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Supplies and Resources

Paint Brushes

Art materials, Tools & Equipment

My favourite art materials, tools, equipment, books and apps for artists and creatives - things I use and love!


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- paints -

windsor and newton gauache paints
windsor and newton watercolour set.
windsor and newton oil paint.

Oil Paints
Winsor & Newton

Oils are one of my favourite things to paint with, I love that you can create varying translucent layers and continue to work and blend them on the canvas as they take a lot longer to dry than other paints, it means you can add so much more depth. If I'm working on canvas I usually start with acrylic for the base coats because it dries fast and then step it up with oil for the details and adding depth, deepening the highlights, shadows and tonal ranges. These Windsor & Newton oils are gorgeous and play really well with different mediums.

liquitex acrylic
windsor and newton acrylics

Winsor & Newton Professional

These are more translucent than the Liquitex. I use them for layering over if just using acrylic or underpainting for oils.

montana spray paint

Spray Paints
Montana: Gold Range

Great range of colours, spray well, cover well.

chalk markers

Chalk Markers

Chalk markers are super fun to use, you can add them to almost any surface and they can be cleaned off. I sometimes use them for roughing in something which already has a layer of background paint applied and pencil won't show up, it helps me work out proportions and know where to lay the next layer down. I also use them for labelling things, making lists, writing reminders, mural work on windows and mirrors etc!

liquitex paint markers

Liquitex Paint Markers

I have these in a variety of colours- metallic all the way to vibrant fluro. They cover well- even on darker surfaces and being in pen format they're super easy to use. 

liquitex gesso priming medium

Gesso Canvas Primer
Liquitex Pro

If I'm working with raw canvas this is generally the primer I use to get it ready for painting, or occasionally I use white theatre paint mixed with PVA.

Scenic Art Theatre Paints for Theatre work and murals

I shop at Flints Theatrical Chandlers which is based in the UK (I'm like a kid in a candy store if I go in person 🙈) they have a very wide range of products designed for set making and props and most UK based companies use them

-they literally have every option under the sun for creating different paint effects. A few products I often use include:

 Rosco's Super Saturated paint range, Flints Exhibition White, Flints Theatre Black and Flints Multipurpose Primer (or I make up my own with PVA and Exhibition White). For glazes I most often use Flints Emulsion Glaze in Matte and Gloss.

At some point I would love to try out their UV range and do a huge psychedelic tapestry for Burning Man.

Sometimes I check their catalogue first if I'm thinking of making something unusual -there are so many cool effects sometimes just looking through their range can spark ideas.

- Paint Mediums -

For Oil Paint

windsor and newton linsead oil

Linseed Oil Paint Medium​
Winsor & Newton

Adds gloss and translucency to oil paints- creates lovely layers of depth and adds drying time so paint can be manipulated for longer on the canvas.

lavendar spike oil medium

Oil Paint Thinner
Chelsea Classical- Lavender

I try wherever possible not to use solvent based thinners- having headaches after a day of painting is not cool and I value my lungs so I use this or Zest It, both are good and won't make you feel ill using them

chelsea lavendar medium kit

Oil Paint Medium Starter Set
Oils have to be painted fat over thin or they crack, (simply put this means paint needs to be mixed with higher thinner:oil ratios in earlier layers and more oil in later layers) if you haven't used oils before or it's a relatively new thing or you just fancy trying out some different mediums this is a lovely set for experimenting and getting to play with how the paint works.

- For Watercolour / Gouache / Ink -

colourless masking fluid windsor and newton

Masking Fluid
Winsor & Newton

When I need to keep an area free from washes or splatters this does the job well and afterwards you can peel it off easily.

gum arabic

Gum Arabic
Winsor & Newton

Essential for watercolours to flow smoothly, aids translucency and slows drying time. I'll also mix with inks and gouache. I have a beautiful set of pigments I bought from the last artisanal pigment shop in Venice (I'm actually obsessed with them), they can be mixed to make oils, acrylics, watercolours or gouache (the dream) but I find I mainly mix them with this gum arabic to make beautiful high pigment watercolours or intensify existing ones.

