My Creative Space and Favorite Supplies!

I get a lot of questions about what my work space looks like and how I paint--- so if you've asked that, this post is just for you.


My family and I moved from the country into the city almost 4 years ago. While living In the country I would paint in the kitchen and got paint literally everywhere. When my mom and dad found our current house there was a sunroom built off the back of the house. It was perfect for painting and mess making... My favorite! There something therapeutic about throwing paint if you ask me.  

The sun room worked for a couple of years until it just didn't work anymore. I visited the house of a very old local artist. His work space was amazing, it was a painters heaven.. Seriously. Thousands of brushes, giant easels (yes plural), books for reference, lamps, huge canvas, watercolor paper bigger than me, like I said Art Heaven. 

He passed away at the end of last year and I had the wonderful opportunity to buy his drafting table, chair, and lamp. I also took home hundreds of GOOD art supplies that day. I put the drafting table/easel in my room because I wanted to start working in there, I had the idea that I would just be lettering in my room but who am I kidding, I can't stay away from paint.

This 3'x3' is currently on my easel 

This 3'x3' is currently on my easel 

Now I only paint in my room and have had to learn to paint very carefully... No throwing paint! To my right is my vintage cart I bought at a thrift store for $8.00!!

It's not always clean but it's mine and I like it :)

It's not always clean but it's mine and I like it :)

It is full of my favorite paints, pens, and canvas. Now...I'm going to use the rest of this post to talk about my favorite supplies for painting  because it is long overdue.   I'll try to get in every brand I use and you can try out what you'd like and experiment. Some of my supplies are really expensive but worth the splurge and some are really cheap and better than the expensive ones. I say just try them and hoard them haha.



The top shelf of my cart is strictly acrylics. The box to the left are my cheapos and are used for making backgrounds on canvas, they are also the ones kinzee uses when we have our weekly art lesson. Some people might think I'm crazy for letting a 3 use acrylics but when I was little I hated the kids version of supplies. They don't work as well but are great if you don't want a lot of cleanup. The box on the right are a step up. In front of that are a few, yeas I have more, of my favorite brushes.

I like saving money and I like cheap art supplies --My cheapo go-to brands are Apple Barrel, Craftsmart, and Americana. They are very watery so they make a very even background. There's no texture coming out of that tube. (.68-$2.00)

A step up from that is the Liquitex Basics and the Masters Touch Student grade acrylics. They are great for creating texture and total coverage. One layer usually gets the look I want and don't have to double layer anything. ($5-$10) 

I also use Galleria acrylics but failed to get that in my picture. It's quite a small tube for about $8.00 but some colors are just more vibrant than other brands.  

Here are my favorite paints-- go tear up your craft store and experiment for yourself!!

Here are my favorite paints-- go tear up your craft store and experiment for yourself!!

My FAVORITE brand is.....drum roll please----Golden! Golden Fluid acrylics have a special place in my heart. They make the best paint in my opinion, it's so vibrant and workable. Golden also has soft body and full body if you want a different texture. Golden bottles of paint are much more expensive ($10-$30 per bottle) but this is where it comes in handy to use your cash system wallet and save some money up so you can splurge ((side note: my friend, Sarah Clark, makes the best Cash System Wallets out there )).



I doodle a lot and make marks on most of my art. Anything goes and if it writes on paint, use it! One of Americas favorite supplies I'm going to say DON'T use is a regular sharpie. When you write on a canvas with sharpie the quality is horrible and it will fade in about a month. After a year, it's gone. I learned from personal experience... learn from my mistakes people! 

Those top two in the picture are Faber-Castell BiG PITT pens and are THE best for drawing on things. It's a glorious brush pen and is my go-to for lettering over paint on paper and doodling on canvas. ($8-$10 per pen)

Sharpie paint pens work also-- I find though that sometimes you get a good batch and sometimes they really stink and I get frustrated with that fact. So, maybe luck comes into play when you purchase them... It's like marker roulette. ($3-$10)

Surprisingly, that "marks a lot" marker gets a lot of use at my table. It dries matte which I am a fan of. I don't even know where you find these but I'd imagine anywhere. I know it's cheap because I took this one from work and we only buy cheap stuff.

And, last but certainly not least, mmm-Montana Paint markers are ammmmazing. It's literally acrylic marker inside a tube. I'm amazed at how these people invent things. I never would have thought that was possible but it is AND they are wonderful! ($8-$10 per marker)


So, all that being said, I have a couple of questions for you.. 

What are YOUR favorite supplies and where is your creative space? I'm always on the lookout to try new things!!

Thanks for reading this way long post, I hope you have some new inspiration and excitement from it!

- Valerie

Posted on April 15, 2014 .