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Well-Loved Art Supplies

Thanks for stopping by! This post features the la crème de la crème of my art roster. I began learning art in 2016, and still consider myself a novice. The type of supplies I go for are some of the most well-known and high-quality student-grade supplies, along with a sprinkle of artist-grade items.

This is a dynamic post that reflects my current favorites. I will be updating it as my skills grow and opinions change. All links to are affiliate links. This means I will receive a small commission at no extra charge to the purchaser 🙂

Watercolors — Mei Liang Pretty Excellent

These paints are the holy grail of my art collection. I’ve been using the Mei Liang Pretty Excellent set for four years now, and it still holds up! This set is of incredible quality. The paints lay and blend in a way identical to professional paints—at student-grade prices.

This set is a tier under the company’s Paul Rubens brand paints. Because I’ve had such a wonderful experience with these Mei Liang watercolors, I’ll likely repurchase the set once I’m finished with my current one, or upgrade to the company’s artist-grade Paul Rubens. As you can tell, I stan.

Sketchbook — Canson XL Mixed Media

canson xl mixed media sketchbook juli rox art

Where do I even begin?! The Canson XL Mixed Media sketchbook is a favorite of many artists—amateurs and professionals alike. The paper is 98lbs/160gsm, so it holds up when used with watercolor, gouache, acrylic, inks, and the works. The paper has a bit of grit to it, which makes for a great sketching and coloring experience. Pastels, colored pencils, charcoal, sketching pencils. . . the sky’s the limit!

Watercolor Paper — Arteza Expert Watercolor Paper

arteza expert watercolor paper pad juli rox art

During a wild sale, I picked up a pad of Arches Cold-Pressed watercolor paper at a fabulous price. Although, I blame my lack of skill for not being able to take full advantage of it’s qualities. Honestly, I find it a bit too absorbent, and incredibly unforgiving when it comes to lifting colors, or “erasing” mistakes.

Trying out the Arteza Premium and Arteza Expert watercolor paper was a game changer. To me, they have the perfect amount of absorbency and are a lot easier to work with. They’re also well-priced. Once I get through these pads, I’ll likely repurchase more of the Expert line, since it’s properties align more with my style of art.

Laptop Tray (Used as a Standing Desk)

Between drawing in my sketchbook, editing videos, and writing blog posts, I find myself sitting for most of the day. When my legs started to cramp on the daily, I decided it was high time to invest into a standing-desk solution (preferably one that didn’t cost an arm and a leg). This is what I came up with! I place this laptop tray on my desk when I’m tired of sitting, and adjust the height accordingly to suit my typing, editing, and drawing needs. While I bought this in a nearby Canadian shop, I also found an identical version on Amazon—check out the SONGMICS Laptop Desk here.

Heat Gun (for quick-drying watercolor art)

watercolor heat gun juli rox art

To my impatient watercolorists out there, having a heat gun is a gamechanger! No longer do you need to wait for your layers of paint to dry. With one of these bad boys, it takes seconds. This is the Amenker heat gun that I purchased on Amazon. It’s sold at a great price, however, the cord runs a bit too short for my liking. Regardless, it really is a great tool to have.

Colored Pencils — Prismacolor Premier

prismacolor premier juli rox art

Do I need to say more? These soft-core waxed-based colored pencils are incredible to work with! Prismacolor Premier colored pencils are artist-grade quality, and allow for the smoothest coloring and blending experience. Even the student-grade Prismacolor Scholar colored pencils are an excellent substitute. They’re equally as smooth, just a bit more on the hard side.

Fine Liners — Faber Castell Artist Pitt Pens / Sharpie Pen

faber castell artist pitt pen sharpie pen juli rox art

The Faber Castell Artist Pitt Pens and the Sharpie Pen are my go-to fine liners. They are affordable, smooth on paper, and bleed proof, which are the main attributes to look out for when it comes to inking pens.

