Just the basics

Art SuppliesIt might have been easier simply to list my paint color palette when recently asked about it by an artist friend, but where’s the fun in that? I hadn’t sketched art supplies in years, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity. What I especially love about my basic art kit is that it I can get so much from it. Almost every painting and journal sketch I’ve ever made has sprung from these simple materials (add an F pencil and kneaded eraser for my detailed paintings). These supplies are as simple as they are portable– they fit in a 4×9-inch zippered pouch that tucks easily into a backpack or handbag. I’ve carried them into fields, forests, stream sides, rocky tide pools, and cities. How great is that?

A few notes:

  • I bought this Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolor set long ago and, over the years, swapped in artist grade paints and changed out colors to better suit my liking.
  • Ultramarine blue is a must have. It mixes beautifully with just about everything else to get an incredible range of colors.
  • I rarely use cadmium red; it’s likely the next color to get swapped out.
  • What’s that lovely background color? It’s my most recent addition to the palette: Quinacridone Gold from Daniel Smith.
  • Although I’m a minimalist compared to many, I love art supplies as much as the next artist. I’ve tried all kinds of pencils, colored pencils, watercolor pencils, pastels, acrylics, intense watercolors, and inks. I just keep coming back to basics.
  • What’s next? I’m pining for an old, black metal Prang watercolor box that can hold larger sized pans of color. I’ll paint it when I own one someday.