My Favorite Supplies-October 2018

My Current Favorite Supplies

MEA’s October 2018 Look in the Artsy Tool Box

Hey! It’s time to share some of the supplies I’ve been working with lately. As always, the links in my blogs are affiliate links from Dick Blick and Amazon and I will earn a commission if you make purchases within 24 hours (yay!), but this in no way changes the opinions I give about the products I use. I share what I love. Simple as that.

Brea Reese Watercolor Inks

I’ve been testing a lot of supplies from Brea Reese and these inks are outstanding. I’ve used other brands like Higgins drawing inks, but Brea Reese Watercolor Inks win. They are also lower in price which always makes this frugal artist happy.

My favorite colors:

But, considering the awesome price you may as well get them all!

I can’t say it enough. I love these inks. The vibrancy, saturation, and coverage is wonderful. Not to mention they look awesome when you dip your paint brush in water.

 

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Opaque White Drawing Ink and Pen

You know my style by now. I LOVE drawing white lines. I like ’em swirly. I like ’em straight. Most importantly, I like ’em crisp and opaque.

I’ve tried many supplies to get the look I crave. I’ve used gel pens, white drawing inks, colored pencils, paint markers, and a teeny tiny brush with acrylic paint. Almost two years ago I discovered fine line applicators for my acrylic paintings, but it was only a couple of weeks ago that I found the perfect drawing ink for my drawings and watercolor paintings.

I use this glorious ink with a simple sketching pen and I don’t think I’m ever going to need another white ink again.

Try it. Love it.

 

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Watercolor Papers

If you’ve ever worked with the “wetter” kinds of media, you know the importance of a quality, heavy watercolor paper. Regular paper will warp and rip. Mixed media paper can’t handle much moisture beyond markers, and cheaper watercolor paper will still warp when soaked. The only downside to good paper is that it’s also a bit painful on the bank account.

I always start with budget materials when practicing and slowly work my way up to the good stuff. Here are the papers I currently use:

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And that’s all I’ve got for now! Thanks for taking a look inside my tool box! Let me know if you have any questions about the materials I use. I’m always happy to share my tips and techniques to help you find your creative path.

Now go get messy!

-Kelly

P.S. If you enjoy my blogs and gain any inspiration from the content I put out there, please consider becoming a Patron of Messy Ever After on Patreon. Pledging just $1 a month enables me to keep doing what I do. Plus, you get extra little perks like phone wallpapers and the ability to pick my brain whenever you want through the artist Q&A perk.

Further Reading:

My Current Favorite Art Supplies- August 2018

Fine Line Bottles for Acrylic Paint Detailing

My Current Favorite Art Supplies- August 2018

My Current Favorite Supplies

MEA’s August 2018 Look in the Artsy Tool Box

I get bored easily, so I’m always looking for different ways to keep myself entertained in the studio. A lot of you know of my work because of my phase with fluid painting, but you’ll notice while looking at my recent work that I never bust out the air compressor anymore.

Instead, I’ve picked up another new tool:

This tool led me down a whole new artsy path. I’ve been doing a terrible job at recording my new process as it’s a lot of short bursts of applying a quick layer and then waiting for it to dry. At the very least, I can tell you about the supplies I use.

Links for My Current Favorite Supplies

Most of these are affiliate links through Dick Blick and Amazon. If you make a purchase within 24 hours of clicking I earn a commission.

Paints

Heavy Body Paints: I like using Liquitex Heavy Body and Brea Reese Acrylic Paint most often. Brea Reese has a great selection of affordable and highly pigmented professional paints.

I also use Winsor & Newton Professional Acrylic paint. It’s seriously the most buttery smooth paint I have ever used.

Fluid Acrylics: I finally caved and started investing in Golden Fluid Acrylics. These paints are great for the wedge technique. I use Golden when applying finishing layers as the look is much more polished than the heavy body formulas. It’s just my preference, though.

Canvases

Blick Studio Traditional Profile Canvas: I have always loved Blick’s canvases. I usually order in bulk to get the discounts and always watch for back to school sales for the best deals.

Michaels Canvases: I used to use the bulk packs a lot a few months ago, but when switching from fluid painting to my new techniques, I didn’t like the beveled edge of the canvas. I still occasionally buy their Level 1 through 3 canvases, but ONLY if they are at a sale price of 60% or higher. Michaels fine art supplies are way overpriced without sales.

Varnish

Liquitex High Gloss Varnish is still my favorite! Read more about it here. Always apply it with a foam brush.

