Below are some of the tools that I, as an artist, love using in my studio. They have certainly made my life easier and I would recommend having them at your disposal when engaging in an artistic pursuit.
1. PALETTE KNIVES (Plastic and Silver)
I really like using these palette knives to extract paints from big acrylic paint containers. They allow me to extract the exact amount I need, without wasting any paint. These knives help me apply clean patches of color onto my canvases and their blades permit me to swipe thick layers of color in a motion that resembles that of a baker that smoothes frosting over a cake, which is very satisfying to do as an artist.
2. MINI PLASTIC STORAGE CONTAINERS
These plastic containers that I got from Amazon are simply amazing for storing unused acrylic paint. The colors I store in these containers do not dry for multiple days so I can reuse them for my next painting. I would highly recommend to have this around your studio, as it saves a lot of unused paint, thus ensuring that no paint you use goes to waste, especially if you are on a budget.
3. SEA SPONGES (Multiple Shapes & Sizes)
These sea sponges I got from Amazon are usually used to remove any excess paint and moisture from my paintings. They are also utilized for providing different texture effects to my paint, such as producing color variations, highlighting a certain color and blurring colored outlines. To get an idea of how I use my sea sponges, take a look at how I used them while painting "Aqua" here.
4. PAINT SAVER KEYS
These paint saver keys from Blick Art Materials are amazing, since they allow me to squeeze every bit of paint from my paint tubes. I just slip one of these plastic keys onto the end of my tube and turn the key to tightly roll up the end in order to push the remainder of my paint out.
5. ARTIST TAPE
Artist Tape is used to mask certain areas of the painting that you do not want to paint over. It can stay on a dry surface for days, until you are ready to remove it. For instance, I used artist's tape to cover the horizon in order not to paint over it while I was creating the colors of the ocean in the "Land of Fire" painting below. I get my artist tape from Blick Art Materials.
6. TRACING PAD & GRAPHITE PAPER
This tracing pad is great when you have already a sketch in your artist book that you want to transfer onto the canvas. The graphite paper is placed on the canvas first and then the tracing paper is placed upon the graphite paper. Then, all you have to do is trace your image with a sharp pencil so that it can be transferred onto the canvas. This is a very useful video from one of my favorite online art teachers that explains how you can trace anything onto a canvas.
7. ART MANNEQUIN
This art mannequin from Blick Art Materials is very indispensable when it comes to drawing figures and poses, especially when you do not have a live model at your disposal that can give you an idea of how a stance looks like when it comes to the human form. I use this mannequin to draw human poses and forms in my artworks, like "Liri," for instance.
8. COLOR WHEEL
A color wheel is very important for any artist, since it displays the relationships between colors. Some colors are analogous (next to each other on the wheel) and some are complementary (across from each other on the wheel). This is an indispensable tool for beginner and seasoned artists alike. You can find many color wheels like this on Amazon.
9. CHALK (Various Colors)
You need chalks to draw on the canvas and block areas where you want to paint something specific. You do not need any specific kind of artistic chalk - kids' chalks work just as fine.
10. RUBBER BRUSH
This rubber brush allows me to apply and manipulate large amounts of acrylic paint and create unique textures and shapes. I have used it extensively for creating the unique shapes in my "Chaotic Order" artwork.
11. HAIR DRYER, TOOTHBRUSH & WATER SPRAY
Last but not least, these three household items are a must-have in the artist's studio. The hair dryer expedites the time a paint dries, especially when you are operating in a tight timeframe when producing an artwork. The toothbrush is a great tool to sprinkle paint onto a canvas (this is how you can achieve the effect of stars in a sky for example). You can keep your canvas moist with water spray in order to keep the acrylic colors from drying too fast, especially when you work with acrylics. Bonus tip: spray the back of the canvas too in order to keep it moist longer.
To learn more about my artistic process and watch videos of creating my mixed media artworks, follow me on Instagram.