- Varnishes -

In general I prefer spray varnishes over brushed because I think they deliver a smoother finish and are easier to apply. 

montana varnish

Clear UV Protective Varnish
Montana Spray

I use this clear Montana spray for making coloured spray paints malleable and manipulatable, spray this under and over another colour and suddenly you can drag pallet knives or whatever you want through them and create lovely effects. It's also good for protecting finished art.

winsor and newton varnish

Winsor & Newton Pro varnish

I prefer to use gloss or semi-gloss on paintings that depict water or shiny surfaces, and I find it's better than matte varnish on oil paintings because it unifies the painting surface if some areas are more glossy than others, which can occur when there are varying numbers of layers or amounts of oil used on different parts. Having said that, it is harder to photograph because it's shiny so if you want to make prints from your original consider photographing or scanning them before adding your final varnish.

winsor retouching varnish

Exhibition/Retouching Varnish
Winsor & Newton

Oils take months to completely dry, this can be applied sooner than other varnishes and acts as a temporary protective layer over recently completed paintings to protect them, it's removable so at a later date a full final varnish can be applied.

- Brushes / Palette / Knives -

pental water brushes for paintings

Water Tube Brushes

These guys are amazing, I use them all the time whenever I'm illustrating with watercolours, gouache or inks. Their stem is hollow and squeezable, filled with water you can gently squeeze it to increase flow, if I could only have one set of brushes for watercolours this would be the set.

foam brushes for paintings

Foam Brush Set

Foam brushes are really useful for creating washes or backgrounds without streaks or brush marks. You can also pick at them or rough them up to create different textures. I use them a lot.

winsor and newton brusges

Winsor and Newton

I find synthetic brushes the most enjoyable to work with, these hold paint really nicely. I use them with all types of paint although I keep separate brush collections for use with water soluble paints versus oil based paints.

paint pallet for paintings

The Best Ceramic Palette Ever!

Ceramic palettes clean easier than plastic & wood and they last. With this one you can keep lights and darks or warms and cools separated on each side which is incredibly helpful. I also may use a white ceramic food plate if I need more space to mix up large bodies of one or two colours but it's very helpful to have the separated areas for all the main colours so it doesn't all get muddied up in the middle. Top tip: If leaving paint for a few hours and you want to slow the drying process, use biodegradable cling film wrap to cover your palette.

fine detail brushes for paintings

Fine Detail Brushes

I really like tiny brushes, this series are really good for fine detailing and creating delicate line work.

pallet kniver for paintings

Palette Knives

Great for mixing up acrylics and oils, in painting I personally use them for quickly applying background colours or creating dragged effects so things aren't so sterile and precise/perfect, painting with knives can easily add interest and make a surface look more dynamic rather than flat.

- Paper -

daler rowney paper

220gsm Smooth Paper
Daler Rowney

My favourite paper for illustrating and drawing, it's white and smooth and a lovely thickness, I also use this for watercolours and gouache when I don't want a textured surface -for example if the illustration will be highly detailed. 

aquafine artboard

Watercolour Art Board
Daler Rowney

Slightly textured, super thick and white, holds paint well and because it's on board it means you can apply big washes without it warping the surface- it's hands down the best base for watercolours for this reason in my opinion. -No need to wet and stretch your paper before you begin- it just speeds things up and makes them better.

A2 Layout paper

45gsm Layout Paper
Daler Rowney

Layout paper is super helpful for sketching ideas and refining... it's thin enough you can see the layer or two underneath so as you layer sheets you can refine your sketch.

A3 tracing pape

90gsm Tracing Paper
Daler Rowney

Always useful to have some of this on hand, it's sturdy and enjoyable to draw on. I often use it to mockup a composition by drawing all the elements separately and then cutting them out and moving them around to decide where they'll finally go, it's particularly helpful for if you've already laid down a background colour or you're further along in a painting and thinking of adding something extra but can't decide or figure out where to put it.

seawhite primed paper.jpg

Primed Canvas Paper
suitable for Oils/Acrylics

What is says on the tin, good for if you want your work to be on paper or if you're short on space so don't have room for canvases. It's also good if you want to practice techniques, or mock up a painting using the paints you'll use on the final piece.


Watercolour Sketchbook

Moleskines are just rather lovely aren't they. This one is good for travel or just general use where you don't want to use the painting or sketch for a final piece.

