My Favorite Artist Things
I am an Amazon Influencer and eligible for commission.
LARGE FLAT BRUSHES
Broad brush strokes, fast coverage and expressive lines are all produced with these fun brushes. You can get them at art stores but you'll find less expensive versions on Amazon. These beauties can be quite expensive (upwards of $100) in stores but online you should be able to find them for a fraction of the cost. They are not as long lasting or soft, but for me, as an expressive painter, I don't need precision! Click the heart to see an example or to purchase 8" from Amazon.
FLORAL DESIGN BOOKS
I find my inspiration in many ways, but one of my favorites is Floral design and arrangement books. I look for photos of real flowers, bouquets, arrangements, gardens and sometimes fabric patterns and room design. I study the patterns, color and textures to learn from nature and other designers what makes a good design truly pop. These books can be found at home decorating stores, antique shows and at any bookstore. I highly recommend Rachel Ashwell's My Floral Affair. Click the heart for Amazon Link.
PERSONAL ART MAP
I love maps that show where people have been in the world. It always fascinates me because there's a story with every pin. One day it dawned on me that there is a story with every piece of art that I have shipped or dropped off to its new owner. A quick google search and Etsy gave me several stores that will make a custom map to showcase art. Several Etsy storefronts offer maps, the key is to find someone who will tweak it for an artist. Penny Bee Art did it for me. It's been fun to push the little gold pins somewhere new when I share my work with a new client! Click the heart to go to Penny Bee Art on Etsy.
LIQUITEX STRING GEL
Anyone that takes art workshops with me knows this is my "go to" product. It's not a varnish or a finishing product, it's actually a medium (meaning it is supposed to be mixed into the paint.) But I adore the way this gel finishes a painting with a bright glossy shine. It makes all the colors pop, and it protects the painting so well you need just a warm cloth with water to clean it. This is available on Amazon or at your local art store. It's not cheap (about $22-30 for a 16 oz. jar) but it's worth it to me. I just love this stuff! Click the heart to purchase from Amazon.
ACTECH SHIPPING SCALE
A-CK65GS 65LBx0.1OZ Digital
Lately I have learned that shipping from your home saves time and money. This scale is small and efficient, and priced lower than most. AND IT's ROSE GOLD! Join a website like Pirate Ship and start printing your own labels. Then, drop off at your nearest UPS, Fed Ex or USPS location. I also love my thermal printer, which is pictured here as well. I am telling you, nothing makes you feel any more professional than being in charge of your own shipping!
CADMIUM RED LIGHT
Okay okay. It's expensive but there is a reason. Cadmium colors are deeply pigmented and pop off your canvas. There are other reds.. but anytime you see the word "cadmium" you can guarantee it's incredibly vibrant and high quality. Also, it goes a long way. Cadmium red medium is also gorgeous... and when layered with this light color (which almost looks deep orange) it gives the most beautiful layers. It's how I make my roses so beautiful and expressive. Don't be fooled by cheap imitations like "Basics" or generic brands. You get what you pay for here
VINTAGE FLEA MARKET CONTAINERS
I keep my eyes open for unique containers that will hold my art supplies. Wooden canisters, metal bins, old display shelves and small buckets make great storage containers for brushes, palette knives, business cards, markers, small paint tubes, and all the little bobbles you collect for future projects. The more splatter and drips that collect on them, the better they look! Round Top Antique Show is particularly great for the finds! Click the heart to see where I go to find all my best old stuff!
It may be obvious to say painting with a lot of natural light is the best way to create beautiful work... but it's the truth. An open, airy space with big windows is essential for an artist. (Northern light is the best but not always possible.) Light stimulates creative flow, gives great perspective of the colors as they glide across the canvas and textures seem to be extra 3 dimensional! I also feel like the light gives me peace of mind and a feeling of serenity, even when I feel frustrated with my work. If I can't paint with good natural light, it feels restrictive. Click the heart to read more about Northern Light.
GAMVAR GLOSS VARNISH
I still love my String Gel for a super thick glaze, but a good artist friend of mine (shoutout to Molly Archer Studio) introduced me to this incredibly easy, no order, super thin gloss varnish (also in matte finish.) It's easy to apply and a little goes a long way. It makes your colors pop and protects from UV.
LIQUITEX FLOW AID ADDITIVE
I love a good drippy painting. Many times I'll use a water bottle to spray directly onto the painting and watch the colors run down the canvas. However, water and acrylic paint create a thin layer that isn't as vibrant and long lasting. So when I truly want the color to stay bright as it drips... I add this flow aid to the paint until it's thin enough to drip. It's also perfect to add to paint in a jar that is older and thicker than you'd like. Flow aid loosens up the paint and rejuvenates it to help give it a smoother texture like it was when you first bought it. It's an inexpensive medium available at any art store. Click the heart to purchase from Jerry's Artarama.
JADEN THERMAL PRINTER
Lately I have learned that shipping from your home saves time and money. This printer is small and efficient, and priced lower than most. You need to purchase the stickers as well. Join a website like Pirate Ship and start printing your own labels. Then, drop off at your nearest UPS, Fed Ex or USPS location. I also love my small scale which is pictured here as well. I am telling you, nothing makes you feel any more professional than being in charge of your own shipping!
ELENA'S AMAZON STOREFRONT
As an Amazon Influencer, I have a storefront with all my favorite things! From fashion, to surgery recovery, art products and more, just click the flower above to see my store and all my favorite lists! *I am eligible for commission through this link.