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What is in my art toy box? (Part III)

Part III of a 3-part series exploring my favorite art supplies. In case you missed it, you can find Part I here and Part II here. The links here are for items I use and have actually purchased on Amazon, and as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to anyone using the link.

Mixed Media

Whether it is adding details to an acrylic painting, a watercolor note card or a mixed media canvas - you cannot go wrong with Posca paint pens. I have several in black and white with different nib sizes, but I also like the color sets. I would recommend the fine point (not extra fine) for the most usable option - I have several sets, other than black and white - Posca Paint Pen Set - Pastel, Posca Paint Pen Set - White-Gold-Silver, and Posca Paint Pen Set.

In addition to the Posca pens, I highly recommend a few water-soluble markers. These Caran d'Ache Water-soluble pastels are great for adding base layers and/or final layers (as long as you use the gel medium mentioned above). I always add at the end of any painting the lightest lights (think white) and the darkest darks (think black) - Posca pens are great for the whites, but I love the Stabilo Water-soluble Black Pencil for the blackest/darkest dark - I love that it is a pencil-like tool and that you can smudge it if your want.

Miscellaneous Studio Essentials

I have also been working in a bullet journal since May of 2016 - I have used several different journals, but my favorite is the Scribbles That Matter Bullet Journal. Some people prefer a graph paper option, which I think they also offer. I like this journal better than the others I have tried simply because the pages in this journal bleed less than any other journal I have tried. This purple one is the second I have purchased - it comes in at least 10 different colors. My first one was lime green.

I am not confident in my drawing skills; and I find that a lot of the students in my workshops stress over that part of getting started. So I have found that I feel a lot more comfortable transferring my initial image onto my substrate (canvas, watercolor paper, wood panel) after I have sketched and/or found a royalty-free image to use. I use either black Graphite Paper or white White Graphite Paper to "trace" the basic shapes onto my surface.

Whether I am writing in my bullet journal, doing a line and wash in watercolor or adding a few marks to an acrylic or mixed-media painting I turn to these Sakura Pigma Micron Fineliner Pens for adding water-resistant marks to the work.

I am joining an online calligraphy workshop that starts on July 31st - and just got these new Tombow Brush Pens that were recommended by the instructor. It is a FREE six-week course, with Becca (the @happyevercrafter), and you can sign up here (if it's not too late). I cannot wait to use them and hope they improve the aesthetics of my bullet journaling and my note card making.

I make lists like there is no tomorrow, and I love a great pencil - my husband, the architect and luthier actually stole my initial stash of these pencils for his sketching practice. You cannot beat a Blackwing Pearl Pencils. They have their own sharpener (purchased separately), Blackwing Pencil Sharpener, but I have found this equally good more economical version - Prismacolor Pencil Sharpener. I found the Prisma sharpener when I was gifted a great set of colored pencils that I love using in my doodles and in my bullet journal. They are also by Prisma and are a Colored Pencil Set of 24.

I use it when I am trying out new ideas for upcoming art workshops. Plus it serves as a portfolio of the types of workshops I teach. The pages are nice and thick, and it has a storage file inside the front cover for filing away reference photos or notes. I start by giving each page a thin coat of Liquitex Gesso before adding any layers of acrylic, collage, markers, etc. Liquitex also makes a clear gesso, but I prefer the white because I also use it to tint any colors I am using in a painting instead of white paint, which is more expensive.

Here's a quick walk-through of a few of the pages in my Creative Journal - it shows how versatile and sturdy the journal is as well as some of the creations you can make using the tools and toys I have shown you in this blog series.

I hope you have enjoyed this 3-part series on my favorite art supplies. You can also visit the Art Shop which has original artwork, note cards, journals and more... and if you are musically inclined, please check out Mr. Chestnut Grove Studios banjos, dulcimers and soon to be ukuleles gallery or shop.

P.S. I teach in person art workshops locally in Middle Tennessee - I am also available for private Paint Parties at your location. Email / text / call - / 615.772.7509 - I would love to hear from you!

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Aug 01, 2023

love your description of the Art Journal


LOVE the art journal. I foresee grandkids fighting over this one day in the distance future.

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Bill says the same about my bullet journals... I guess I'll just have to make sure there is one for each of them. 😁

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