When I started to practice art again, I tried all sorts of materials and mediums. You should too! I will admit though that I bought a lot of items I regretted. I didn’t want to spend too much money while I was just experimenting but I quickly learned that some products made the experience less fun than it could have been.
There is a big difference between dollar store pencils and premium pencils.
Still you don’t necessarily need to buy only the most expensive products. I have found some of the less expensive products work just fine for the experience I’m hoping to have.
So with that in mind here are some of my favorites.
Disclaimer: The links provided below contain affiliate links. It doesn’t cost you anything more if I do that but I might get a tiny percentage if you buy using the links.
Pencils and Sticks
Faber-Castell Creative Studio Goldfaber Watercolor Pencils (24 Count) https://amzn.to/3ykeH8O
If I were just starting and didn’t want to spend to much money, I would buy these. They aren’t designed for professional artists that sell their art because of lightfastness issues. But they are great for learning and practicing and the pigment is rich and vibrant.
Caran d’Ache Classic Neocolor II Water-Soluble Pastels, 30 Colors https://amzn.to/3KRusH1
These crayon like pastels are so vibrant and can be used wet or dry. The bigger “sticks” are more playful than a pencil and not only covers more area more quickly but also encourages a looser style
Sketchbooks and Paper
Canson Plein Air Watercolor Art Board Pad for Watercolor, Ink, Gouache and Acrylic Boards https://amzn.to/3FEQBYl
These boards are great because they don’t buckle and they are easy to cut down to any size. They thick board makes the art look a little bit more finished. I’ve used these for works that I’ve sold or given away
Canson Plein Air Canva Rigid Art Paints or Sticks, Oil and Acrylic – https://amzn.to/3ytro14
Similar to the Watercolor Art Boards above, these Canva boards are great but are even more “Painterly” The surface is coated with a les-absorbant finsish and is textured like a canvas. This makes for a very impressionistic look. I think they are great for watercolor pencils.
Strathmore 460-55 400 Series Visual Watercolor Journal, 140 LB Cold Press – https://amzn.to/3kS3SCY
This is my go-to journal for sketching. I like the spiral bound journals so I can easily remove the page if I mess something up or if I really like it and want to frame it up or something.