- Pens & Pencils -

fine liners.jpg

Fine Liner Multi Size Set
Staedtler Black Pigment

Great pens, different thicknesses, fab for sketching, lining in, drawing, writing etc.

muji gel pens.jpg

0.5mm Gel Point Pens

Lovely gel pens and colours, mine have lasted ages without having any issues with drying up.

pentel mechanical pencil set.jpg

Mechanical Pencils Set by Pentel
0.3mm, 0.5mm, 0.7mm, 0.9mm

I use these all the time. I started using them for draughting but actually they're brilliant for creating light and precise delicate lines for illustrations where you don't want the pencil marks to show afterwards.

gel pens.jpg


Gel Pens

Amazing for detailing and adding accents.

faber castel pencil set.jpg

Tonal Drawing Set

Great combination of different sketching mediums for tone and shade work.

pencil crayons.jpg

Graphite Sticks

Super soft -great for shading large areas.

fine liner colours.jpg

0.3mm Fine Liners
Staedtler Colour Set

Beautiful vivid colours, good for drawing and for writing.

derwent pencila.jpg

Sketching Pencils
Derwent 6B-4H

Fab smooth sketching pencils.

watercolour pencils.jpg

- tools/Equipment -

tombow erasers.jpg

Precision Erasers
Tombow Mono round + square

Use these every time I draw something, they're amazing for precisely rubbing out and even creating highlights on shaded work. If you don't have something like these you should just get them honestly you won't regret it.

loctite glue gun.jpg

Hot Melt Glue Gun

I didn't have one of these for years and a friend introduced me to them and it literally changed my little arty crafting world 😂  I wish I'd bought one when I was a teenager!

rotary cutter.jpg

Rotary Cutter

I use these things for costume, craft, headdress making, and cutting art materials -Rotary cutters are so much easier to use for anything that isn't straight and follow a line easily. If you just wanted to get a rotary cutter on it's own this is the one I have. But I  actually have all the above as separate items and this looked like a good little kit when I was looking for mine as it combines lots of very helpful tools and you get spare blades so might be worth doing instead.


Staedtler Mars Erasers

In my opinion the cleanest most effective eraser out there.

meter ruler.jpg

1m Metal Ruler

I use this all the time, almost daily. Whether it's illustrating, painting, murals or headdresses- literally everything, don't bother with a plastic 30cm thing, just get a full size metal one it's worth it.



Pipettes are awesome for dropping ink or watercolour onto washes and adding cool effects, they can be used with all paint mediums, but those are the two I most use them with. Old tooth brushes also work very well to create paint flicks.

black cutting mat.jpg

A2 Self Healing Cutting Mat

I have one this size and several others that are smaller but I never use them, it's annoying having to move stuff around while you're cutting so I'd say just get a large one- A2 or A1 and I certainly wouldn't get anything smaller than A3.
Tip- don't leave cutting mats near radiators or rest anything hot on them- they will warp.

tortillion smudging sticks.jpg

Blending Stubs

The best thing for blending and shading with pencils, graphite, charcoal or pastels.

uhu glue.jpg

UHU Glue

UHU Glue sticks well, it's clear and fast drying and it can also be peeled away pretty cleanly if you go over an edge.


Light Pad For Tracing

My light tracer makes life so much easier, it's a brilliant bit of kit for quickly transferring a design or refining one. I'd say it's pretty much an essential piece of kit. Screen real estate is super helpful so I recommend getting an A3 one but if you're a student or on a small budget the A4 one is a going to help too.

blade handle.jpg

Swann Morton Scalpel


Swann Morton Blades

Cut cardstock like a ninja and never worry about blunting your blade again... these are super sharp and the blades are sold in bulk making them very economical. No need to soldier on with that half blunt old stanley knife ripping your work...

draughting table.jpg

Drafting Table

I have an A0 professional drafting table which was very kindly gifted to me by an architecture firm a few years ago. It's essential for draughting film/theatre sets but also very helpful for murals and amazing for regular drawing and painting because it can be height and tilt adjusted so you can get the perfect angle to work comfortably at! The parallel rule is also brilliant in combination with set squares for making things exact and proportionate. I also love that it's so large because I can use it to mood board or masking tape up reference pictures or useful info to other parts of the board while I work. As you can probably tell I adore it, but these things are expensive so if you're just using it to draw something like this Meeden wooden art table is more budget friendly but is also going to be harder to clean so might be less appropriate for paint.

a2 draughting board.jpg

A2 Drawing Board

If the idea of a whole table sounds way too space consuming or expensive but you want some kind of drawing surface that can be angled for comfort and has the benefit of a parallel rule and easy to clean surface, a drawing board like this is also a great call. I have an A2 one which I generally use if I'm doing watercolours or something smaller. My studio table is a large rustic wooden thing so I need something with a perfectly smooth flat surface which won't absorb paint or water when I apply it and cleans up nicely, this is ideal and the parallel rule makes getting things in proportion faster and easier.

poster tube.jpg

Extendable Protective Art Carrying Tubes

If your work is something that can be rolled up, art tubes are wonderful, they're extendable and waterproof and a lot easier to sling over your shoulder and take with you than a massive folder. I use them for transporting work and storing it!