Acrylic Paint — Liquitex Basics

master markers alcohol brush juli rox art

As you can tell, I adore my Liquitex Basics acrylic paints. They are the perfect student-grade acrylic paints that are pigmented and affordable for the level of quality you receive. I’ve been relying on this brand for years, and plan to use them for the long haul.

Gouache — Miya/himi Jelly Gouache / Arrtx Jelly Gouache

himi miya artxx gouache juli rox art

If you haven’t heard of the Miya/Himi or Arrtx jelly guoache sets, surely you’ve been in comatose for the past few years. Known for their high-quality and generous quantity for their price, these gouache sets truly give you the best bang for your buck. I decided to dry my sets out as my preferred why of using this medium, as advised by Lindsay the Frugal Crafter.

White Gel Pen — Gelly roll

jellyroll white gel pen juli rox art

A white gel pen is like the art equivalent to a “little black dress”. It’s a classic to adding dimension and finishing touches to an art piece. I have the Gelly Roll pens layer on top of other mediums much more easily.

Drawing Tablet — iPad Pro 12.9 Inch & Apple Pencil 1

ipad pro 12 inch juli rox art

I purchased this iPad Pro and accompanying Apple Pencil through Apple’s refurbished website. They take returned, donated, and exchanged products, replace the casing and the battery, then resell them at a healthy discount.

Before purchasing this iPad, I relied on a traditional non-screen drawing tablet that connects to a computer. Despite trying for months, I could not, for the life of me, develop the hand-eye coordination needed to draw on the tablet while staring up at my computer screen. This iPad, although pricey, has opened up my world to digital art. While there’s still a large learning curve, it reduced so many barriers that I had previously faced (also, Procreate is such a user-friendly app).

Paintbrushes — Assorted & Tattered

assorted paintbrushes juli rox art

The most random assortment of ratchet paintbrushes. I have around 40 of them for watercolor and acrylic art. Honestly, I just use whatever brushes feel and look nice. I’ve had a great experience with Princeton, Mont Marte, and Royal & Langnickle brushes. Although, I’m genuinely not picky.

Alcohol Brush Markers — Master Markers

master markers alcohol brush juli rox art

These dual-tip (brush and chisel nib) alcohol markers have unfortunately been discontinued. I purchased them as a relatively affordable alternative to Ohuhu markers have made it to the spotlight as well, with their new(ish) brush-tip variation.

Light Box — Gaomon B4 LED Light Box

gaomon led light box juli rox art

This LED light box is perfect for tracing sketches onto higher-quality paper. Before purchasing this, I relied on transfer paper, which was a bit harder and messier to work with. This light box has different brightness settings, and works well without the need to dim the room. As you can see, Oliver endorses this one too.

Filming Camera — Sony ZV-1 II

sony zv-1 vlogging camera juli rox art

Ahh my dearest beloved. The Sony ZV-1 Mark II camera. The love of my life! This is the camera I use to film all of my videos from 2020 onwards. I absolutely love the picture quality, and the built-in stabilization. I use it for personal vlogs as well, and cannot imagine a world without it.

With all of this being said, it was a hefty investment for something a phone camera can accomplish pretty well—especially for filming speed-paints and more static videos. If you’re looking for a camera, please do your research and find one that serves your own purpose.

Microphone — Blue Snowball

blue snowball microphone pop filter juli rox art

This mic works wonders! I used the Blue Yeti prior to this, though didn’t notice a huge difference in sound quality. I’ve since given my Yeti to my sister, and picked up Audacity to edit my voiceovers, and follow advice similar to this video in order to improve the overall sound. As for the pop filter, any will suffice.

Filming Tripod & Camera Holder

youtube filming clamp desk juli rox art

Finally, here is my clamp-on tri-pod. I love this tripod, but needed a bit more flexibility in positioning, so ordered a swivel camera/phone clamp to attach to it. The combination of these allow for dynamic and stable angles when filming. This is the only mount I use for my YouTube videos. I highly, highly recommend this combination if you’re interested in filming your own crafty vids.

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