This was a question I have been asked a few times, especially when a learner wants to be able to paint something specific like hair for example. Learners can get very hung up about techniques and how to learn them. Techniques need to be thought of as ways to apply or remove paint to create a visual effect, that is all they really are. Some techniques are extremely simple although at first glance you may not be able to tell how the painter achieved the effect. Some techniques are more complex and require more of a knowledge of materials.
So Christmas is coming up and it is a time when you can gain some extra art materials. Perhaps friends and family are asking what art materials you would like? What will you say when there are so many things you could ask for? It is hard not to ask for something that is a bit more of a ‘luxury’ item but my advice would be to make sure you have the essentials first.
Everyone will have their own ideas about what they need materials-wise, but below I have made some suggestions of the materials that I have found most useful:
1. A Good Quality Sketchpad
If you haven’t already ask for a good quality sketchpad with thicker, grainer cartridge paper. They are much nicer to draw on and they are made better which means they won’t fall apart when you transport them. It will also cope will with small studies in other media other than pencil. A4 or A3 are the best sizes to go for. Hard-backed ones will last longer and protect your work.