paintsuppliesI feel like my 3rd grade teacher… remember when you would whisper something to your friend and the teacher would say, “If have something to say, you should share it with the group.”

I’ve decided that if people email me questions, chance are, others will have the same question, whether they know it or not.  Here is one I got last week – and one I remember wondering when I was starting too.

“Would you be willing to tell me the type of watercolor paper and paints you use?  My supplies are mostly from my local Michael’s store, but I want to upgrade without too much expensive experimenting.  So I wondered what you’d recommend.”

I remember wondering if using less expensive paint would be bad for business.  Is it necessary to invest in the highest quality for licensing?  I decided the answer was no.  Here is how I responded:

“I use paper and paint from Michael’s too… if I need really vibrant colors I use some guache too but mostly the Academy and Cotman watercolors and Strathmore paper.  (With coupons whenever possible!)  I haven’t found a need to get more expensive supplies – except for an extra color here and there – and have done just fine.  It’s more about the art and presentation than raw materials.”

If you are creating to license, you don’t have to worry about the longevity of the actual painted item. (Not that I know if there are any longevity issues…)  I paint.  I scan.  It’s all captured digitally.  I have to worry about backing up my work in case of computer gremlins.

In talking to other artists, I think the quality of other paints (acrylic, oils, etc) can have an effect on your painted results, but for watercolors, I’m building a nice little business with paints you can find at Michael’s, AC Moore, Hobby Lobby or any other general craft store.

It’s what you do with your supplies that matters most!

Happy painting!

– Tara