Cedar Lee February 5th, 2013
In case you are curious, here are 4 art supply products I highly recommend:
1) I’ve been using Holbein Duo Aqua Water Soluble Oils for about 2 years now, and I absolutely love them. I love that because they don’t require harsh solvents, they are safer to use than traditional oils. They have a great variety of colors to choose from, the texture of the paint is smooth and lovely, and they are artist-grade (as opposed to the lesser student-grade) quality.
Although you technically can use water to thin this paint, I don’t. I use Holbein Duo Aqua’s Quick Drying Liquid Medium and Linseed Oil, and I’ve been happy with the results. I love that you can clean up easily with just soap and water.
**edit** I have since begun using Gamblin Oils and they are also wonderful!
2) Speaking of cleanup: “The Masters” Brush Cleaner and Preserver. This stuff is fantastic! Use it! It really extends the life of my brushes and keeps them soft.
3) Let me talk for a moment about Paper Palettes. I’ve been using Strathmore brand but the pad I have is almost used up so I’ve just ordered these gray-toned ones to try them out.
I am not usually a fan of disposable things, but in this case I make an exception. As a busy mom, time is a precious commodity for me. The time it takes me to scrape and clean a palette in between uses could be better spent painting. And as much as I try to conserve paint by only squeezing out what I need, sometimes I still end up with unused paint which has dried out on the palette and can’t be used. It happens. No big deal–peel off the page and start fresh–voila!
4) And speaking of squeezing out paint, I seriously don’t know how I lived so many years as a painter without one of these: Industrial Tube Wringer At first, you might think $25 is a lot for something that helps you squeeze paint out of a tube, something that you can just do with your hand. But I assure you it is worth every penny and then some. There are cheaper plastic versions out there, but if you go for the heavy duty metal one, which I recommend, you can use it for many many years.
With regular use, you’ll see how it saves so much time and hassle. My favorite part is that you know you’re getting every single last drop out of every tube–which you will especially appreciate for the more expensive pigments. And it leaves all your tubes with a pleasing striped pattern on their empty tails, which is oddly satisfying in an visual and tactile way. All artists surely can appreciate this.