The 8 Most Useful Products for Artists (That you probably won't have heard of)
We're all looking for products that will make our lives that bit easier. Being part of a studio or forum can give you great insights into the best hints and tips to make creating artwork a breeze. However not all of us have the time to trawl through these forums or are part of a group of artists who meet regularly.
This inspired us to introduce you to some things that will help you along and make the journey more enjoyable. It's worth mentioning that useful isn't necessarily essential. For the stuff you must have rather than would like to have please refer to our earlier blogpost HERE. See below for a selection of 8 products that we think are really useful.
1) Danube A2 Workstation
Not the sexiest product but it is a useful tool that means you have an adjustable portable working surface that is big enough for most people. Adjustable to five different angles, you can view your drawing/painting in the optimum position without the hassle or cost of a large easel.
2) Daler Rowney Mixed Media pad
For all artists, a good quality mixed media pad is a must, and the Daler Rowney pad is an excellent all rounder. Great for pencil, charcoal, inks, paint pens, markers, watercolour and a smattering of acrylic. The beauty of these pads is their versatility. Mixed media pads are similar to watercolour pads but have a smoother surface that is better for dry media. You can use pencil, a watercolour wash, overlayed with coloured pencil and inks if you feel so inclined!
3) Pilot Croquis pencil
Clutch pencils are awesome. period. They last for years, possibly even a lifetime and you can swap and change the leads quicker than you would be able to sharpen a pencil. The weight, size and feel doesn't change over time unlike regular pencils and you can apply more pressure to them without breaking.
I've spend a fortune on high end clutch pencils but have found the Pilot Croquis is my go to clutch pencil. It's weighty but affordable. I find it the most comfortable and the way the lead is dispensed with a twist is much more precise than some of my other clutch pencils.
4) Pebeo Drawing Gum Pen
The handiest bit of kit I've come across that can quickly and easily mask off certain areas of your drawing. Great for when you have small areas you want to keep white or thin white lines when using ink or watercolour especially.
It's visible on the page with a blue colour and doesn't clog up as long as you wash the nib after using it. Perfect for masking smaller areas due to its fine tip. When dry after drawing/painting it can be rubbed off without leaving a residue.
The best thing is that it can be used to mask off areas when using any media, wet or dry. This pen is far more convenient than using a bottle of masking fluid and a brush/colour shaper. I've ruined dozens of brushes using them for masking fluid. I love it.
5) Crafters Acrylic
Sacrilege!! You may be dubious using a craft acrylic, they tend to be lower quality and lack the punch and viscosity of artist acrylics. However, I have seen Deco Arts Crafters Acrylic being used by reputable artists who use them for larger scenic pieces where more of the background can be covered easily and inexpensively. Overlaying stronger pigments over the top makes the foreground pop too.
There is a massive range and they can be used for lots of other projects around the home.
6) Pebeo White/Black gesso spray
Possibly the quickest, easiest way to prime a surface. It's low odour and you can spray it onto most surfaces for a great surface ready to paint.
7) Daler Rowney Water washable brush cleaner
Anyone who has used solvents to clean their brushes, knows the fumes and the irritation to your skin is a reason to steer clear. It's harmful to you and the environment so it's worth looking for useful, more natural alternatives to clean your brushes, enter the Daler Rowney water washable brush cleaner.
Made from Vegetable oils, it is non flammable , biodegradable and safer for all. What's not to like.
8) Pentel Fude brush pen
My favourite piece of kit. If you haven't heard of these then you HAVE to get one. Basically a cartridge pen feeding ink to synthetic bristles that behaves like a paint brush but has the convenience of a regular ink pen. Put the cap on and you can carry it in your pencil case like any other pen.
You can do broad sweeps or really fine detail so it's great for line drawings, cartooning, line and wash, calligraphy and lots more!