Whether you’re buying yourself art supplies, picking out supplies for your classroom, or purchasing a gift for a fellow artist, here are some tips on how to pick which art supplies to purchase.
A Method to the Madness
Having a methodology for selecting art supplies will help reduce feelings of overwhelm from the vast choices! Here’s how we do it:
Start with “Student” grade
- This is below “Professional” grade but is a giant step up from the least expensive kid-craft type of art supply.
- I want to make sure my art supplies aren’t so cheap that they’re holding me back. However, I also don’t need to spend tons of money on high end supplies that won’t make any difference at my skill level.
- Almost all my recommendations will be within the “Student” levels.
- Once your art is at a “Professional” level, you’ll probably have a lot of personal opinions about the art supplies that work best for your specific style.
As you delve into a specific medium (like watercolor), you’ll start to learn the vocabulary and HOW that particular supply jumps up in quality. For example, the lightfastness of a paint or thee intensity of color in a paint.
Look for Ways to Test Out Certain Tools.
- Some art stores allow you to test out certain supplies.
- Artist friends will usually enjoy ‘talking shop’ about their favorite supplies and are often very generous in sharing.
- When you take a class, often the instructor and your classmates will have some supplies that are different from yours and allow you to try them out.