The BEST Art Supplies for Beginners!
Hey guys, it's Megan! I've been making art on my YouTube channel for about two years now, and in that time I've experimented with quite a few different mediums.
I always get questions about products I use in my videos, so I thought it would be fun to put together a list of my favorites!
Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning I may earn a small commission if you purchase something through my link. See my disclosure for more information.
1.) Arteza 5.5 x 8.5 Mixed Media Sketchbook
I’ve tried a bunch of different sketchbooks, but I really like cheap spiral bound ones like this. Since its spiral bound, it can easily lay flat. It's the perfect size, not too small, but not so big that the pages are intimidating. These are pretty inexpensive ($18 for 3, or $6 each) which helps with the fear of "ruining" a page. If you prefer to shop in-store, Canson's mixed media pads are about the same price.
I don't use anything fancy to sketch, just a regular #2 pencil. Some people prefer mechanical pencils or Prismacolor Col-erase pencils, it really just comes down to your personal preference.
My favorite erasers are the Pentel High Polymer erasers. You can usually find them at the dollar store. If you need to partially erase a sketch, kneaded erasers are the way to go.
I find myself reaching for this surprisingly often. It's a great tool for both art and craft projects! If I need to draw larger circles, I have a collection of old Peanut butter jar lids that come in handy.
5.) Micron pens
I use Micron pens to outline my sketches. I'd recommend investing in a set with a few different sizes, but I use the 03 size the most.
6.) Uniball Signo White Gel Pens
These are great for adding highlights to your drawings. There are quite a few white gel pens out there, but these are the best ones that I've tried.
7.) Ohuhu Alcohol Based Brush Markers
Ohuhu Markers are definitely the best, budget friendly alcohol markers on the market. They come in a wide variety of colors, and come in a set of 48, 72, and their new skin tone set. The colors tend to be a bit more vibrant though, so for lighter colors I've invested in the skin tone and cool grey sets from Windsor and Newton.
8.) Prismacolor Colored Pencils
When I do more realistic drawings, I like to use these to shade over a layer of marker. Prismacolors are ridiculously expensive at Michaels, but they put them on sale on Amazon all the time. I got a set of 72 for about $32.
9.) Crayola Twistable Colored Pencils
If Prismacolors aren't in your budget, I really like these as well. They are perfect for traveling, since you don't need a sharpener.
10.) Matte Mod Podge
When I use colored pencils, I like to seal them with Matte Mod Podge. I learned this trick from Moriah Elizabeth in her Create This Book series, and it is one of my favorite hacks to use.
11.) Golden Acrylic Paint Retarder
Despite its awkward name, Golden Acrylic Paint Retarder is a great product for acrylic painters. It slows down the drying time, which is nice for doing a Bob Ross style painting with acrylics. I’ve also used it to "rehydrate" paint that’s been sitting out.
12.) Posca Paint Pens
I use Posca Pens ALL the time. They are such a versatile tool, and they're definitely worth the investment. There are other paint pens out there, but the nice thing about Posca Pens is the variety of tip sizes. I have the extra fine, fine, and medium tip pens. If you don't want to invest in multiple sizes, I'd recommend the fine tips. Since these are a bit more expensive, I only use them to add small details.
13.) Acrylic Paint
I use a few different brands of acrylic paint. For backgrounds, I typically use the cheaper craft paint from Walmart or Michaels. For the foreground, I use Arteza acrylic paint. I really this set of 60 paints, it’s pretty inexpensive and comes with a wide variety of colors.
You could get some larger tubes of the primary colors, black, and white and mix the colors as you need them, but I’m honestly just lazy and hate mixing paint. When I run out of a color in the Arteza set, I’ll buy either a larger Arteza one or a tube of Liquitex Basics paint. I have gone through a few large tubes of white so far, and bought a larger version of the color mauve pale from Arteza.
14.) Liquitex Basics Acrylic Gesso
I like to use the front and back of each page in my sketchbook, and this gesso is nice for covering up the back of pages where alcohol markers have bled through. It's great for priming just about any surface!
While this probably isn't the first thing that pops into your head when you think "art supply", buying an extra hair dryer to keep in my craft room was one of the best decisions I've ever made. It was pretty cheap too, it was about $8 on amazon.
So, those are my favorite art supplies! Let me know if you have any favorites that I missed :)