6 Favorite Types of Art Supplies!

Melissa Amato

Just like any hobby or craft, we all have particular tools and materials that we would rather use over the other.  Painting is no exception.  Below are my favorites with reasons why I do or do not use them.  I bought and used all of these ingredients myself but I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to For a full disclosure, click here.  
I like quality over quantity of anything.  It doesn't matter if it is bottled water, I always have a favorite.  In this particular instance, it is about quality of acrylic paint.  I have found Winsor and Newton to be the best.  The others follow in the order in which they are displayed.  It comes down to me being lazy really and impatient.  I like a good quality product because it saves time and well, it just looks good!
Winsor and Newton for the win.  Winsor and Newton are the most pigmented and have the best consistency for an oil paint product.  Artist's loft will do in a pinch but its just not as pigmented or thick as Winsor and Newton.
So, I don't buy into the whole 7 years bad luck thing with broken mirror.  How it all came about?  I saw a sculpture in a movie that looked like shattered glass and then I obsessed about it.  I stayed up until the wee hours recreating it with a floor length mirror and broken mirror from an old thick bathroom mirror I found on side of the road.  Then I started incorporating it in my paintings and then I now create whole paintings around the mirror.  It is extremely dangerous as the edges are seriously sharp so you need to use heavy duty gloves and wear closed footwear.  I use strong adhesive too for whatever surface I am using it on just to ensure it will be adhering correctly.  **Also, these are glass tiles that look like mirror that when separated are perfect rectangles.  So, I saved them from a home project and will be infusing them in my future paintings where appropriate.  
So, I admire this local artist George Dunbar.  His paintings can be seen all over the world but especially at his son's restaurant, Palmetto's on the Bayou in Slidell, La.  I thoroughly appreciate his work because of its sculptural qualities.  I was speaking with a friend of mine and he said that he knew George.  My friend, Hal, said that George at one time used dental cement in his creations.  I was so excited to learn this information.  I could never figure it out until then.  I worked briefly at Palmetto's and I would stare at the paintings and just wonder what he would use.  Now armed with that information, I could finally figure out something that I could use that could simulate dental cement.  So, I found air dry modeling clay.  And it works like a charm.  I've never dealt with dental cement but, this works great if I need a sculptural portion of my painting. BUT...i only use acrylic with my air dry clay.  Mixing oil paints with air dry clay may seem ok right now but in the long run I think oils would deteriorate the air dry clay. And so unless it is a serious sculptural aspect that I am trying to achieve, then I try to create it with oil paints.  There is also Structure Gel by Winsor & Newton but, I need more structure so I'll use if I just need a little structure or a little thickness but I use clay for serious structure.
So, you have to have somewhere to sit, right?  The run of the mill wooden easel is a great addition to every studio/extra bedroom/shed/patio whatever/wherever you can create but, I have found a different kind of desk that works great.  I have two wooden easels but they are a bit cumbersome.  Although they fold up perfectly for easy storage, I prefer something a bit more unorthodox.  This desk is a rolling laptop desk and what I like most is the tilting surface and the height adjustment and the rolling wheels.  And the best chair is a comfy computer chair.  Buy these and expect to get paint on them.  It just comes with the territory.  
This one is what I would recommend for a desk and it includes a place to put your cup if you are painting watercolor or just to hold brushes.  Super convenient and won't kill your back.
Well, I have a particular kind of brush that I absolutely adore and that is a synthetic soft bristle square head brush.  I am always on the look out when I go into Ross because surprisingly they have a small art supplies section and I sometimes find stuff there. But there are a lot of things to consider when you are looking at brushes.  Not only does the type of paint determine the look but, a brush is a tool that will determine the finish.  So a smooth brush will make a smooth finish but a rough, raw like brush will make a rough looking finish.  These would be a great starter kit for someone or just for yourself.  It's just a quality product for a really good deal. 
There is even brush holders now that I found are great but while not necessary are very efficient. 
Keep checking back on Mondays for Masterpiece Mondays as I divulge more of my secrets I have learned over my years of experience!  
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