Tuesday, January 27, 2015

What Printer I Use and Favorite Art Supplies and Classes Part 2

Hey everybody! It sure was fun chatting with you in my last "favorites" post. I just love reading what other people are using in their artful world and also love answering questions about what I'm using as well!  When I first started on my art journey I asked so many questions.  What I found was a few very generous (and very successful I might add) artists wrote back.  I always felt so appreciated and thankful they'd take the time to do that AND to share information!  One in particular that sticks out in my mind is Christy Tomlinson.  She answered several questions for me, without ever meeting me or anything!  I've also come to really admire the artists online who will share what paints and products they use. What confidence that shows!  It seems there can sometimes be an opposite fear in the art world to not share anything…for fear someone else may actually learn something from us and copy us.  I don't like copying but don't like hoarding either.  So, I'm glad to share what I know! 

First, let's start with the printer.  Someone asked last week what kind of printer I use for my art prints I sell in the shop.  More in a minute about how I came to decide…but basically through tons of research and talking with lots of people in this field, I went with the Epson R2000.  I looked this up on Amazon last week and it was already a great price, with $200 rebate too!  I don't know if it's still on sale, but it is worth a look if you're in the market for an extremely nice printer.  You can also order the ink on Amazon as well and it is extremely affordable.  I haven't ever had to replace the ink in mine, just the gloss optimizer. 
This is the paper I use, so when combined with the archival ink I am producing an archival art print, meaning the ink won't fade.  I debated forever about printing my own art at home or having it done at a business.  The list is quite long of the reasons why printing at home is better for me.  Yes, it was a big cost upfront, but I can print-on-demand and satisfy a customer's request immediately.  I don't have to worry about another company damaging my art print on its way to me and there's no wait time for that. I make a sell, I print the art, and I take it to the post office.  
 I also wanted to share Part 2 of my favorite art supplies today!  Most of these I received for Christmas so if it seems like this post is adding up to be a bit more costly than the last one-you're right!  You have to remember with any art supplies-first, just buy a small amount of something before you invest.  Next, adding supplies to your collection takes time!  Generally speaking, most art supplies are moderately priced on their own but once you start getting a pretty good pile the cost can add up quickly.   Start slow, use as many everyday items as you can, and as you add to your collection use coupons, sales, discounts, etc. 
 Now, with that said let the fun part start! I received this travel watercolor set for Christmas and really like it!  If you're thinking "wait, you don't travel anywhere!" then hear me out.  Yes, most of my trips are generally to the grocery store, BUT I really like this set even just for carrying from one room of the house to another.  I use it on watercolor paper bought at Target or Hobby Lobby.

 Probably my favorite part of this set is the water brush.  Despite what this looks like it's not a syringe or anything scary like that, lol.  You actually store your water in the tube on the left, and then attach it to the brush tip on the right.  As you work with your paints you simply squeeze the tube and water comes out for easy painting!  This tiny little brush could be taken anywhere, with any kind of watercolors or other paints that require water.  You can even purchase a pack of just the water brushes on Amazon. Simply type in "water brushes" in search to find what you're looking for! 
 Next up are these little beauties.  My great love and challenge.  These are no ordinary colored pencils.  Crayola doesn't have anything on Prismacolor!  The color is fantastic and they are perfect for shading.  I've used them a few times and really love them but working with them is still such a challenge for me.  I need to keep giving them a try until I feel a bit more confident. 
 Before purchasing these I saw them at Joann's and almost bought them!  I resisted though and came home to look them up on Amazon.  Now I'm not normally into bashing the big box stores.  I'll make one exception this time to tell you honestly these pencils were marked up almost $40 in the store compared to the cheaper price on Amazon!  How is that even possible?!  I don't know, but in this case I ordered the smart way-online! 
 Gelatos are one of my very first art supplies I purchased with a gift certificate before really knowing what all they could do.  They are sort of like a crayon or maybe even an oil pastel but much creamier.  They blend fabulously into backgrounds or even on faces for cheek or highlight details.

 Gouache is another kind of paint I've dabbled in and need to get back out!  This was an inexpensive set I purchased off Amazon as well (we have Prime, ok..lol).  Although these look sort of like acrylic paints they are actually much more saturated and a very thick paint.  If you don't use them pretty quickly on your palette they will dry out.  I like to use these with a tiny brush to create pictures with lots of detail.
 I keep saying everything is my favorite but that's because it's so true!  I like all of these things so much!  I first learned about these Inktense blocks from Christy Tomlinson.  At first glance they look ok, but not really like anything that special.  You can sketch with them or draw shapes and scribbles on the background of your canvas with them and they are just fine like that.  The real magic happens when you wet the Inktense color on the page or canvas!  WOW, does the color pop after that!  Getting the brush wet also softens your sketch a bit, adding some natural shading.  

I just love these blocks!  Like a lot.  

