Note: This post contains affiliate links! See my full disclaimer for details. Page last updated: 01/25/23
I am a mixed-media artist. What does that mean? It means I like to dabble and mix up different "mediums/media" such as watercolor, ink, and color pencil all in one piece of art -- or really any combination of art supplies you can think of! I have a lot, and I mean A LOT, of art supplies. Some of it has been stockpiled over the years like a dragon guarding its hoard due to expenses, and some of it is cheaper stuff I've found at Dollar Tree or on Amazon. Low-end, upscale, or recycled trash, I don't care what it cost or where it came from, I love art supplies and experimenting with different mediums!
If you're wondering where to start your creative journey on a budget or maybe you're looking to splurge on something fancy, I got the info you need! This is likely to end up a long post over time, so I have it reserved as a permanent page on my blog rather than a regular blog post. I also went light on the graphics on this page so it's easy to browse and loads quickly. A lot of these links are affiliate links, so I may earn a small commission if you purchase through this page, but please note, these are all things I have actually purchased with my own hard-earned money and have in my repertoire. I was not sponsored or given any of these products for free, and I will not supply links or references to products that I find to be subpar.
And when I say subpar, I don't mean "cheap" or "inexpensive." I mean that these products failed me so universally that I prefer to pretend they don't exist, so they are not listed here. I am not about to steer you wrong when it comes to supplies, especially when they can be so pricey.
So without further ado, here are the products I do use and love:
- Canson Artist Series Mix Media Paper Wet or Dry [link] - This is hands down one of my favorite sketchbooks! The Canson Mix Media series of sketchbooks and watercolor paper is my go-to! The heavier the weight of the paper, the more I like it because the more abuse it can withstand. FYI, weight (138 lb in this instance) refers to the thickness of the paper. I prefer 140 lbs as a bare minimum for any wet media like watercolor and ink.
- Pen+Gear Cardstock [link] - Speaking of paper, this is my favorite cardstock. It's a nice, heavy 150 lb, smooth textured paper and it's economical! I used to use stacks of this paper for commissions when I did on-the-spot drawings at anime conventions. I have long since left the convention circuit, but I still love this paper! It being loose leaf also makes it so much easier to scan than a bound sketchbook.
- Tihoo Electric Pencil Sharpener [link] - Listen. Is this the best pencil sharpener on the market? Probably not, but it's in my budget and I've bought it twice. Once for myself and a second go-round as a gift to a fellow artist. It's battery operated and my arthritic hands appreciate the assist.
- Shuttle Art Soft Core Coloring Pencils 138 Colors [link] - I purchased this as a gift for a friend's daughter that is still learning her trade as an artist. I am still a little green with envy at how nice these pencils actually turned out to be. These were every bit as nice as my jealously hoarded Prismacolor pencils. Iykyk! I'm determined to eventually buy a set for my own personal use.
- Miniature Brushes 4pc [link] - I am a sucker for details, and having the right tools ensures that those details end up where I want them. These brushes are so tiny and perfect for finishing touches and intricate detail work!
- Canvas Panels 72 Pack 5x7" [link] - Are these the highest quality canvas panels? No. Are they excellent for practicing and very easy on the budget? Yes. I've also previously purchased for a class I hosted, and still paint on the leftovers, of these 11x14" canvas panels
- Mont Marte Twin Compartment Plastic Brush Washer [link] - I adore this thing! It has more than one compartment so if you're working with a transparent paint like watercolor, you still have a little stash of not-so-dirty water to wet pigments with. Honestly, whatever container you can spare that holds water will work just fine, but this is nice to have.
- Arrtx Gouache Paint Set 18 Colors x 30ml [link] - When I purchased this set the brand was HIMI, but you know what? A name is a name. I love these paints and it's this set that introduced me to the fantastical world of gouache paint.
- Bememo 100 Sheets Imitation Gold Leaf [link] - I am a sucker for adding those delightful little accents of gold and shine here and there. These do the trick nicely!
- Y-Axis 12 Colors Gold Leaf Sheets [link] - Speaking of gold leaf, did you know you could get it in other colors? I seriously love this stuff.
- Silicone Resin Measuring Cups Tool Kit [link] - Very handy stuff when I'm in the mood to add a gloss finish to things or I want to make my own tiny accents for jewelry.
