art supplies reviews

pphew! sorry for the late reply to these >.< i figured id just reply to all these in one post with some pics. Below are the watercolors i use and the the gold paints (keep in mind those pics i posted were like first attempts @_@ im still getting used to these…)

The water colors are Mjello Mission Gold Watercolors in the 34 tube set and the gold palette are the FineTec Artist Mica Watercolors in the Pearl set. 

Now I’ll state first– both these sets are kinda pricey. The FineTec palette (about $27) is so worth it though because it comes in different golds and one tube of gold gouache is usually like $9 each or more depending on the amount of mica, so def worth the price and variety.

Below: from lightest to darkest on ivory tinted paper [Silver, Moon Gold, Gold Pearl, Arabic Gold, Tibet Gold, & Inca Gold] they look SUPER outstanding on black paper as well!

my fav is the richest one, the Inca Gold.

They are super nice, but if you plan on getting them, they are super HARD palettes! It’ll take a lot of scrubbing to get them activated and to have that nice gouache-like thickness, so if you don’t want to ruin your nice brushes, I def recommend getting some Ox Gall. Adding a drop or two of this will get them activated in no time, and with a nice opaque thickness. (the brand I have below they dont sell anymore, but other brands still make it)

As for the water colors, ehhh i feel weird cuz those vegetas were like my first attempts with this brand. Ive always used the Sakura Koi 24 color set palette because theyre super nice and super cheap (like $20) and Ive had them for years. I only got these because I wanted higher-grade watercolors in tubes. But they are very expensive, but for good reasons: they have a lot of pigment, which makes them so vibrant and bright and theyre designed to be very close to natural colors, not to mention theyre so SMOOTH when painting and they’ll probs last me forEVER because you get so much color with very little water.

(opera is best color IMHO) here’s a color chart I made (that took FOREVER btw) to give you an idea how beautiful they are and how many nice colors they make

so yea! those are the paints I used for those particular pics. Course if you would like a nice, cheap watercolor recommendation that works pretty well, Sakura Koi’s are a fantastic substitute. …..SORRY IF THIS WAS LONG i just akdfhalkfhd i like talking about traditional hope this was at least a little informative >.< if anyone has questions or wants some recommendations (while also saving some money) feel free to ask! I’ll help in any way i can with what i know, cuz despite posting mostly digital art, I am a traditional art supply FANATIC. 

impassive-monster  asked:

Hey!! Maybe you've answered this before and I just haven't seen it but do you have a masterpost for cheap art supplies?? I'm trying to gather things for my design 1&2 class for when school starts and things like prismas and copics aren't available to me. Thanks!!

Heyo there! 

Just a small note, for some things, like painting, where you can fully mix colors, it’s sometimes better to buy a very small higher quality set  (even like 3 colors is good), versus a larger, but less quality set. If the prices end up being similar–the big, cheaper brand set is close in price to the tiny, high quality set, definitely go for the smaller, higher quality set. However, there are also a ton of great value art brands out there, but not all of them. 

Personally, I avoid artist’s loft, for example. Those are a bit frustrating. 

Micheal’s, Blick, & Jo-Ann Fabric/Arts Stores often have great sales, so check them out too. 

@hazmatt86 also recommends signing up for Hobby Lobby’s email list and getting a 40% off coupon. 

Update: I rewrote the post here, and there is better linking capabilities when I write the theme myself & host myself.

Further Reading

More Helpful Links 

My typical visit to an Art Store.

I’m out of canvas boards. I think to myself. 

Then follows a long, elaborate planning process. If I leave work by 6, I can rush to the art store on the way back, and still be home on time. The entire day is spent in a jittery excitement of getting my hands on those damn canvases.

It’s 6:05. I’m at the art store. Soaking in the beauty of my surroundings. I look at the canvases, and if someone observed closely, they would see me drooling. I resist picking up the largest one available, and modestly pick up what I had come for. Eight by tens. Yup, those are the ones I need. How many, you ask? As many as they’ve got in the store.

And then as I casually walk towards the billing counter, I can’t help but notice (because I’m seeking it out) the paint aisle. Didn’t I use up all my white paint!? I don’t recollect, but decide that I have, and pick up a tube. What about texture white? Yup, picked a jar. Oooh would you look at that beautiful turquoise? In the shopping basket.

As I decide that it’s time to leave, I remember that there are only a few blank pages in my travel sketchbook. Walking towards the sketchbook aisle is like opening a can of worms. I know what’s gonna happen, and yet I can’t resist it. Gotta pick up a tiny sketchbook that can fit into all of my purses. So, what do I do? I pick up an A3 watercolour block. Perfect. Oh would you look at that charcoal!? I think to myself, having never used charcoal successfully. I will now. Of course I will.

