My Current Favorite Supplies
I constantly get asked what supplies I use the most, so here is a comprehensive guide of my current favorites!
Do you need all these supplies?? No! Use what you have!
There’s no need to have every supply under the sun. But if you want to check any of these out or dive into a new medium they have my stamp of approval! 🙂
Also keep in mind that even though I tried many different supplies I have not tried them all, so if you have something you already like to use, just stick to it!
P.S. Most of the links on this page are affiliate links and I do get a tiny commission if you make a purchase using them. But I would normally buy from Blick or Amazon. Keep in mind I am based in the US. You might have better prices in your local art supply store if you are not, so be sure to look around! 🙂
This gouache is fantastic for the convenience factor! You don’t have to squeeze out the colors from your tubes every single time you decide to paint. It’s all there for you, always ready. You should spray it with water whenever you see it starting to dry up to keep it moist and if it does dry out completely just add a bit of water to every color, let it sit, and then use a toothpick to mix it around and reconstitute it! Works like a charm!
This is a high-quality tube gouache, but there are tons of brands that are as equally wonderful. The reason I’m featuring this one: Holbein sells a true primary colors kit using magenta, cyan, and yellow! You can mix any color you want just using these three so it’s a cost-effective way of getting every color you like.
Jane Davenport Brights Set
This cute little teal palette has super bright colors. I also added any colors I felt were missing by buying empty watercolor pans and filling them with my other watercolor tube paints. (Be sure to use the magnet strips to make them stick.) I think this little pan is amazing for the value and the brightness of colors.
I found the best price on Blick. But if you can’t get this in your country two similar sets are the Prima Watercolor Confections The Classics or Tropicals, depending on what colors you like more. The palettes are the same size so you can add in your own empty pans filled with tube paints as well.
Mijello Mission Gold
This is the set I recommend if you want more colors, bright colors, and professional-grade paint. I do think it’s more affordable than other professional sets from what I’ve seen, but that depends on the country you’re in and it’s always cheaper to buy a whole set with this one.
Link: Amazon (This one also comes with a palette.)
Some other great professional brands I’ve tried:
Holbein, Lukas, M. Graham, Daniel Smith, & Winsor & Newton
Trekell Round Brushes
I’ve been loving Trekell brushes for watercolor & gouache. They have the Protégé series which is great for watercolor & the Golden Taklon which is great for gouache. They are both synthetic.
P.S. You can use those super cheap orange bright-colored synthetic brushes you can find in any craft store for gouache. They’re great because they don’t hold too much water and keep their shape. Just be sure the hair doesn’t fall out by gently pulling on it.
Princeton Neptune Round Brushes
Another wonderful brush brand that I’ve been using for years and it’s as good as new. Also synthetic. Great for watercolor, not recommended for gouache because it’s too soft.
P.S. You don’t need a lot of brushes. If you’re going to just get three brushes get a round size 0, 6, & 10!
P.S.S. I generally keep my gouache and watercolor brushes separate because gouache tends to be harder on brushes and watercolor brushes are expensive. Especially if you are using acrylic gouache, be sure to use cheap brushes.
Canson XL 140lb Watercolor Paper
I have always loved Canson XL paper for its price and quality. It has a slight texture and is thick enough to not buckle too much even when using lots of water.
(It’s not the best for heavy layering or hyper-realism. If that’s your style, I recommend 100% cotton paper instead, like Arches.)
Mixed media Paper
Canson XL Mix Media Sketchbook
You get 60 pages for a very low price! Love this sketchbook for just playing with all my supplies. Of course, the paper will warp if you use watercolor with a lot of water on it, but I think it’s ok since it’s just a sketchbook. I use gouache, watercolor, ink, acrylic, you name it and it holds up fine! Smooth pages.
Again, Amazon doesn’t have good prices for this at the moment, but Blick has the right price. Look in your local art store if you’re outside the US.
Ohuhu Alcohol Markers
If you want to use alcohol markers but don’t want to pay millions of dollars, Ohuhu is the brand for you! I’ve tried a couple of cheaper and more expensive markers and was really impressed with them. They blend really well and the colors are super bright! They’re also great for doing outlines and then being painted in with watercolor if you like mixed media. I personally prefer the brush tip instead of the fine tip. I really like their pastel set the most because they’re my style of colors. You don’t need to get a lot of colors if you’re not using markers exclusively but are instead mixing mediums like I usually do.
Prismacolor Colored Pencils
If you like colored pencils these are the best I’ve tried, hands down! If you’re not sure you can always get a small set and then expand later if you like it. They come in tooonsss of colors. They are great for smooth blending and for fun textures to add to your mixed media pieces. I love using them for textured & colored outlines!
You can pick out specific colors at Blick.
Uni Posca Paint Markers
Recently started using these and looveee them!!! They are so fun to paint with on top of watercolor or gouache. Super opaque and uniform color. They also come in many tip thicknesses, though I only have two types. Lots of colors to choose from! You can get a few and build up your collection if you like them.
As of this moment, prices look better on Amazon than anywhere else I’ve looked!
Ink bristle Brush Pen
Pentel Pocket Brush Pen
Wonderful for working with ink at any time without any mess! Waterproof & comes with cartridges. Lasts longer than you would think and when it’s almost empty it’s great for texture. Harder to control than felt tip brush pens but super rewarding! Love to use this underneath watercolor layers.
Ink felt tip Brush Pen
Prismacolor Col-Erase & Pilot Color Eno
Both of these are wonderful sketching pencils. If you prefer a pencil you can sharpen, go with the Prismacolor, if you like mechanical pencils go with the Pilot. The Prismacolor also comes in more colors, so you can get the whole rainbow to make your sketch lines match your art. I almost always sketch with colored leads because I think they’re lighter and blend into your art if you can’t erase them completely.
Pilot Color Eno: 8 Colors Pack on Amazon
Uni-Ball Signo Broad Point White Gel Pen
I always have this on hand to add highlights to finish off my pieces! If yours stops working and it still has ink, just tap it on a scrap piece of paper and try writing with it until it starts working again. Wonderful because you can add super tiny details and it’s very opaque pure white.
P.S. It’s cheaper to buy a couple in bulk on Amazon than anywhere else I’ve seen. You’ll go through them quickly!