And last, we'll end here today!  These are Faber Castell Big Brush Pens.  I always think the name is actually a bit confusing because they are like a marker, not a pen.  Anyway, when I linked to these in the post I noticed the gift set of 15 markers was considerably higher-priced than it was around the holidays.  Boo.  I know that Hobby Lobby sells these individually so I suppose you could use a coupon at a time and slowly add to your collection.  These are another great tool for shading faces or adding depth to your canvas backgrounds!  

I want to end by sharing the art classes online I've taken!  
Reading about favorite art supplies is fun but if you really want to watch someone in action and learn what each supply does….along with a whole lot more knowledge, I recommend taking the class I've learned the most in, Christy Tomlinson's Behind the Art Course.  I like Christy's courses so very much because she is easy to listen to and understand, she responds on social media quickly, she's relatable, and her courses are affordable.  And organized!  Her online classes are very, very user-friendly and I like that.  A lot of art courses I've seen cost a couple hundred dollars to take, which just isn't in the budget for us..especially if I'm going to be purchasing new supplies as well.  Christy puts her courses on sale a couple of times a year and are already so affordable and so much knowledge to begin with! I highly, highly recommend any of her classes! 

To learn more about the business side of things, I've also taken Kelly Rae Robert's Flying Lessons, which is a creative business e-course.  She has this on sale once a year I believe (which is when I purchased it).  She covers anything and everything you would need to know about running a creative business. 

And of course, on my wish list are these or these!

YOUR TURN: What are your favorite supplies and/or art courses?
I'd love to hear! 


13 comments:

  1. Ooh lovely - now I have lots of ideas for H's next birthday! We have the inktense pencils rather than the blocks but they're just as much fun when the water hits them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, now you have me interested in the Inktense pencils!! So are they like a really vibrant, rich watercolor pencil? I may need to add these to my wish list too! Which is getting ever so long. :)

      Delete
  2. I love me some Alisa Burke classes and you've inspired me to share art supplies that I'm testing out. Its a fun post/info to do! I want to try out lots of these!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Emily! What Alisa Burke classes have you taken? I just love listening to her speak in her videos. Christy Tomlinson and Junelle Jacobsen too! They're all just like listening to a jolly friend :)

      Delete
  3. Sara! I took Alisa's Sketchbook Delight class, Art of Abstraction and getting ready to take her Creative Business class in a few weeks! I love Christy Tomlinson too and Jane Davenport. Will take some of their classes some day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would LOVE to take Alisa's Sketchbook delight class! I'm curious about her Creative Business class too. I loved her videos on the art of chasing a dream…I was so inspired by the fact she worked really hard for really long to become a full-time artist! In our social media superstar world it often seems like things happen so instantly for some. She reminded me slow and steady wins the race. :)

      Delete
  4. Awesome. I want to try those intense blocks. I love gouache. The great thing about them drying on the palette is unlike acrylic you can revive them. Just add water with your brush and good to go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the tip about the gouache! Will this work hours later? (like if I paint in the afternoon and then again in the evening? )

      Delete
  5. Sara - I was just trying to get the courage to ask a few artists what they use to scan and print their work. Does this printer scan items? I see that it will work on items up to 13" and will print on different types of paper. Can you scan work that has been done on canvas? How large can a piece be? I have several mixed media pieces and some watercolors that I would like to scan and print for sale. Any assistance you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Amy! First, no need to hesitate to ask a question around here! I have nothing to hide. :) I read up on scanning versus photographing your work a TON, like literally everything you could read on it before making my decision. I shoot with a Nikon D7000 in manual, raw mode. So with that said, I photograph my art and then make my art prints. The quality is awesome (is that bad to say? I just mean I've always had excellent feedback on my art prints…the quality is very good). However, I know many people prefer scanning (like Kelly Rae Robert's scans…) In my opinion, it is such a personal preference. It was a decision I almost worried myself sick over and finally knew I just needed to make a decision. I've been more than happy with photographing my work, but if that's something you're not comfortable with I recommend scanning or even having a company scan for yoU!

      I hope this helps! Ask any other questions, I don't mind! Or you can email me! :)
      (sunshinebysara@hotmail.com) Asking questions is literally how I sorted all this out…and I'm still asking!

      Delete
    2. Thank you Sara!!! I will email you!

      Delete
  6. Sara,
    I really enjoy the art you create, it's beautiful!
    Neo Color II are one of my favorite art supplies, if you haven't tried them they're definitely worth a try, and gouache is fun to use, if it dries out just add water, they seem to last forever.
    Tammy Garcia over at DaisyYellow has some fun and inexpensive workshops and lots of free tutorials, Linda Germain is another good one she does monotypes on paper and fabric, the classes are really good.
    I've enjoyed reading about what supplies you like to use

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank-you so much for your kind words Stephanie! You know I've had the Neocolor's on my wish list for quite some time but haven't ever bought them. Something for me to think about again for sure. :) Thanks also for mentioning the workshops online you like! I will definitely check them out!

      Delete

Let's chat. :) Penny for your thoughts!

Blogging tips