Art Supplies 

Some All-Time Faves:

  1. Pentel Aquash watercolor brush pens. Probably my favorite, most trusty, most versatile, utterly beloved art supply. I use these pretty much every single day. Whether it's messng around with my watersoluble pen doodles as I write notes in a somewhat dull meeting, or actually creating art with inks and watercolors, they're so easy to deal with. The tips are *really* pointy and durable, you don't have to carry around a spillable glass of water, and they're just fun. If you're truly fancy, go enjoy your sable brushes, but I am not. These are so good. RUN TO THEM. 

  2. Pilot G2 pens. These are the best for taking notes and writing letters. So smooth, easily available, and water soluble, so fun to play with, but if you're going to outline a watercolor drawing, make sure not to rewet things unless you want some fun and unexpected effects.  

  3. Micron PN Fineliners. If you, like me, mourned the discontinued-ness of the Extra Fine Sharpies with the harder to break nibs, have no fear, solutions are here. 

  4. Pilot Parallel Calligraphy pens. These things are delightful. My friend Emily (fellow office supply geek and all around high quality human) let me try hers out and I kind of fell in love. They're super low-maintenance, can write thick, caligraphic lines, using both up and down strokes (which is unusual), you can blend colors by rubbing the tips together, and they work as normal .05mm pens just by flipping the blades onto their sides. I was worried about durability at first, but I've had mine for months now and they've held up super well! 

  5. Uni-Ball Signo White Gel Pens 

  6. Strathmore Watercolor Paper Cards - Just get a big box of them. They're cheaper that way, and super flippin' versatile. They're a convenient size for framing if people like your work (5x7), the paper is way better quality than most floppy craft store card-blanks, the envelopes have a fancy seeming texture to them, and they're pre-scored so you don't have to awkwardly trim your poorly folding cards (like *cough* me-from-the-past...). 

  7. Heat Tool. The link here I've included is for a nice version without the typical easy-to-burn-yourself-on metal tip. I use a Darice heat tool for heat embossing and for drying layers of watercolor when I'm feeling impatient. I got it as a part of a used kit of someone's old supplies from ebay 

  8. Paper towel full of cornstarch. Yeah. You read that right. If you get interested in heat embossing, you'll notice little rogue embossing powder flakes that stick to the background instead of to your design. Rubbing an "embossing buddy" over the paper before stamping or writing will help reduce the static on the paper so your designs require less clean up. You can buy an embossing buddy, or you can just stick a bit of cornstarch in a papertowel or old, tightly knit sock/fabricky something-or-other, staple or sew it closed, and use that. Here's a little tutorial. 

  9. Skillshare. If you're anything like me, you have watched lots of art tutorials on YouTube, and have found them helpful.  All I can say is that for me, Skillshare has been like YouTube on steroids--it’s genuinely been an amazing help and a great source of inspiration when I want to try a new medium or pick up a new hobby. I’ve learned about drawing and painting, but also about Print on Demand services, digitizing artwork, cooking, accounting, and stock photography.

    HERE is a link to sign up for a two month trial. Highly recommend signing up for the free classes, then the trial if you like them, and setting a reminder on your phone to cancel in case you aren't happy, haven't made time to learn, or can't afford to continue with the paid lessons at the moment. 

    Their customer service is quite good, and they also offer a scholarship program for students that you can look into if you decide to continue after the trial. And here's a page full of free lessons if you want to check them out before going any further! 
     

    1. Stephanie Corfee's Sketch & Watercolor Kids Characters Using Photo Inspiration is probably my favorite class on the whole platform. If you’ve ever been intimidated by drawing faces or people, this class absolutely fixed my whole “I can’t” complex by showing and simplifying the whole process. 

    2. Peggy Dean's Botanical Line Drawing class is stellar for anyone who, like me, has been doodling flowers everywhere since they could hold a pencil. Taught me some new flower shapes and designs that I'm still using and enjoying, and just in generally made me feel really happy. Also her Floral Illustration Composition class is really lovely as a follow-up or stand-alone class. 

    3. Mari Andrew is probably one of my favorite artists. Her illustrations and writings are so dang relatable, and her Drawing as Self Discovery class is both enjoyable and truly thought-provoking. Great for people who like to doodle and journal to process their thoughts and emotions. 

Exciting New Supplies I'm Testing!

  1. Scorch Markers. These are chemical wood burning pens. You draw your design, heat it up (with a flame, heat gun*, or even an oven) and watch the wood burn. It's a lot less intimidating, doesn't require a fancy and burny formal woodburning set up, and can be used on cardboard and paper to wonderful effect. 

    *Just FYI you need a pretty strong carpentry-style heat gun to use these on wood, but my embossing heat gun works just fine for use on cardboard and paper. 

Just so ya know: For some links, I get a small cut of the cost of your order (though your order remains the exact same price). It won't always be the least expensive purchase option--that shifts depending on who is offering sales. My affiliation is with Jackson's Art in the UK. Not only is their store aesthetically gorgeous, they have some of the best prices I've ever seen on artist quality watercolors. If you've been wanting to upgrade, sign up for their emails and wait for a sale. Also make sure to check out their sample section to try out some new papers or paints inexpensively! :D

 

If you're on a tight crafting budget, or just love saving money...

 

I highly recommend using Honey to check for price drops and Google shopping to do price comparisons. Also, Ebates is great to get a small percentage in cash back from many sites (was worried it was a scam, but it's actually a thing, and it's pretty neat). Finally, just google the shop name and "coupons" or "promo codes" and that sometimes has decent results. I lied, not finally, because my final suggestion is to check Ebay and maybe even Craigslist, especially for used items or kits of items others are offloading if you want to get started with a particular branch of crafting. I got my heat tool, embossing powders, and embossing pen/ink from an Ebay auction for 25 bucks or so when it's normally 50-ish bucks for a set of that size. I also have gotten all my favorite Pilot Parallel calligraphy pens from the site. 

Like what you see?

Get in touch!

Contact me here

The Awesome List

Some favorite tools, resources, and ideas

© 2019 by Alex Muck.

Here's the privacy policy.

Also, you're great. 

    Typos...    I'm an editing team of one, so they happen occasionally. 

    If you see something wrong, please say something here and I will send you my utmost gratitude, and maybe even a small surprise.