Creative Genius - Must have Art Supplies & Artist Tooklit

When it comes to 'trade secrets', I have been on the receiving end of incredible generosity from too many artists to name here. It has changed my whole life trajectory in some cases. Here, I will pay it forward and tell you all my art supply secrets. 

I have seen firsthand how there is a magic to this for everyone involved, when we share what we have learned and discovered without reservation. I hold sacred this act of sharing our wisdom and discoveries and I do it whenever I can.

And I am a firm believer that we should start as we mean to continue. There is no point in starting off with crappy art supplies - you'll only create crappy art. That is no good for anyone. So I recommend starting with some solid basics. Here are some of my loves. 

(some of these are affiliate links so if you use them to buy your item I get paid which supports the podcast! wahoo!) 

Visit my Amazon Storefront for easy access to most of these goodies!

What are the must have art supplies I absolutely cannot live without? 

Mungyo Watercolour sets - These little sets are one of the best kept secrets of Art Supply Land (yes that IS a place). Honest to goodness, they are so great. Great pigmentation. And really, an unbeatable price. 

Small set 

Large set


Caran D'ache Neo colour II - these are incredible. use them wet or dry. amazing for mark making, experimenting. rich delicious colours and absolutely worthwhile pigments. These are an investment you will not regret. I got myself the BIG pack last year for my birthday and I have not looked back!

Small pack of 15

Medium pack of 40

BIG MAMMA pack of 84 (do it!) 

Caran D'ache Museum Aquarelle pencil set - like their pastel cousins. Excellent for mark making and adding defined pigment here and there. Also great for composing watercolour paintings and playing with water. 

Set of 20

Set of 72 (living your best life) 

Black Stabilo ALL pencils - order these by the truckload. They are an absolute joy to work with wet. Amazing. Amazing for mark making. Try dragging one through wet matte medium for some out of this world mark making on your canvas. Great for art journalling. I love working with these wet. 

Pack of 3

Watercolour Paper
 Watercolour paper for every day use- I recommend starting off with something inexpensive (but still lovely) so that you are free to not be too precious with it. I am always delighted by the quality of this 

Watercolour paper for special projects - This is creme de la creme, treat yourself on your birthday kind of paper. You will love it. It is a special treat. 

Watercolour paints
-I love everything from Beam Paints - I have the full set on one of their reclaimed wood palettes but the Beam Paints Spectrum 11 Palette would also be a great place to start) To get started, you'll just need the basics in terms of colours. you can mix almost anything from the primary colours and a mid tone and a dark

-Alternatively this is a great watercolour palette 


-Terrific starter brush set 
-I love these brushes by Princeton you could probably get by with a couple rounds in size 3 and 4 for just about all your watercolour painting needs.

-But I also couldn't live without my fan brush. One day I will treat myself to this one, but for now... I use this 

-I also recommend a Princeton Flat Shader in size 4 for this project - it will make your clean lines on the vase so much easier to achieve.  

Pens for embellishments

-Fountain Pens - I use these for everything from journaling to pen and ink watercolours to underlayers for my acrylic work. They are highly water soluble which is great for messy, fun underlayer work! 

-Micron pens are the best, in my opinion. I like to have a variety of sizes. I like a super teeny one for signing small work and itsy bitsy details. I'd say start with a 0.1 and a 0.5.

-For making clean, white, bold white highlights and lines on watercolour work there is no other option than a Uni-ball Signo brand white pen

Gelli Plates

This Gelli Plate is a great starter size. You can also get a much larger one and cut it down to size using my tutorial below. 

This is the mic I use in the Creative Genius Podcast! It is incredible!



 I love the book Expressive Flower Painting by Lynn Whipple. It opened an entire chapter of my art up for me. I know so many artists who have this on their bedside table! It is Uncanny! Lynn is amazing and her book is terrific. Treat yourself. 



Sketch by Sketch by Sheila Darcey - A powerful book and guide for how a creative practice can lead to emotional healing, and transformation.




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