February 6, 2014

6 Tips for buying sketchbook accessories

Now that you have the tips for buying a sketchbook, I thought today I'd share a little about the accessories and art supplies you might need to fill the pages of the sketchbook. Every artist uses different tools, pencils, paints, etc., and honestly it's really up to your personal preference what you'll choose from the list provided. Here are just a few tips for finding the art supplies that are right for you.

Tip #1: If you're buying for the first time, go to an actual art supply store if possible and look at the supplies in person. Make sure you read all the labels and buy water soluble paints and watercolor brushes. Set your budget and buy in small quantities. It's easy to get carried away, but just remember that one tiny tube of watercolor or ink will last you a very long time. I'd start with just 3-5 of your favorite colors and buy individual tubes or small paint sets to get you started.

Tip #2: Choose according to your preferences. I can't say this enough! Buy a palette that feels right to you- not too big or small. Since I use mine every day, I need the larger size. Maybe you'd want to start small? Also, pick paint colors that inspire and excite you. Buy a variety of brands and choose the ones you like the best after some experimentation. I use about 3 brands and have 20-25 colors in my palette.

Tip #3: Buy 3-5 brushes of varying sizes. I use liners and round brushes primarily, but if you aren't sure what kind of brushes make certain marks, do some research online before heading into the store.

Tip #4: Use pencils WITHOUT erasers. Buy the erasers separate. Pink erasers found on the end of most #2 pencils will leave marks on your paper that cannot be removed.

Tip #5: A small hand-held METAL pencil sharpener is the one you want. Don't buy a cheap plastic sharpener if you can help it. Those sharpeners tend to crack the wood and break the graphite. Electric sharpeners tend to eat your pencil, but a small metal sharpener will give you the most control.

Tip #6: Keep scrap papers, magazine cutouts, and inspiring photo references in a clear folder. I think mine came from Target or Wal-Mart. The clear folders with a button allow you to see what's inside without the contents spilling. They are super cheap and keep my sketchbooks from becoming scrapbooks.


Have fun shopping!
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