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Essential Art Supplies Every Artist Should Have

Before you get started on your next masterpiece or set out to become the next modern great, take some time to make sure that you have all of the essential supplies for your workspace. With the right brushes, oils and sketchpads, you will be in a very good position to carry out your full artistic vision.

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Before you set up your workspace or studio worthy of Picasso, make sure you have these essential art supplies…

1 - Sketch pads or drawing paper

It almost goes without saying that you will need sketch pads and drawing paper so that you can create some rough sketches before you get started. Most sketchpads have about 70 sheets in them, and that should be a good number to get you started. Before you begin painting, try sketching out in rough form specific details or shapes.

2 - Paints

As a beginner or medium-experienced artist, you don’t need a lot of expensive paints or an extensive palette. In fact, most beginners prefer to start with a basic palette (blue, red, yellow, brown) and perhaps a few hues of these colors (such as cadmium red). The big choice here is the type of paint: acrylic, oil or watercolor. For example, watercolors come in both tubes and dry cakes, and it’s up to you to decide which one works best for you.

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3 - Brushes

Again, the choice of paint medium will play a huge role here. If you choose acrylic paint, for example, your basic choices are liner brushes (for very fine details), Filbert brushes (for smoothing effects), and flat wash brushes (for painting backgrounds). And if you are painting with watercolors, your choices are liner brushes, round brushes and medium flat brushes.

4 - Painting surface

Now that you’ve chosen your paints and brushes, it’s time to consider the various painting surfaces available to you. With watercolor paint, for example, the typical option is a pre-stretched pad that makes it easier for the paper to absorb the watercolor paint. And, for acrylics, you will have a choice of paper or canvas.

5 - Accessories

These are the basics, but there is always room to add in some accessories. These include graphite pencils (for drawing subjects before painting), pens, palettes (for holding your paints), erasers (both kneaded and white), and perhaps an easel to hold your canvas or paper at the proper angle. When it comes to pencils, you will want to have at least three pencils in your collection: one will be for sketching and shading, one will be for light shading and one will be for dark shading.

Just remember: it’s better to opt for a smaller supply of high-quality items for your artistic workspace, rather than a larger supply of low-quality items. It might be tempting to splurge on a huge collection of paints or brushes, for example, but if you are just starting out, you might only need a few brushes and colors to hone your style and technique. As you improve in style and technique, you can easily add more art supplies. By doing so, you will be able to create an art studio filled with everything you need to become successful.

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