Three brushes, a painting palette and a set of pastels later, there I am, standing at the billing counter. My eyes glace at a beautiful display of writing pencils. These would be a perfect addition to the seven hundred pencils I already have. Forty five minutes later, I walk out with my bags heavier, my wallet lighter, and I’m smiling. Perfect.

I’ve been doing faceups way longer than you’d think by my skill level (did my first in 2001).

And I haven’t tried very many brands of pastel. Of the ones I have tried, Pan Pastel is my favorite. It’s also a little pricey but they last for-eh-ver.

Why I like it~~

Heavy pigment load! So soft you don’t have to scrape or rub to pick up color, unlike sticks. Just tap your brush lightly, and you’re good to go. Smooth and work much like high-quality, pressed powder cosmetics which is great when you’re putting faces on dolls.

The soft applicators that come with some sets are lovely and plush, though not very well suited to the tiny details in faceups.

I’ve had the same success with application and blending between vinyl and resin.

Why am I talking about it right now??

Well, I’m shopping! I only have these four pans, and would like to expand my color palate.

I’ve been able to completely recolor an orangey 70′s doll head (Kenner’s Dusty) by rubbing Pan Pastel all over it.

The pastel I have didn’t quite match the body (DC Superhero Girls Wonder Woman).

I’d like to try this method with more colors! Ideally, I’d be able to take bodies to a store to compare the skintone to the pan in person (goodness I’d love to make a visual guide for that!) and buy only the colors I need because they are pricey and I’m a casual faceup artist, so it’s not like I make money off of this. I live in the middle of nowhere, though. No good art supply stores, here.

I’m leaning toward this Panpastel Ultra Soft Artist Pastel Painting Set, 10-Pack for just under $40. It’s too bad I can’t get smaller pans!

There’s also 7 Color Skin Tones Set for making portraits, around $50.
20ct  Portrait Set, about $67. Good mix of colors, here.
Earth Tones 5-pack if you’re wanting to match a head to darker bodies. $20.
There’s a super-bold flower painting 10pack for $44.
Pastels! 6ct for $25, or 20ct for $80.

Or, you could always go all out


You can get Pan Pastel at other stores, of course. My income is primarily in AmazonEGC, so that’s where I tend to shop for supplies.


My Artsnacks Inktober collection came in, with plenty of time for me to hopefully whip up some inking tutorials to help yall get ready to do some heavy inking!

If yall enjoy unboxings, demonstrations, and tutorials, do me a huge favor and show me some love! Reblog, like, heck Tweet and Tumbl Artsnacks and other art supply companies and distributors to let them know how much you enjoy my stuff! Your good word means a lot!


I think a lot of people have come across these pens- they’ve either used them themselves or came across them in an art store.

But the Sakura Pigma Micron pens are a great tool for doing lineart, and run for a little under $3/pen at art stores. They dry very fast (within seconds), and are waterproof (so you can use them with watercolours). I also use them with copics. With copics and watercolours, once I’ve finished colouring, I apply the pen a second time over my lineart to achieve a bolder look.

The only issue I’ve had with these pens, are how easily the nibs sink in. (see third photo) Make sure you do not drop these pens on a hard surface, or subject them to a lot of shaking, because the nibs (particularly on the 005 size nibs) will retract back into the pen making lining difficult. I’m looking into substitutions for the 005 pen size right now, I’ve got some pens in mind, will keep you all posted!

(The lineart for the above image was done using the Pigma Micron pens, and coloured with copics on a Moleskin journal. I applied the pens a second time after colouring around Yuzu’s eyes, and collar area)

(PS: don’t ever use a writing Moleskin for drawing. DOn’T DO IT DON’T BE DUMB LIKE ME)


Tested a new Pastel set of Winsor & Newton Brushmarkers! Materials used for this piece are listed in my Day Five video on have a lovely night! #sketchbookvideochallenge

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New Zealand 

Review of Sennelier L’Aquarelle half-pans

It’s been 15 years since I landed in this beautiful country so it seems only appropriate to letter it for my first go at using some of the new Sennelier paints I got a couple of days ago.

Keep reading


Hey y’all!!

I’m starting a series of art supply reviews on this blog, along with usual art updates. Since I work in an art store, and I have a bit more spending money now, I’ve started trying out new brands.

Anyway, eecks introduced me to gouache paint, and the stuff is really cool! For those unfamiliar, this is a paint that dries matte and opaque, which gives your pieces a beautiful, illustrative look. I went to the local Deserres and found this iridescent blue-green Studio Gouache paint by Pebeo. It’s about $10 for a 100mL tube.

The verdict- it’s a good beginner’s brand! I really love it and I think it’s a great touch for finishes on drawings, cards, or for throwing some cool metallic effects on your artwork. One coat was already looking pretty good, but for the drawing above, I did two coats to make sure everything was opaque as can be. I used a pea sized amount to colour the above 4.5” x 6” postcard, like half of the amount of toothpaste you normally squeeze on a toothbrush.

