Creative Ideas: Essential Art Tools Every Artist Should Have

by Jenn

If you are already an artist or trying to be one, having different art tools and materials is necessary to keep your creative life going. Although choosing a tool can be done once, most artists enjoy trying on new materials they think can help improve their craft. 

Assessing what you want to pursue and what art form you are currently into can help you know and understand your specific art supply needs. But the essential art tools are relatively similar for all, and these materials will accompany you throughout your creative journey. 

Here is a list of essential art tools you might need as an artist.

Sketchbook

Sketchbooks are essential material for people who love to draw. This is most useful for artists who are still learning different drawing skills. You can use it when creating different drawing figures, shading, and even painting. For beginners, a 9×12 inch sketchbook with 70 to 90 GSM (grams per square meter) is already good for practice. 

If you are into watercolor paintings, thicker types of sketchbooks are also available for that. For example, a 200 GSM sketchbook paper can handle water and various watercolor techniques well. Just make sure you choose one with high-quality and good texture that can handle other materials used for paintings. 

Masking tapes are one of the necessary materials for sealing and closing edges or areas when doing watercolor paintings. These tapes are easy to remove once your paint dries, but removing them can be a hassle when used on poor-quality sketchbook paper. So, ensure to choose the proper paper thickness and texture for any of your art.

Graphite Pencils

Masterpieces can start in a simple stroke. That’s why getting a good pencil should be on the list. Materials like graphite pencils are handy when creating simple to detailed sketches. They also come in different hardness levels. Pencil sets commonly include a 2H, HB, B, 2B, and 6B. 

What do these numbers indicate? Pencils with an “H” indicate that the pencil is hard and creates lighter lines, while “B” pencils are softer and create darker lines. You can choose one pencil that best suits your drawing style or get a set for better options.

Eraser

Mistakes can’t be avoided when creating drawings. Erasers are a must-have when removing pencil marks. While cheap erasers can easily damage your paper, particular types, like kneading erasers, are different. 

Kneading erasers do not leave any residue when used. One more interesting thing about this is it can be molded into various shapes, making it easier for you to erase mistakes in large or small areas.

Watercolor or Acrylic Paint 

We’ve talked a little about the watercolor painting above, but we’ll focus now on learning more about watercolor and acrylic paints. Watercolor has different types you can choose from. They can come in tubes, pans, liquid, pencils, markers, and sheets. All of it can be useful depending on your watercolor styles and techniques.

On the other hand, acrylic paints commonly come in tubes and show thicker consistencies. However, if you want to achieve a smoother appearance for your paintings, water usage can help you thin the brush strokes. For beginners, a set of colors, red, yellow, blue, green, and black, are fine. Adding extra white and blacks can also be useful for mixing.

Brushes

Now that you know what watercolor and paints to get, you’ll need brushes. Paint brushes also come in different types, shapes, and sizes. If you are new to painting, you better get a beginner’s brush set first. You can use different brushes depending on your painting techniques. Two types of brushes include natural and synthetic bristles.  

  • Natural brushes. Natural brushes are mainly made from animal hair or hog bristles. They are easier to clean using soap and water, but they need special care to maintain good shape and size. Natural brushes can work well with oil paints and watercolors but not with acrylics.
  • Synthetic brushes. The bristles in these brushes are made from nylon and or polyester. Compared to natural brushes, synthetic ones are less expensive. They can work well with oil paints, watercolors, and acrylics. 

Where To Buy Art Supplies

Visiting a local art supply store allows you to look into the actual quality of the products. However, if circumstances don’t permit, online art supply stores are also an option. Online shops can provide various products and brands for you to choose from any time and anywhere you are.

Final Thoughts

Arts revolves around going from inspiring and concise art styles to enjoying messy art experiments over time. Art tools, materials, and supplies are necessary to bring these creative ideas to life. 

As you continue your creative journey, know that you may still encounter and discover hundreds of other material tools. Exploring and trying new art tools and techniques will help you grow as an artist.

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