What's Your Favorite Art Tool or Supply?
Anderson Artists Guild members responded to this question: What is your favorite art tool or supply?
Gillott 303 nib is good for creating pointed pen scripts in calligraphy because it makes good hairlines and swells.
I use a brayer for rolling ink onto surfaces. It gets the job done. . . smoothly.
Mary Anne Porter
I love my glass art table and I love my blueprint drawers to keep my paper and unframed work in. But one of my favorite tools is my Logan point driver. I do my framing myself and have had a hard time with little nails or staples, trying to keep everything in the frame. I do mostly watercolors, pastels and colored pencils so I frame pictures under glass. I have discovered this point driver and it saves me so much time and frustration. I don't know how I ever lived without it! The next best thing for framing is two-way sticky tape.
My first is adhesive sizing for gilding. I've tried many different sizings trying to save a few pennies, but this is worth the investment for the best results. Secondly, this impasto is wonderful for oil painting. It tends to adapt well for glazing and dries to a matte finish. It will take final varnishes well. I find Liquin dries too shiny for me and shines even more when a final varnish is applied. Lastly, don't throw out old brushes; they can be customized for extra duty such as creating textures or taking out hard brush lines.
I have a selection of 5 Chinese brushes for watercolor painting ranging from very small—just a few hairs—to very large for washes. They give one a large selection to experiment using them and very good control. The website to order is lianspainting.com. They are higher quality brushes than the ones you can buy at Michael's, Hobby Lobby, etc., and do not shed. He has excellent instruction books too. His name is Lian Quan Zhen.
My favorite tool is the Duckbill pliers. I use them in my jewelry (always wrapped end to protect from scratching). I use them because they hold large spirals in my jewelry to avoid warping of the swirls.
I use rice paper for watercolor paintings. The fibers from the rice plant are embedded in the paper and add an interesting texture to the painting. Rice paper is also more unpredictable than regular watercolor paper and helps me create really interesting paintings. There are several kinds of rice paper; each behaves differently.
I love my paint tube wringer. It gets every drop of paint out of my tubes with minimal effort, so I don’t feel like I wasted my money. It’s especially great for squeezing out every bit of my favorite colors!
I use squeezable micro scissors for cutting small pieces of fabric. They’re so much easier on the hands than a regular pair of scissors.
My favorite tool is my round, fluorescent magnifying lamp. I bought the lamp from a coworker; it was still in the box and never used when she sold it to me. I have poor overhead lighting, so even when I'm not using the magnifier, I keep the light on for all my art work and as it's clamped to the table, it takes up virtually no work space and I can swing it around to wherever I need light. I would be lost without this light source. The long swing arm is SO helpful in everything I do, and of course the magnifier when I need it is hands free when I get it balanced exactly where I want it for the tiny details. I also really enjoy all the glass brush holder containers I picked up at Dollar Tree or Dollar General. Since I have a ton of brushes, I like being able to see them all and easily find the one I want, but my favorite tool is the mag lamp.
My favorite implement for acrylic painting is a zip-lock bag. Using a plastic palette or plate, when I'm through painting after mixing colors, etc., I wad up a paper towel and soak it with water, place it on the plate, and slip it into the zip-lock bag. Sealed shut, paint stays wet, even for a couple of weeks! This is easiest with mixed colors, as it keeps me from re-mixing colors.