I love art supplies. That’s probably not a big shock to anyone since I am an artist. But a lot of artists only use the tools they need to get a piece made and they make pieces the same way all the time. As a consequence they don’t buy many art supplies outside of their regular stuff. On the other hand I like to try new stuff. That new stuff doesn’t always work out but I’m okay with that. It’s the trying that’s fun for me.

The newest stuff I bought was a bunch of fabric paint to paint the duster that I’ve written about over the past month. I’m using most of those paints. First I bought some good paints in individual bottles then a set of cheaper paints in a set of eighteen. I’ve been using all of those paints on the duster so I’ve been, for sure, getting my money’s worth out of them.

This past week I decided to get even more fabric paint. Except this time it wasn’t bottles of paint but some fabric paint pens. They were only ten bucks for twenty pens but so far they haven’t worked out. From the pictures of them on Amazon the pens mostly look like they are sold for craft projects to both kids and adults. There is a lot drawing on white clothes with them. I tried using them on the coat I was painting but they ended up being harder to use than brush and paint. They didn’t have enough covering power over the paint I already had down to be much use to me. I put them aside and I might give them away.

When I got the original bottles of fabric paint I also bought a set of brushes. The set was of nine sable hair brushes of various sizes and only ran about twenty dollars. I love brushes in general and sable hair brushes for watercolor and gouache in particular but I usually pay more than $20 for one good brush. I knew these wouldn’t measure up to that quality but I wanted to try them out anyway. I only used one of them for the coat and it was okay but in the end I switched over to one of my better ones. I might give this set away too but first I want to try out some of the larger ones.

By the way I still have another few sets of sable brushes on my Amazon wish list. They’re all cheap sets that I don’t really need but I might get them over time just to try them out. I’ve discovered plenty of good art supplies over the years just trying things out so I’m okay with some of them, or even plenty of them, being misses.

Over the past year I also bought plenty of new watercolor pan paint sets. I’m a big fan of Gouache (a type of opaque watercolor) but I’m not as strong with regular watercolor. That didn’t stop me from buying a few watercolor sets though.

First off I replenished my gouache collection. Back in the 1990s, when I first learned to paint in gouache, I had a lot of tubes of gouache that were really nice. I bought some high quality paints. I used them all up over the years and mostly stopped painting in gouache sometime in the late 2000s. The only gouache I had left around the studio was my beloved cheap Pelican pan set plus another not so beloved cheap set of tube gouache. Last year I bought an empty set of watercolor pans to put the tube gouache in to make them more convenient to use but that still didn’t make me love them. That did lead me to want to get some good tubes of gouache. So that’s what I did.

It was about this time last year that I put in order in for fifteen or so new tubes of gouache. At seven bucks a tube that was no small order for me. I also got another set of empty watercolor half pans to put the gouache in to make it more easy to use. I made a few small paintings with the gouache but I still haven’t gotten back into it the same way I did back in the 1990s. But it makes me feel good to have the gouache ready to go.

As I mentioned before watercolor isn’t my strongest medium but that didn’t stop me from buying a few new watercolor sets this past year. It helps that watercolor pan sets are generally pretty cheap so that I can buy them on a whim.

I bought three sets from Gansai Tambi who are a Japanese art supply company. Their stuff has shown up on Amazon and Jet Pens and is fairly cheap. I got a set of six gem colors, a set of six graphite colors, and a set of eighteen regular colors. Add to those sets a set of twelve pearlescent colors from Soho Artist plus an unbranded pan set of 24 watercolors and I got a lot of sets over a short period of time.

I haven’t even used all those watercolors very much. I had a lot of fun making swatches of the colors though. I find it fun making swatches. I make rectangles on paper and fill them with color. I try them all out. The pages of swatches become an art piece all on their own after a while.

The last thing I bought, just because it looked really cool, was a set of mechanical pencils. Once again it was not very expensive, it was under fifteen dollars, so I bought it on a whim. It was a set of three 2.0mm pencils with a whole lot of graphite for it of various hardness plus some color graphite refills too. They’re not even the type of pencils that I generally use but the set looked so cool (and I wanted to try the color graphite) that I had to snag one.

They funny thing is that I was showing the pencil set to my friend Eddie (also an artist) and he immediately ordered one for himself. They weren’t even the type of pencils he usually uses either but the set looked so cool and cheap to him too that he wanted to get one. He’s another fan of art supplies. Shouldn’t we all be?