- Flow Hacks & Other Bits I Love in my home studio -

I don't know about you but I always feel happier in a well lit room, for me there's also something to be said for little rituals like burning an incense stick or a candle when I sit down to work. Feeling relaxed makes the whole creating process easier and it takes on a very therapeutic blissful vibe, especially if I stick on some music... these are some things I use all the time:

daylight sad lamp.jpg

Daylight Light Therapy Lamp

I'm pretty lucky, my studio is surrounded by windows so I probably get more daylight than the average Brit, but having said that, it's still a pretty gloomy affair in the winter and I'm definitely more productive, energetic and positive when it's sunny. So I use a daylight lamp (just make sure you switch it off at least 3 hours before bed or you'll find it hard to sleep 😅). The one above is cheap and a bit clinical but does the job, alternatively this moon shaped one is a bit more attractive! - The higher the bulb LUX the brighter and more sunshiney you'll feel.

sunrise alarm clock.jpg

Sunrise Alarm Clock

One of my best lockdown purchases in 2020... If you're someone that struggles with routine like me you're not a morning person, I'd definitely consider getting one of these. You can choose how bright and loud it gets and how soon/gradually it rises before the alarm goes off - I have mine set on max brightness and lowish sound, it starts slowly getting brighter 10 mins before my alarm, which at the mo is wind chimes, but I change it up every now and then. I honestly wake up feeling awake rather than groggy now so it's been a bit of a game changer.

soy tea lights.jpg

Soy Tea Lights
Soy wax is the cleanest burning you can get, closely followed by beeswax and won't pollute the air in your home as much as paraffin wax, so if you're still using regular tea-lights you got from Ikea, swap them out for some like these next time you run out.

essential oil kit.jpg
nag champa.jpg
coconut vanilla soy candle.jpg

Essential Oils for Burning

Eucalyptus, Bergamot, Geranium, Lemon Grass, Tea Tree and Rosemary for a serene work environment during the day, Frankincense for winding down.
Sometimes I like to mix them:
4 drops Eucalyptus
1 drop Bergamot
1 drop Geranium
1 drop Rosemary
= one of my fave combos for working and it reminds me of a Marrakech spa I went to in Morocco years ago ☺️🌿✨

Nag Champa Incense
These Nag Champa are my favourite smelling incense of all time ☺️

Coconut & Vanilla Soy Candle 80hr Burn Time

One of the most delicious smelling candles ever 🧘‍♀️ it's not too sweet or strong, it's delicate and light. When I light candles and stick on relaxing music it makes me feel really zen and the whole creating process takes on a very therapeutic blissful vibe. - Little rituals like this get me into flow state.

Creative Books Anchor

- Art Tutorial/Resource Books -

beginner - intermediate level

betty edwards on colour book.jpg

Color - Betty Edwards

Super easy to understand, Edwards shows clear examples, explains colour psychology and how they interplay with one another, how to mix and also how placing one colour next to another can change the way our eyes perceive it. Highly recommend if you're just starting out or your colour theory needs practice.

drawing on the right side of the brain.jpg

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain - Betty Edwards
Explains the basic principles of drawing and how to create form and proportions, some great exercises for getting your brain seeing the elements it needs. Would highly recommend for those just getting started.

lessons in classical drawing.jpg

Lessons in Classical Drawing
- Juliette Aristides

An in depth explanation, exercise book with tutorials for learning to draw accurately from life. It teaches the same techniques taught by classical ateliers and utilised by famous classical painters throughout the ages. If you're serious about learning to draw this is a really great book.

intermediate level

colour and light james gurney.jpg

Color & Light - James Gurney

The most useful book I've read on how to light and colour artwork, really well put together and explanatory. Gurney has a best selling illustrated book series called Dinotopia so uses his real world art examples throughout the book to explain the different concepts, it really is an excellent book and I highly recommend.

imaginative realism james gurney.jpg

Imaginative Realism - James Gurney
In this book Gurney breaks down his process step by step, explaining exactly how he manages to create scenes and characters which don't exist in real life. If you've ever wondered how on earth an artist painted something which looks like a dream but is still realistic in style, this is one for you. I would really really recommend it and his book on colour and light.

vanishing point perspective book.jpg

Vanishing Point
- Jason Cheeseman-Meyer

Excellent book for understanding perspective and drawing scenes in perspective from the imagination. It gives you step by step exercises you can work through so by the end you'll have an intuitive understanding of  how to draw scenes in one, two, three, four and five point (curved) perspectives. 

