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Thread: Big sale: what should i buy?
September 28th, 2009 #1
Big sale: what should i buy?
K, there's a big sale with like 65% off art materials in a store opening and since i'm an art material noob, i'm just wondering what kind of things would be good for a beginner to get.
I'm talking paints, brushes, paper, or whatever. I don't know what the hell i'm buying so a little advice will help since it's only for 1 day and i have 1 hour if i juggle everything like mad.
Are there any special paints or brushes i should get. Is it advisable to get oils or watercolour or this gourache i've heard of.
And is there some kind of paper that is preferable to other paper.
And you were once a noob too so don't say something like "google it" cause that makes no sense. I'm asking for opinions on what would be smart for a starter with a near 65% discount on all items to buy.
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My common sense says to make a list of everything you think you might want to try, then buy the most expensive things during the sale.
September 28th, 2009 #3
September 28th, 2009 #4
If you've never painted at all I'd get a cheap set of gouache and some synthetic brushes.
-not as technical as oils, no thinners, mediums etc to worry about
-won't kill your brushes if you let it dry on them like acrylic would
-water washable, won't stick to your cat
-cheap to start with, nothing fancy required just paint, brush, thick paper/card, water. If you find you loathe painting you've only spent 20 quid.
I wouldn't just buy stuff for the hell of it. 65% is a good discount but it's easy to buy stuff you won't ever actually need, especially when starting.
I still have a pile of unused materials from my college days that seemed like a good idea at the time..
I'm not sure you're going to get much help on this one I'm afraid, it's kinda like asking what cds to get in a sale at a record shop without telling us what music you like..
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September 28th, 2009 #5
September 28th, 2009 #6
On the other hand, if you're determined to go on a shopping spree and convinced you'll be doing a fair bit of traditional work over the years, certain things are always likely to come in handy..
-pencils, traditional, mechanical, variety of hardnesses
-kneadable putty rubbers
-good metal sharpener
-charcoal sticks / fixative
-long safety ruler
-T-square / set square / compasses, y'know high school math set stuff.
-drawing board clips (some people prefer stationery shop bulldog clips)
-Stanley knife (get the heavy steel one with spare blades in the handle, expensive but lasts forever)
Note: these are just the items I personally find myself using regularly, your mileage may vary..
Last edited by Flake; September 28th, 2009 at 08:31 PM. Reason: typos
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September 28th, 2009 #7Sheriff
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September 28th, 2009 #8
k, are there different types of canvases, boards and paper or will any do.
And what's a fixative?
And how do i tell if a sharpener is good?
Thank you both very much, i'm going to make a list of the items i dont have and try to get them all. After that i just need a table proper.
September 28th, 2009 #9
Just buy what you need to use instead of buying because they are cheap.
You'll save more that way.
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September 28th, 2009 #10
Fixative is a spray can that you apply to artwork with mediums that smudges (ie: charoal, pastel,pencil), which usually prevents said medium to smudge/smear on other surfaces or itself.
September 29th, 2009 #11
You should allocate a budget and plan before you go to the store.
Say, if you afford a budget of US$300, then go to the store and spend the hell out of this US$300 on the most possible stuff that you think you'll be using, now and in the future.
After all, these oils and paints and brushes etc can be kept for a hell long of a time. 65%?!!! Damn, I wished my local art store has shit like this.
You lucky man, you.
September 29th, 2009 #12
Okay, I had a free moment so I went through your sketchbook. Keep in mind I don't know you, and all I have to go on is this: It seems like you've got a good ability to draw from observation that you've only just begun to really develop. You're still at an experimental stage, and you seem into learning the figure. So, here is my advice.
1. An art sale is nice, but how much money do you have right now to devote to this? Are you loaded?
2. Do you have any studio space set up to use this stuff? How safe are your purchases going to be from your niece, for example? I'm building a studio, and when done, it's going to have a lock.
3. You can progress a lot with just xerox paper and a pencil. You've started with the Bridgeman exercises, which is good. Keep that up and mix it up with more work from life - still lifes, and self portraits. Practice drawing facial feature studies, and then your whole head from different angles.
4. You're at the experimental stage, so you want to try everything. Don't ask what the best paper and pencils are, buy a little of each and try it. Mix it together and see what works. Definately get some compressed charcoal, markers, pastels, pens. Buy a ton of sketchbooks large and small - some that you can carry with you, and some you can mount on a clipboard. Get different kinds of paper and experiment.
5. Paints are a great idea. Try a cheap watercolor set, but also think about oils or acrylics. The differences between them are: acrylics dry fast and become plastic/rubbery when dry. Meaning they're fairly resistant to stress. Oils take a long time to dry, and become brittle when dry, meaning they're more at risk of cracking, especially on canvas. There are liquids (mediums) you can add to either to prolong or decrease the drying period. For acrylics, I recommend Golden paints, because you can see on each tube if it's transparent or opaque (they have a dab of the color over a barcode to show you), and Golden bases these decisions on oil paints - so if you buy cadmium red from Golden, it'll be as opaque as a cadmium red oil tube.
A good set of colors, regardless of kind and brand are:
a warm red such as cadmium, and a cool red such as magenta
a warm yellow like a cadmium, and a cool one like a hanza or lemon
a warm blue like ultramarine, and a cool one like pthalo
lots of titanium white, and a black - lamp black is a good transparent one.
NOTE: sometimes you'll see the word "hue" attached to a name, like "pthalo hue". Avoid these cheaper, student quality paints. All it means is they took some ultramarine and some white, or a bit of green and pre-mixed it. But it won't mix properly when you work.
With either acrylic or oil, get yourself a good paper palette (disposable sheets), or invest in a wood one, however you like. You'll need paper towels and soap for cleaning, and a large tub of gesso to prepare your surfaces.
With watercolours, it depends on if you get a set in it's own tray or if you buy tubes. The tubes are small, but don't worry they should last a long time. If you go with tubes, buy a large tray and squeeze a bit at different areas in the tray - AND NEVER WASH IT. Those colors can dry in the tray and still be usable forever. Just use the middle areas for mixing, and wipe them down when done. Watercolors also need paper towels which you can use for blotting and markmaking right on your painting - great for clouds.
The main thing with painting, regardless of the kind of paint, is that the palette stays relatively the same, but the most important way to experiment is with the surface you use and the tools you paint with.
Watercolor - don't buy the most expensive Arches paper yet, until you've learned what you can do with the cheaper brands. Get a wide variety of brushes and try to use each one individually, experimenting, before you try to mix them all up. Definately a good sable brush - the biggest you can find with a fine tip - is a great buy, and you can practice thick to thin strokes, etc. Try other things, though as well. An old credit card, for example, can be a great markmaking tool with watercolors. Or the hard end of a brush. There are also artists who watercolor over oil-based ink drawings, and the effects are beautiful.
With acrylic and oils, you can get canvas boards, pieces of masonite, prestretched canvases (usually as cheap as it'd be to make one yourself), illustration board, canvas paper, etc. With any of these you should prep it with gesso before starting, and if you want a smooth surface, scrape the gesso into the pores/fibers with a palette knife.
On the subject of the figure, I'd love to have my own model skeleton, and a full length mirror. I intend to get both for my studio. Again, ask yourself how much money you want to committ to this, because spending cash is the easiest part of any project, and it's no guarantee of success.
Along with all this buying, look at a ton of art, see what you like, and ask yourself, how was this made? Recently, I saw a sketchpage in Clochette's sketchbook thread that made me think, hmmm, I'd love to just get a red colored pencil and start drawing foliage.
Last edited by TASmith; September 29th, 2009 at 04:14 AM.
September 29th, 2009 #13