Tools:

Catalyst Wedge W-06 

I love this wedge! I use this to put down semi-transparent layers of color. I use heavy body, soft body, fluid acrylics, and my own fluid mixture depending on what effect I am going for.

You can use a spray bottle with water to help smooth out heavy body layers more easily. Always let each layer dry completely before applying the next.

Precision Fineline Applicator (Blick or Amazon)

I will never part with this applicator. It’s my favorite favorite thing. Read more about my fine liners here.

Big Cheap Brush

I don’t get fancy with my brushes. I usually end up forgetting them in a jar of water so I don’t splurge on the good stuff often. I needed a big 2 inch brush for blending base layers on large canvases and packs like this are my favorite. As long as you get a synthetic brush meant for acrylic, you’re good to go.

Or, you can get this Liquitex Paddle brush.

I also use these big brushes with a mix of my white fluid acrylic and heavy body paints to get really soft and smooth sections of blended color (see below).

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Thanks for taking a look inside my tool box! Let me know if you have any questions about the materials I use. And hopefully some day I will put up longer videos of this process.

Now go get messy!

-Kelly

P.S. If you enjoy my blogs and gain any inspiration from the content I put out there, please consider becoming a Patron of Messy Ever After on Patreon. Pledging just $1 a month enables me to keep doing what I do. Plus, you get extra little perks like phone wallpapers and the ability to pick my brain whenever you want through the artist Q&A perk.

Further Reading:

Liquitex Gloss Varnish Comparison

Fine Line Bottles for Acrylic Paint Detailing

Free Product Samples

Free Product Samples

Hey there!

Sometimes art supply companies are super awesome and provide free samples of their products for you to try out. I’ll update this list as I come across new opportunities. It’s a little sparse at the moment…

Winsor & Newton Professional 140lb. Cold Press Water Colour Paper

(Only available to Canada and US residents.)

If you would like to try Winsor & Newton’s Professional 140lb cold press water colour paper, just follow the link below and fill out the form!

http://www.winsornewton.com/na/paper-sample

 

 

Winsor & Newton Water Colour After Effects Gift Collection Review

Winsor & Newton Water Colour After Effects Gift Collection Review

Recently, I have been practicing watercolors quite a bit. Watercolors are almost magical in their possibilities. They are a challenge to master, but are so fun to play with! I was introduced to the Winsor & Newton Water Colour After Effects Gift Collection a couple of months ago, and it has opened up the creative possibilities even more! 

I am obsessed with creating intricate fine lines and the using shimmery metallic supplies in my art, and this collection is perfect! If you work with watercolors and want to give your pieces an extra bit of sparkle power, this is the collection for you. It would also be a perfect gift for the art lovers in your life!

What’s Included:

You can buy all of these items separately through the links above, or purchase the complete gift collection from Amazon!

*Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Amazon and Dick Blick, so if you make a qualified purchase within 24 hours of clicking the links in this post, I earn a commission. (Yay!) This is of course at no additional cost to you, and it in no way alters my opinions of the products I recommend.

Metallic Markers

The markers have tips on both ends to offer both medium and fine lines. They are super smooth and opaque when layered over dry watercolors and the pigment based ink ensures long lasting, lightfast creations. (As opposed to dye based inks that fade more easily when exposed to UV light.)

I loved the application of the markers, but I must admit that I wasn’t as excited about the metallic finish. It has much more of a subtle glow than a dramatic shimmer. If you are looking for something with more shine, you will love the next products.

Gold and Silver Drawing Inks


Formulated with soluble dyes in a superior shellac solution, these inks can be applied with a brush, calligraphy pen, or even an air brush. I use a brush and my Speedball Calligraphy pen to apply the ink and I was so pleased with the end results. 

Always make sure to stir the ink before using to get the best metallic finish. The application is smooth, and the ink dries quickly without losing any shimmer.

Iridescent Medium

This iridescent medium gives a perfectly pearlescent finish to watercolors.  On this piece, you can see the subtle shimmer of the medium along side the silver drawing ink.

You can mix the medium into your wet colors, or apply as a wash over the dry colors. You can also use it with the metallic markers to get the glittery finish I was originally hoping for! The iridescent medium, like the rest of the products in this collection has a really smooth finish.

Art Masking Fluid

Art masking fluid is a rubber latex liquid that is used to protect areas of your paper from color while you paint. I was least certain about how I would like this product, but I just loved the magic it worked by keeping areas of my paper completely free of color.

