I have tried many art supplies throughout the years. I’ve liked many of them, but there are a few that I just keep coming back to again and again.
Prismacolor NuPastels …
Let’s start with the NuPastels. These things are awesome and so versatile. They are of medium hardness, which means they can create fine and precise lines but they can also be smudged to create beautiful gradient effects. They are incredibly pigmented. These are some of the highest quality pastels that I have found.
There are few drawbacks to these – the biggest being the price. They are expensive but so are all high-quality art supplies. The other one is more of a personal thing. Because these pastels are medium hardness they have a coating on them that makes them feel very smooth. That feeling just squicks me out for some reason. This feeling goes away after a few uses, though.
Mounted Linocut Blocks…
This is my favorite type of block for making a block print. Carving wise, the linoleum is stiff enough that you can do fine lines, but still soft enough that it is not impossible to carve. Also, the glue used to mount it to the wood block is very strong. If you are a bit rough when carving (like I am) the lino does not peel off the block. The only drawback is that it only come up to size 12×12. When you like to make large work like I do it’s a little inconvenient.
For large pieces, I use Blick’s Battleship Grey linoleum. The glue is a little less sturdy than Speedball’s so the linoleum tends to peel, but they come in large sizes.
Other Art Supplies…
I really enjoy the Windsor and Newton Oil Paint, both the traditional and water mixable colors. I haven’t done many oil paintings but these paints have done their job every time I’ve used them.
I’ve recently gotten into scratchboard. The brand that I like the best is Ampersand. It is not too hard to scratch the ink off, but it is not too easy either. Their packaging says it is archival quality, which is always a perk. They sell this brand at Blick, but I usually buy the boards off of Amazon.
What are your favorite art supplies? Let me know in the comments!