Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Summer Secrets: 6 New Art Tools for Under $20

In summer I like to make the “process” of painting as relaxed and enjoyable as possible while still being as productive. This means I'm always on the hunt for "new and improved" painting helpers and art supplies. I've come across some very affordable (most under 10 bucks) artist "accessories" recently and wanted to share them with you. Enjoy and happy summer painting!

A New Take on an Old Colorful Favorite
If you’re like me you have a few color wheels in your studio. Recently though I came across this interesting “color harmony” wheel (seen above). This version includes pigment names as well as a neutral gray (not white) background. You can order here on Etsy for about $15. (Watercolorists you may also find a detailed Quiller color wheel helpful.)

Centurion Linen Pad
Linen is my favorite oil painting surface so thanks to my artist friend Dan for showing me these handy professional linen canvas pads (avail. in oil primed or acrylic gesso). The very portable pads come in a variety of standard sizes. (Note you can always adhere the linen to a hard surface later.) Great for studio or outdoors! A 9x12 pad with 10 sheets is just $19.99 currently online at Jerrys.

New Gamblin Solvent Free Medium
Thanks to Gamblin, I paint almost 100% solvent free in oils. I’ve used their Solvent Free Gel (in place of a medium such as Liquin) for a while now and am very happy with it. I just tried their new solvent free medium (thinner than gel) and so far it's great too and helps make summer painting a breeze!
Portable Brush Cleaner
Need more a compact brush cleaner for plein air?  How cute is this compact super lightweight Guerilla Mighty Mite (which comes in in 2 sizes). Fill this Winsor Newton Solvent Free brush cleaner and I'm good to go for convenient toxic free brush cleaning indoors or out!

Zipper Mesh Brush Bags

You know how long painting brushes sometimes don’t fit in a conventional bag? These Creative Mark mesh bags help you organize your supplies on the go and they're stronger than your typical plastic grocery zip bag. Best of all my favorite the longer brush bag is under $2.00!

Art Tools on Tablets
I've used a couple of artist  apps for a while now on my iPad: ValueViewer and AccuView and find them extremely helpful. Recently I also added Jackson's Art Grid--another very useful app which allows you to easily crop and grid over a photo you take as you work or one you already have. 

P.S. For more info about my upcoming Denver painting classes and art workshops please visit my website.

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