Amy uses & recommends these products
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Products being tested or a recent purchase. If they prove worthwhile, we’ll move them into the permanent recommended lists below.
Molotow Grafx Masking Fluid Marker - Amy has never finished a bottle or jar of masking fluid before it hardens. Now testing this pen to see if the smaller quantity lasts until the end. Testing both 2mm and 4mm nibs.
GessoMagic SiliBrush - prep your canvases using 70% less gesso. ZERO stray brush bristles on your canvas, no brush marks for a more even painting surface and your canvas will dry quicker.
Anddyam Sew Store Organizer - Keep your pencils within easy reach and cut down on breakage. Store your pencils, mono eraser or Posca pen while you work.
Amy uses Copic Markers due to the unmatched quality and characteristics of the Copic Super Brush Nib. Sketch or Ciao style Copics feature the Super Brush Nib. Classic style Copics are NOT recommended (they do not have a bullet nib and can not be retro-fitted with an SNB.) Starter color recommendations here.
X-Press It Blending Card - highly recommended for all students, including beginners!
Tonic Glass Media Mat - use underneath project instead of scrap paper.
Staedtler Triplus Fineliner Set of 20 - Used in lieu of Copic Mulitiliners. Triplus are Copic safe. I try to use only colors found in this set of 20.
Staedtler Triplus Fineliner Light Carmine #21 - Not in the set of 20. One of the few pens from the set of 46 that I use regularly. Excellent for disappearing sketch lines when combined with Copic.
Ranger Waterbrush Detail Tip - Use one for water, a second for #0 Copic Solution. MUST be this brush for #0 solution as other brands will melt!
Acrylic Clipboard - A travel-safe version of the glass mats recommended for Copic coloring (instead of coloring on scrap paper).
Rubbing Alcohol Swabs - For quick cap and marker body cleanups; much cheaper than using #0 solution! Brand is not important.
Prismacolor Premier Soft Core Pencils - Amy teaches with Prismacolor and recommends beginners start with Prismacolor’s artist grade pencils. More expensive pencils may not be worth the investment for your coloring needs! Wait to upgrade until you understand what style of high-end pencil matches your hand anatomy, your style, the size of your average project, and your subject matter. Upgrading early often means wasted money! For more info see article here.
We do not recommend starting pencil instruction with student grade or bargain price pencils. Cheap pencils make learning extremely difficult!
For economy, purchase the largest set you can afford because boxed sets offer the lowest price per pencil. Amy uses many PC pencils only found in the set of 150 or open stock.
Caran d’Ache Luminance Pencils- Recommended for students once they have about a year of colored pencil experience. Amy uses Luminance in her professional work.
Caran d’Ache Pablo Pencils - Recommended for students in combination with Prismacolor or other sets. Pablo has a harder core, useful for crisp lines and detail work rather than coloring broad areas.
Holbein Artist Colored Pencils - Recommended for advanced pencil artists who appreciate super soft cores. Amy uses Holbein in her professional work. A Japanese product, difficult to find in the US.
Imikas - Amy’s preferred electric pencil sharpener (use sharpest setting). Vintage models work slightly better than this newer version. Watch the price! This sharpener should run under $20.
Global Art Pencil Case - Colored pencil wallet style cases protect pencils from damage. What you spend on a wallet will save your pencil lover double that cost over the long term.
Tombow Mono Zero - Amy’s most used eraser. Similar to the white polymer erasers but very tiny for precision erasing and smudging.
Sticky Tack - Used as an eraser. Gently lifts minimal amounts of colored pencil pigment when pressed into the surface. Do not rub or scrub!
Factis Black Eraser - a low abrasive eraser for more serious removal of colored pencil pigment. Check the grit level, some black erasers are too abrasive for our paper!
Fabriano Artistico Extra White Hot Press or Soft Press - My favorite paper for colored pencil. DO NOT buy the block pad if you intend to trace images with a light box.
Bazzill Classic Cardstock in “Kraft” - My favorite kraft paper for use with Copics + colored pencil. No link here, I recommend buying this from your local scrapbooking shop.
