2015 was an awesome year of art, especially when it came supplies. Probably because I took "Supplies Me" by Jane Davenport I loved looking at supplies before but Jane's class gave me the knowledge and confidence to know what supplies I wanted to try the most.
These are my 5 favorite supplies I tried this year.
1. Neocolor 2 watersoluble Artist Crayons
Crayons may conjure up images of childhood and coloring books but Neocolor 2 crayons aren't childhood crayons. They can be used like a regular crayon but they are so much more.
Neocolor 2's are watersoluble, meaning when water is put over them they melt. The crayons turn into watercolor! And the do so wonderfully.
The colors are vibrant and melt easily with water, looking like watercolor from tube or a pan.
2.Prismacolor Colored Pencils
I had heard of Prismacolor colored pencils before. They are basically the pencil of illustrators touted as soft and buttery.
Basic colored pencils haven't made my soul sing. They all seem hard to sketch with needing to be pressed hard on paper to produce much color. Not far into Supplies Me I realized colored pencils were essential to learning the techniques Jane Davenport uses. She describes them as magic wands and Prismacolor are her favorite.
I decided to give them a try and I haven't been disappointed.
They are soft and buttery, they glide over paper (if its smooth) and are highly pigmented. Being soft and creamy the lead is more susceptible to breakage than other colored pencils. Thats why its important to treat them with respect and store them securely in their tin or a pencil case, use a good quality sharpner, and be careful not to let them roll off the table while using another pencil.
3. Acrylic Paint
I hadn't been a fan of acrylics in the past mostly because I felt the clean up took time away from painting. Then I tried finger painting, where i put on gloves & dabbed paint from the bottle onto the page. It worked perfectly and the only clean up was and is taking the glove off. Acrylics quickly became a new medium for me.
There's many types of acrylic paints. Most come as semi-gloss or matte paint.
Semi-gloss or gloss acrylics dry with a bit of a sheen to them. They work best as a single medium.
Matte acrylics dry without the shine or smooth texture. Matte paints are perfect for mixed medium because they are able to take layers of almost any other form of media.
4. Sharpie Waterbased Paint Pen
When I bought the Sharpie White Paint Pen I had no idea how much i would love it. White is important for adding highlights. It can really bring a piece together and make it pop but not all mediums produce the best white. Watercolor, for example, is translucent and white watercolor doesnt dry white but becomes milky shade of the color underneath.
The Sharpie Waterbased Paint Pen is a thin, white acrylic paint in an easy to use pen. Write over the area just like you would a pen, let dry for a minute, and there you have a glistening white highlight.
Gesso has long been a mystery to me. Art journalists use it on paper before they use acrylics, thats all I knew. Why do they do that?
Again, Jane Davenport taught me why. Gesso strengthens paper and prepares it to hold paint. Not all paper is strong enough for the weight of paint and some surfaces like cardboard dont initially take A good gesso can fix that and open you up to new substrates.
Did you try any new art supplies in 2015? What were your favorites? I'd love to know!