Do You Need Expensive Art Supplies?

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There is this notion that you need the best tools to create art, and that all great artists use the highest quality and best name brands.

While certainly there is some truth to the latter part of that statement, it’s also simultaneously flirting around the edge of a lie.

A great artist can make amazing art with just about anything if they are creative enough.

Should you drop a small fortune right off the bat?

You can make something beautiful with “low end” products. There are many artists out there, especially today, who are using materials that are not expensive and challenge our idea of what you can create with. Have you seen the artworks that use dirt, balloons, or wine?

There also seems to be a resurgence in using natural and homemade materials. This is one of my favorite, and hopefully long lasting, trends.

One of the primary reasons artists use high quality supplies is so that their work is preserved and has the most longevity possible with that medium. However, there are out of the box solutions for preserving low quality materials that can be found with a little research.

While this seems like my kind of Heaven, do you really need all this when you are getting started?

A few nights ago, I got the overwhelming desire to paint something, but it wasn’t strong enough to make me commit to going in my office, getting everything ready, and trying to keep my toddler from destroying the place. So, I grabbed a scrap piece of cheap watercolor paper, a fountain pen, a travel watercolor brush, and painted at my kitchen counter.

 

This was so fun and relaxing. All I did was draw with my fountain pen and then use the travel brush to swipe over it. I added my finishing details at the very end and didn't blend them.

Honestly, sometimes I enjoy painting more when it’s simple like that. You aren’t overwhelmed by choices and you don’t feel this pressure to make a masterpiece. You get to just play and have fun. Plus, the materials aren’t expensive so you don’t feel so guilty if you decide it’s not a keeper.

 

Here are some of products that I either use, or are the closest to what I use. 

Disclosure Statement: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Certain products or services, and links to the products or services are affiliate links. I may earn a commission for any purchases that you make. This will not incur additional cost to you, but greatly helps to support my business.

You don’t always need expensive stuff. If you are just starting out, there’s no need to spend several hundred dollars. It becomes such a deterrent to actually getting started.

A good mix of supplies is the most reasonable approach. Get some medium quality stuff. I like Canson Watercolor Paper for practicing and experimenting (their Mixed Media Paper is also good). I also find that I use my medium quality paints more than my expensive ones. Probably, because I’m not so afraid to use them and feel the need to conserve the more expensive stuff.

 

 

You don’t always need expensive stuff. If you are just starting out, there’s no need to spend several hundred dollars. It becomes such a deterrent to actually getting started.

A good mix of supplies is the most reasonable approach. Get some medium quality stuff. I like Canson Watercolor Paper for practicing and experimenting (their Mixed Media Paper is also good). I also find that I use my medium quality paints more than my expensive ones. Probably, because I’m not so afraid to use them and feel the need to conserve the more expensive stuff.

 

 

I made this flower the other day, using the same process as the blue drop. I used a blue and a purple pen, and layered color in between washes with the travel brush.

As you progress in your craft, then you might want to start adding in the higher quality products. I have some really nice paints, pencils, and markers that cost a pretty penny, and I’m glad I got them, but, at times, they do collect a lot of dust.

If your budget is really tight, you can get good deals at box stores like Ross. Their stuff is most likely not going to be the best quality, but if you are a beginner it will help you get started. eBay and even online resale shops also have good deals.

If you have zero budget, then don’t worry so much about what you are using and just focus on practicing with whatever you have available. If it’s something you end up being passionate about, then eventually you will get what you need.

Years ago, I made my son a children’s book using card stock and cheap acrylic paint. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Don’t let anything stop you. Make something and do what you love!

Also, don’t forget to show me what you are creating! Follow me on Instagram and tag me at #artgamy.

I also set up a family page on Insta and Youtube if you want to get a glimpse of my slightly crazy, but pretty funny little family. Just click the family page from the menu to see our Youtube videos and search for Artgamy_family for our Insta page. 

Bonus pic…prepare yourself.

This is a page from the children’s book I created almost a decade ago. It’s okay to laugh. I can never make it through the book without cracking up at myself. It was one of the first things that I ever painted.

I decided for my first big project that I would create a book with like twenty illustrations, full of animals and people, none of which I knew how to draw. 

I don’t think even the best paint could have saved me, but I am so glad that I made it and even now, I am as proud of it as embarrassed. 

Hope y’all have an amazing week and have time to create!

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