It dries with a nice metallic sheen, and the leftover paint-you can let it dry and just add water to it to use it again.

note: For the drawing, I used the blue-green Pebeo Studio Gouche paint on Strathmore watercolour paper. The other details were done with a Sakura Pigma Micron pen, a white Sakura Gelly Roll Pen, and a black Copic marker.


BrushMarker Review is up on!! Comparing with Copic markers, I hope you like it 💖

I am giving away both Sailor Moon portraits, one will be exclusive to Patreon subscribers (will be posting soon on the Patreon feed in a private post how Patreon folks can enter)

Comment SUGAR COOKIES in the YouTube videos comment section, include what you like about the video would be super cool 👍 announcing winners this Saturday on Twitter/Snapchat GOODLUCK!!! ✨✨ Open to international folks. If you’re under the age of 18, please make sure it’s ok with your parents first.

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Art supplies review #2!

We’re back! Because there was such a demand for the sequel. But this time we will be reviewing the supplies I used to make this!

More mantids! Because I need help.

Anyway, I used these Faber Castell coloured pencils!

After a quick google search I found that these average about £18 per set of 24. In honesty, they’re worth it for anyone who’s just a beginner or occasional hobbyist - but if you’re wanting something that can blend and layer indefinitely, the far superior polychromos may be more your speed. Admittedly I’ve never used polychromos, So I can’t compare or talk about any experience using them. However, from review reading and comparing my art using these to art that’s very similar made with the superior polychromos - we can guess who the winner is. (just a hint: It’s not these.)

I’ll link you to a video illustrating a mantis using polychromos because not only is it a brilliant drawing, But it beautifully illustrates (no pun intended) the difference between the two pencils. (video is: As great as Faber Castell’s cheap supplies are, I’m actually not a fan of this set. Slightly out of character for me to say it to be entirely honest, After all I am the woman that buys Castell first and other (sometimes superior brands) second, Heck, I bought pit pens over copics I’m that loyal to the brand. 

Back onto the actual pencils and not my inane obsession over Faber Castell products. 

As for their pigmentation, they do have that to boast over other coloured pencils that I’ve used in the past. They are quite pigmented and the pigment does show through, although you will need to keep a sharp tip and continue layering to get a solid colour, but I don’t recommend this if you’re aiming to do anything that isn’t a flat colour piece. Unfortunately they are heavily wax based, meaning they don’t layer or blend very well. Of course Prismacolours layer and blend, and are wax based. But they are more pigment than wax so you won’t have this exact issue with them, however I’ve heard they break more than they cost so I’m unsure about recommending them.

As for their layering, They did well, but left some to be desired. The background of dark green was very difficult to achieve, the black and green only wanted to get along for so long before they refused to play nice and adding anymore colour became impossible.And blending? Not really, you could create a nice gradient. And that’s it. I’m not joking, this actually became a real problem when trying to apply the colours to the mantis, the shading was the kind of thing I wouldn’t even wish on my worst enemy. Honestly if I went to hell, I’d be trying to shade this picture for all eternity. Well, that may be an overstatement, but if you’ve got the patience I have - You’ll be ready to explode by the time you’re done. They aren’t awful, but if you’re advanced in the art game or trying to do something with a large amount of detail, you may want to leave these be. Of course great work is possible, I can’t provide an example (and won’t put my own work there) but you’ll easily be able to find several online more than likely. 

To conclude, recommending these pencils to a beginner or hobbyist is certainly a smart move. They’re cheap, well pigmented, layer alright and blending is a bit lackluster but possible. Someone at a lower level would greatly benefit from these, They’re a great starter kit. I got these when I was 11, five years on i’d like to say they’ve served me well and I’ve learnt a lot about coloured pencils while using them, but if you’re advanced, professional or looking for something a little more high quality, then the polychromos may be worth a look. And if you’re on a budget and looking for something high quality, Ohuhu’s pencils may be something for you. They’re basically a carbon copy of prismacolour, but for the smaller budget. For their price, the seem brilliant from the reviews I’ve read.

So if you’re just starting or not too fussed, This set is definitely for you. Just don’t try and make anything too detailed with them if you value your sanity.

(however, I may be getting my paws on a set of polychromos soon for christmas, so If anyone wants to see a comparison of the two sets, I’ll be glad to deliver.)

That’s all for this broadcast!

Speedpaints and more art coming soon and ArtByNature, out!


Looking for inexpensive alcohol based markers? New art supply review of @artnfly on my YouTube channel JuicyInk!

Music Credit: Spacegeist - Staroverblue

Thank you Art n Fly for sending me the fun goodies!!

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Thank you @jetpens for sending me these art supplies to review! I had a blast testing them out 😍😍😍 for list of art supplies and my first impression, visit

Pardon me as I play with these awesome goodies more - super inspired!!✨✨

Music credit to the amazing @lakeyinspired - “Signal”

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