Hake Brush - Colored pencils leave dust and that dust can make streaks if brushed off with the side of your hands. Hake brushes carry a slight static charge which picks up dust easily.
Mod Podge Brush - Looking for a smaller, travel sized hake brush? Mod podge makes a super portable brush that’s almost as good as a hake!
Glassine Paper - Use this paper as a barrier between the side of your hand and your project to prevent smudges. Looks like waxed paper but it’s not. Designed to resist hand moisture and pencil pigment.
Deckle Edge Ripper - If you like the deckle edge on watercolor paper, this is how to get that look. Takes some practice to get the technique right but looks wonderful for surface matted projects.
Pencil Extender - Use your pencil down to less than an inch long by fitting it into an extender. This aluminum style with a twist collar is my favorite. Available on Amazon by many different sellers.
US Art Supply 3-Drawer Artist Box - permanent storage for your pencil collection. Each drawer is fully removable, pull out only the drawer needed for any project.
Amy’s Most-Used Prismacolor Colors: All pencils shown are Prismacolor Premier Soft Core pencils. Not Col-Erase, Scholar, or Verithin.
Fabriano Artistico Extra White Hot Press or Soft Press - My favorite paper for watercolor combined with colored pencil. For watercolor only projects, I prefer the soft press and cold press version. DO NOT buy the block pad if you intend to trace images with a light box.
M.Graham Watercolor - If I had to choose one brand of paint only, it would be M.Graham. Has a silky feel from the tube and rehydrates extremely well.
Daniel Smith Watercolor - This company makes wonderful granulating and special effect colors.
QoR Watercolor - If you’re looking for an introductory set, I highly recommend the set of 12 or 24. QoR is synthetic and formulated to be both vibrant and easy.
Silver Brush Co. Black Velvet Brushes - Excellent quality brushes that are economical enough for beginners. Amy favors round brushes (6, 10) and also the oval washes.
Rosemary & Co. Kolinsky - A beautiful series of brushes. Amy is especially fond of their travel brushes.
Art Bin Brush Box - If you’re not storing brushes upright in cups, they need to be in this box. Drawer storage kills watercolor brushes!
Oiler Boiler Bottle - Reduce bristle wear by moistening your paints and palette with water from a bottle rather than dunking and rubbing with your expensive brushes!
Amy’s Favorite Paint Colors: I prefer tube watercolor because fresh paint feels amazing. Fresh paint also does not wear away at your paint brushes the way hard pan watercolor pans do. Buy the smallest tubes available until you decide that it’s a color you will use frequently.
Distress Ink Technique:
Tim Holtz Classic Distress Inks - Amy uses 2-3 inks per project. Mini versions are okay if using Life Changing Brushes but NOT if using Ranger Mini Ink Blending Tools. DO NOT USE OXIDE DISTRESS INKS!
Life Changing Brushes - Highly recommended for anyone brand new to the technique. Look-alike brushes have been tested and are NOT the same. Amy only uses the largest brushes (2” through 1” ovals).
Cryogen Cardstock - 89lb in Curious Metallic White. This technique absolutely CAN NOT be done on X-Press It or Holtz cardstocks!
Lawn Fawn Stamp Shammy - Hands down, the best way to clean your Life Changing Brushes. Amy recommends using a dedicated shammy for brushes and a separate shammy for stamp cleaning.
Tim Holtz Distress Sprayer - The half-pump feature on this sprayer makes it worth every penny. Portable for travel, takes up little room in the studio. It’s perfect.
Cutter Bee Precision Scissors - For use with Mask-It Film. Amy has tried many brands and keeps coming back to Cutter Bee for masking film. The smooth blades do not tear film when turning corners.
Miscellaneous Art Supplies:
HP Color LaserJet Pro - Amy has an older M277 model, this is the M477 updated version. Used to print Copic-safe digi stamps and to scan projects.
Canon Pixma Pro 100 - Amy uses this to print line drawings on watercolor paper or cardstock up to 13” x 19”. Also great for giclee style art prints, suitable for framing.
Slice Safety Cutter - clamshell packages are no match for this cutter but Amy also uses the side to squeeze every last drop of paint from tubes.
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