In this post, I'm going to be talking about good quality art supplies, why you need them and give you seven ways to find them.
I want to talk about objective quality, that is, if a product is any good at all, and subjective quality, that is, if a product is good for what you want to do.
So first, why do you need good quality supplies? I've touched on this in other videos, but they're a must if you want your work to last. Having quality supplies, both objective and subjective, will also ensure that you have the best experience painting or drawing and that you have the easiest time achieving your goals.
Now for seven ways to find good quality art supplies, both objectively and subjectively.
#1 info blurbs
Now, this isn’t a very reliable way to gage objective quality. After all, it's not in a company or stores’ best interest to have you think a product isn't worth buying, but it can help you gage subjective quality. A company will often say, for example, if a brand of paint is good for heavy brush strokes, or glazes, or if a canvas is lightweight or heavyweight.
#2 Customer Reviews
Sometimes you can find reviews, from customers who have bought the product on the store’s website. Some sites might only print positive reviews, though so you need to be careful with this one.
#3 Vlogs and Blogs
You can also find more in depth reviews in the forms of run by artists, many of whom are not afraid to say if a product is lousy if that's the case. You can also see artists do entire projects with a particular brand of pencils or paint where they talk about the product for ten or fifteen minutes, so you really get a good idea of how good, or not, that product is. Keep in mind, though, artists who make videos or blog will probably be using products that suit them and they’re style, so it’s probably a good idea to find one whose work looks how you would like yours to look.
While we're on the topic of reviews, even if a person is being payed to promote a product, 'cause I know a lot of people worry about that, legally they still have to be honest about their feelings. A lot also believe in being honest from an ethical standpoint.
#4 real life friends and acquaintances
You could call or email artists you know in real life and ask if they've used a product, and, if they did, what they thought about it.
#5 art groups on Facebook or Google +
You have to join these first, but once you do, if you don’t know anyone personally who’s used the product you’re wondering about, you could ask about it in one of these group, just say something like, “I’m thinking of trying such and such brand of paint. Have anyone use it? What did you think of it, etc”. It also helps to say what your goals are, or what style you’re working in, so people know whether or not to recommend that product to you.
#6 The company’s reputation
I think this goes without saying, but if a company has been around a long time and has a solid reputation, you should be able to trust in the quality of their products. I'm talking about companies like Winsor & Newton, Derwent, Generals, Strathmore, etc. Basically anything that’s instantly recognizable.
#7 Your own experience:
This is really the most important one. All the others can help, but the only way to really know if you personally will enjoy using a product is to just buy it and try it.
So that was why you need quality art supplies, and seven ways to find them.
Painter of portraits and wildlife