Updated: My Favorite Art Tools & Supplies

Evelyn Henson www.evelynhenson.com

Hi yall!

I took some time today to update this post again! I first wrote this in 2018 and have edited it often since. I also have 5 painting tutorials on my IGTV page here if you want to create something with me! 


First, know that if you want to be creative, you DO NOT have to have anything fancy. I started painting with these craft paints (which you can usually find for about $1 at a Michaels or Hobby Lobby) and canvases from Walmart. I've since fallen in love with pricier materials because the quality is better, but don't feel discouraged if you can't afford nicer paints. You can use cheap craft paints, draw on your phone/ipad, make a collages from magazines, whatever! I promise you that you just need to have the passion for it. I would encourage you to experiment with as many materials as possible as you create too---you'll learn more about art, have a wider understanding of your style, and discover how you can differentiate your work.

I update this post with new products every few years because I'm always trying and buying new things. Anytime I go in an art store, I always leave with something new. There's so many great products to try and there's no "right" thing to buy, but, since I frequently get asked about what materials I'm using, below are some my current favorite products to work with----




    Lately, I have been working with a mix of gouache and watercolor. I don’t have a single go-to brand for anything. I enjoy experimenting with a myriad of textures, colors, etc. Lately my favorites are---

    • Holbein Gouache- this set is 10/10
    • Turner Gouache- try a set like this or this
    • Winsor & Newton Watercolors--this or this would be a great set
    • Dr. Ph Martin's Watercolors- try a set like this, this, or this

    If I was just starting out, I would buy 1-2 sets from the above, and then a few single tubes of some other brands to try out. 




    Right now, I prefer to work with either rag paper or a cold pressed paper (all my art prints are printed on a similar material). I don't know if I would recommend this for beginners because it can be tricky to erase on sometimes. If you erase a bunch, any mixed media or watercolor paper at a local art store is always great too! Here are a few I like---

    If I was just getting started with art, I would buy any mixed media or watercolor pad from the art store (THIS is a good brand) and one Arches pad to try if it's within your budget. 




    Until 2020, I honestly had no idea what brushes I was using. I would always just walk into the Cheap Joe's Art Store in Charlotte and grab a few that looked good and weren't wildly expensive. Then I started ordering online more and had to pay closer attention to brush brand and sizing. I usually just work with 2-3 brushes at a time. 




      I hope this helps and happy painting!