- Portable Mini Air Brush Kit [link] - I'll be real with you. I don't recall exactly why I bought this, but it's fun to play with, lol.
- Blending Stumps and Tortillions Set [link] - I use these a lot when working with soft lead color pencils and the pencil extension is wonderful for using every last bit of those spendy Prismas!
- Alcohol Ink Set 20 Bottles [link] - A looove some bright pigments, and these are also useful when adding color to clear resin!
- Magimate Large Paint Brush 8" Wide [link] - I usually work pretty small, but when I opt for a large canvas, this makes priming with gesso a breeze!
- Uni POSCA Paint Market Pen [link] - When my hands are too wobbly for a brush, these are my go-to paint pens! I cannot get enough of them and I have them in nearly every shape, color, and size I can get my hands on!
- Egg Pen-Pencil Grips [link] - Have I mentioned I have issues with my hands? These make a world of difference at times.
- BTSKY Deluxe PU Leather Pencil Case 120 Slot [link] - This is the exact pencil case I use to store and organize all of my spendy color pencils.
- Sakura Gelly Roll Pens [link] - In my opinion, there is no other gel pen brand in existence that can compete with these.
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S Series [link] - I personally have the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 with S Pen, but that's not available. Don't @ me about it. I've never been an Apple girl. Blame my nerd father's influence in the 80s and 90s - we were a Microsoft and Linux household, thanks. ;) This tablet changed the digital art game for me, and I still use it routinely. I wish I had jumped on board with this sooner. Mind you, I tend to use my tech until it dies and becomes truly obsolete. I still use my Wacom Bamboo tablet to draw on my laptop.
- Chameleon Art Color Tones Pens [link] - Have you heard of Chameleon pens? I was an early adopter and got my full set through their Kickstarter back in the day. These are alcohol ink-based refillable pens, and they blend like a dream. It takes a minute to get the hang of them, but once you do it is such an enjoyable experience. I'm not normally a brand-name kind of lady, but I really love these. I even have the additional color tops and coordinating color pencils.
- Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors [link] - These are the smoothest, most amazing watercolors I've ever come across. They can be expensive, but oh so worth it if you're opting for a professional finish.
- Liquitex Professional Heavy Body Acrylic Paints [link] - I love tinkering with just about any kind of paint, but this stuff is what dreams are made of. Extraordinarily opaque, pigmented, and heavy enough to leave a bit of texture on the canvas. I can't say enough good things about this paint!
- Royal Talens Ecoline Brush Pen Markers [link] - I first came across these from an ArtSnacks box (which is a great way to learn and test new materials that you might not think to access otherwise), and I was immediately hooked at how juicy and pigmented these markers were. I love the brush tip and they are water-based, so you can fiddle around with them in different ways than alcohol-based markers.
- Copic Multiliner Pens Set B-2 [link] - These have been my ride-or-die pens for hand-inked lineart for several decades now. I got my hands on my first set from a vendor at an anime convention when Copic wasn't quite readily available as it is now. I still have and routinely use that same set. I've only replaced two pens and it was because I severely damaged them. Oops.
- Black Velvet Brushes [link] - I was never really a proponent of high-end brushes until I painted with these darlings. My goodness, it was the smoothest, butteriest painting experience of my life and I have never looked back. I prefer these with my watercolor paints especially.
- Blick Studio Cotton Canvas Panels [link] - I know I shared some cheap canvas panels on Amazon, but I am a big fan of Blick's products in general. They are top-notch when it comes to quality.
- ArtResin Epoxy [link] - If I am going to be bothered to cover a canvas or other large-scale project in resin, this is my preferred brand. It maintains its integrity the best and does the least amount of yellowing over time when cared for properly.
Honorable mentions that I don't have a link to because it's currently out of stock and/or the brand doesn't matter to me:
- Glassine Art Paper - What is this you ask? It's basically an acid-free giant-sized roll of almost wax paper. I use this when transporting acrylic paintings, especially if they're not fully cured, to keep them from sticking to each other or to whatever packaging they're being mailed in.
- Artist Masking Tape in Various Widths - Make sure it's low tack and acid-free to avoid tears or staining your work. I've yet to find that one brand trumps another. It's also possible to purchase low-tack painter's tape at the hardware store.
List to be edited as I use supplies and remember to add them here! Let me know if you have any questions or would like to see demos of any of the above products!