroma. 

My Acrylic and mixed Media papers. Copyright c. 2011

  These are some of my art pads, I carry sketch books of all sizes, larger pads being my favorite because I enjoy creating life-size, large-scale works of art. Acrylic linen canvas works great with pencil and pastels, the texture is very nice as well. Reminds me of the texture of smooth finish Arches papers, provides a wonderful look for pencils and oil pastel. The smaller books are from a company in Florence, Italy that makes leather and ornate fabric crafted journals.

2 Responses to Great Artists’ tools…

  1. calvincaley says:

    Good stuff–I love art supplies too! And tools, hand tools, carving tools, power tools. Anything you can create with, actually. Thank you for visiting my blog, and thanks for the ‘like.’

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