6 Useful Items for Your Christmas List

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

A4 or A3 Sketchpad
A4 or A3 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.

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Which Paint Type is Best for Beginners?

When we start painting many are confused by the paint media, there is acrylic, gouache, oil, watercolour so what are the differences?  Which one are best for the beginner?  I will explain the characteristics of each type of paint media.

Acrylics

Acrylic paint is fast-drying paint, water-soluble and becomes water-resistant when dry.  The paints are made from a by-product of the plastic industry so they are fairly new as an art medium (1960’s) and have become much more popular in the last few decades.

Acrylics are versatile and easy to use for beginners
Acrylics are versatile and easy to use for beginners

They are easy to use for beginners, they can be used in a diluted way in washes a bit like watercolour or thicker to achieve an opaque finish.  You can layer the paint as it layers with ease because the paint dries quickly so you can go over areas again and again.  The fast-drying qualities of the paint does make blending challenging as you will get lines where the  paint dries.

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