My Top 5 All Time Favorite Art Supplies

I recently asked Mindy Lacefield what 5 art supplies she would bring if she were stuck on a deserted island when I interviewed her, so I decided to tackle the question myself!  I hope you enjoy finding out about my very favorite supplies.
I go through gallons of this stuff fairly fast, since I love gessoing just about anything and turning it into a canvas.  It is thick and perfect, and I am totally obsessed with it. 

What is gesso?  Gesso is an acrylic primer that is used to prep surfaces for painting.  It comes in white, black, or clear, and it creates a ground that has very fine grains in it, which means that when paint is applied, it is able to hold it better than just a plain wood or canvas surface.  Colors appear bright, paints are easier to control, and the paint do not soak into the wood or canvas when gesso is applied over them beforehand.

These are dark-tipped synthetic filament brushes that work great for both watercolors and acrylics, my two favorite mediums to paint with.  At under $3 a pop, they are certainly well worth it and are a great option for those of us who are trying to save some money. 

I used to swear by only using the cheapest brushes that money could buy – you know, the sets of 10 for $5 at the craft store.  Well, then I ended up with brush hairs all over all my paintings that I would have to pick out later, and that got old really fast.  I learned that if I invested a bit more money in my brushes, not only would they not shed into all my paintings, but they would also last longer.  Be sure to wash your brushes out with a good brush cleaner like "The Masters" Brush Cleaner and Preserver. I have been using that stuff since high school, and I still have a lot of the same brushes I had in high school because of it!

3. Cheap Acrylic Paint

I don’t have a favorite brand with this stuff.  I usually buy Apple Barrel, or FolkArt, or CraftSmart paints or whatever is on sale at the craft store.  I do have a large container of black paint and a large container of white paint, and for those I use Blickrylic Student Acrylics because they are cheap and come in large containers.  I don’t use any fancy mediums or anything else usually.  I just thin the paints down with water.  In fact, the painting below was painted entirely with cheap acrylics and water:

 Tessa McSorley
"She's Not There"
Acrylic on board
3' x 3'

4. Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolor Sketcher's Pocket Box Set:

I have had this set since college, and I use it all the time, but I there is still plenty of life left in this set!  I love taking this with me when I travel, and there is even a little brush that folds away that comes with this set.  The little pans of color are so cute…

5. Old T-Shirts:
Yep, old t-shirts.  I can’t paint without them.  I use them for blotting and for wiping off my brushes between colors.  I usually keep a spray bottle of water on hand, so if I am painting with acrylics and make a mistake, I can spray the mistake with water while it is still wet, and then I can wipe it off with my old t-shirt.  Sometimes I use paper towels for this too, but I prefer the t-shirt.  I also love how the tees look after I use them for this:

Thanks for reading about my favorite supplies!  What are some of your favorite art supplies?
Leave a comment below, and tell me!

Don't forget to have a creative day! :)


  1. my fave acrylic paint is americana. i own that winsor newton set. is dick blick the only place to get that brush cleaner? i've been hearing lots of good stuff lately about simmons brushes, so their must be something to that. oh, & i like your she's not there painting. :)

  2. Thanks for your kind words about my painting! :)

    I'm not sure if that brush cleaner is available at craft stores or not - possibly in the brush section at Michaels? I usually order mine online. Hope that helps!


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