- intermediate -

drawing perspective book.jpg

Drawing Perspective
- Matthew Brehm

Filled with really great examples and exercises, it helps you evaluate how to see perspectives in real life, and teaches you the skills to draw them.

- intermediate / advanced -

how to draw.jpg

How to Draw
- Scott Robertson

This book focuses on industrial scapes and vehicles from the imagination, coming from a concept art background it's very technical and will give you a solid guide of how to create your own. 

how to render.jpg

How to Render
-Scott Robertson

Taught from a concept artist perspective this is a very in depth book teaching the fundamentals of light, shadow and reflectivity; the focus is firmly on translating visual information from image sources into accurate fully rendered images from your imagination.

- specific topics -

graphic design know your onions.jpg

Graphic Design: Know your Onions - Drew De Soto

Understand the principles of graphic design -whether you're designing, making art or creating marketing for your work this is a super helpful practical reference book covering all the fundamentals of design and producing things for print.

designer drafting for the entertainment world.jpeg

Drafting & Visualising for the Entertainment World
- Patricia Woodbridge

Really helpful book for anyone starting their journey learning to draft for the entertainment industry. Explains how to read and draw floor plans, elevations and detail drawings -it's a great reference book to refer to when you're unsure how to execute something, or what symbols to use to mark up a drawing.

scenic art for theatre.jpg

Scenic Art for the Theatre​
- Crabtree & Beudert

Great guide for those interested in working with Scenery or murals. Explains the various techniques and materials used by scenic artists and interviews industry leaders on their processes and work. -Whenever I've taken on a job painting something I haven't done before I've usually referenced this book first.

- Resource & Business books -

art materials book.jpg

Artists Materials Sourcebook
- Emma Pearce

Brilliant reference book compiling every artist material under the sun, explaining how they're made and what you can use them for. Really helpful resource and it'll give you new ideas and even how to make your own materials from scratch, such as canvases, primers and paints.

artists guide to selling work.jpg

Artists Guide to Selling Work
- Annabelle Ruston

Excellent art business guide, takes you through how to price work, approach galleries, royalty rates, contracts, websites/social media use and how to print reproductions and manage your marketing.

business for artists book.jpg

The Essential Guide to Business for Artists & Designers - Alison Branagan

Very comprehensive this is another must read if you want to make money as an artist. It goes into building networks, successful negotiation tactics, social media, business planning and money management, funding, rights and legal frameworks, tax, trading online etc. There are also lists of resources and weblinks at the end of each section which alone are worth getting it for.

art money success maria brophy.jpg

Art Money Success
- Maria Brophy

This book thinks outside the box and is one of the best books I have ever read on art business - I would make this your top read if you are an artist, Maria Brophy is the business manager for her partner Drew who is a surf artist and started off very much as the under-dog, they now live a successful 6 figure lifestyle from his art and she explains

how to sell your art online.jpg

How to Sell Your Art Online - Cory Huff
The best marketing book I've found that's specifically aimed at artists. This is the book
every artist needs now the gallery system is no longer the barrier to getting work and it will help you lose the fear of talking about and promoting your art. Cory explains the importance of SEO, marketing, email lists, lead magnets etc, and if that all sounds like mumbo jumbo to you - you definitely need this book. 

the artists way.jpg

The Artist's Way - Julia Cameron

The holistic approach to you finding your artistic spirit path. If you're stuck, want to do ev
erything but can't start or want to feel more connected to yourself and more creative, this is the book to start with.


- website design -

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- Printing/Manufacturing -




Printed Mint


- Fonts & Creative Assets -


Creative Market



- Levelling Up / Tutorials -



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- Project management/ideas boards -




Trello App

Good Notes App

- Design software-


Adobe Full Creative Suite

- Design Apps -


Astro Pad (standard version)


Lightroom Mobile

Please note some links on this page are affiliate. I only recommend products I believe are great, they are things I also recommend to friends/family. If you choose to buy through one of these links it doesn't cost you anything, Amazon foot the bill, it just helps me to continue creating art.

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