I applied the fluid with a brush, but I have also seen people use a Fineline Precision Applicator to get a more precise application. You can see from the video that it peels off easily and leaves no residue behind. If you were one of those kids that put Elmer’s glue on your hands in school just to peel it off, you’re going to love this product. (*cough* weirdo *cough*)

Overall

I love the Winsor & Newton Water Colour After Effects Gift Collection. I’ve always been the type of artist that likes to buy kits of supplies to test out before making a decision on the products I like, so this was perfect!

As the name states, this really is a great gift for artists! Which brings me to my next point!

Giveaway:

With the help of Winsor & Newton, until 4/17/2018, I am hosting an Instagram giveaway and you can enter for a chance to win this gift collection to try out for yourself! I want you to have as much fun as I’ve been having!

Update: The giveaway has ended, but make sure to follow @messyeverafter on Instagram to stay updated on future giveaways! 

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Thanks for checking out this review! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.

Stay messy, my friends!

-Kelly

P.S. If you enjoy my blogs and gain any inspiration from the content I put out there, please consider becoming a Patron of Messy Ever After on Patreon. Pledging just $1 a month enables me to keep doing what I do. Plus, you get extra little perks like phone wallpapers and the ability to pick my brain whenever you want through the artist Q&A perk.

Further Reading:

Fine Line Bottles for Acrylic Paint Detailing

Recording Art Videos with a Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920

 

Fine Line Bottles for Acrylic Paint Detailing

Fine Line Bottles for Acrylic Paint Detailing

If you have followed my work at all in the last few months, you already know I am obsessed with these products. If you are used to working with tiny brushes or paint markers on canvas to get crisp fine lines, but get tired of uneven applications and paint running out too quickly then this is the solution for you!

Update 4/8/18: I have now included product links from Amazon and Dick Blick. I am an affiliate with both companies and I will earn commission on items purchased within 24 hours of clicking the links.

I could create line work for hours! I actually do. My fingers sometimes go numb when I lose track of time. I use three different bottles, and they are by far the most commonly asked about product I use (next to my air compressor, and fluid paint recipe).

I have included links as well as my paint recipe for filling the bottles below.

Fine Line Bottle Options:

(NEW!) Precision Fineline Applicator (Slim 1 oz. bottle)

This option is my ultimate favorite fine lining bottle. The new slim design is easier to handle, and the plastic is softer and easier to squeeze. I prefer the 20 gauge bottles.

Dick Blick (Cheaper Option)

Amazon

 

Precision Fineline Applicators (1.25 oz bottle)

I use the 20 gauge bottles. The tip is a little bit smaller, so I am able to get thinner lines with the right control. I absolutely love these bottles and use them almost daily.

Dick Blick (Cheaper Option)

Amazon 

30ml Needle Tip Quilling Glue Bottles

These bottles have a wider opening, but can still perform really well for fine lining. I also use them when making my fluid flower paintings.

 

Paint Recipe:

When filling these bottles with acrylic paint, you are going to need to dilute your paints a little bit for optimal flow. I use a soft bodied paint like Liquitex Basics mixed with a small amount of water.

For my metallic silvers and golds, I currently use cheap craft paint. They are already quite thin so they don’t need any water mixed in.

I do not fill the bottles all the way, as a full bottle is often harder to squeeze. If paint doesn’t come out easily, add a little more water. If paint pours out of the bottle, you need more paint.

Care and Tips:

These bottles can clog! It is important to always cap your bottles right when you are finished using them. Especially with the Precision Applicators. Letting paint dry in the tip can ruin the bottle.

I keep a spool of 26 gauge wire in my studio to run through the tips if they do clog. For stubborn clogs, disassemble the tip and soak in hot soapy water. Try running the wire through the tip every couple of hours until the clog breaks loose.

Give your hands a break and be patient!

If you are like me and get distracted for hours with detail work, your hand is going to get crazy sore. Stretch them out a couple of times an hour.

Also, since the bottles are a little awkward, your lines won’t be precise and controlled right away. Give yourself time to practice!

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Thanks for reading! Check out my Product Details and Reviews for more info on what I use in my studio!

-Kelly

P.S. If you enjoy my blogs and gain any inspiration from the content I put out there, please consider becoming a Patron of Messy Ever After on Patreon. Pledging just $1 a month enables me to keep doing what I do. Plus, you get extra little perks like phone wallpapers and the ability to pick my brain whenever you want through the artist Q&A perk.

My Fluid Paint Recipe

Air Compressor for Manipulating Fluid Paint