The upside of high quality art supplies

We all know the downside all too well; a trip to our favourite store can cost us an arm and a leg, especially when we want to explore new ways of creating. However, personally I think spending my money on the materials I use the most frequently is worth every penny.

I tried out painting at several stages in my life. I was so incredibly captivated by the idea of it but my attempts always felt somewhat disappointing. I know a big part of it was due to my inexperience, and discovering online art classes was a blessing in that department, but something still felt off.

And then I decided to try buying these fancy heavy body acrylic paints by Liquitex and Golden everybody was raving about. I had just received my tax refund and figured: what the hell, I’m going to invest in myself and what I love to do. If I’m not doing it, then who will? So I loaded my cart with a mix of pretty colours by both brands.

When I tried them out, I was blown away by them. Of course I still needed to work on my skills but it felt so much easier to paint with them, they are so creamy. On top of that, the pigments were much more vibrant. Especially the ones by Golden. Even though my previous brands were marketed as artist grade, it was a huge difference and I never touched those paints again.

Another big advantage is that these colours won’t fade any time soon and since I started to sell some of my work about a year ago, that’s very important to me. I still use a varnish to make extra sure because I want my buyers to enjoy their paintings for many years to come, but I know using these paints will give me an extra guarantee that I can ensure longevity of my pieces.

I’m not by far saying that you should go out and start buying the most expensive kind of everything you use. I use the cheap gesso for instance, because I just need it as a toothy base layer. It’s not going to show in my finished paintings, so why should I pay more on it than I have to? Also, I refuse to buy the fancy blue artist masking tape. Regular tape will do fine (I also have a blog post of removing it in a way so that you can’t damage your painted surface). Brushes are another thing I often buy cheaper. Just as long as they won’t lose their hairs while I paint, they’re alright with me! I tend to destroy them anyway.

I have some tips to spends less of your money on those fabulous paints:

1. Try to find second hand paint. There are always people who buy stuff that they’ll never use. I just did a quick search and found someone who was selling the big bottles of Golden fluid acrylics for the amount of the small ones. Of course, check out the reviews of the seller because there are scammers everywhere. It’s also a good idea to contact them and ask them why they are selling it at this price. Listen to your gut!

2. I also noticed people finding great deals at garage sales and flea markets. You’ll have to get lucky, but when you do it’s the safest way to hoard some cheap paint.

3. When you know you love a specific colour by the Golden paint and you use it a lot, spend some extra bucks on their larger containers rather than a new tube. If your budget allows it, it’s a great way to save money in the long run.

4. Sign up for the newsletters of the art retailers. Sometimes there are great sales going on which allow you to buy your paint with a bit of a discount.

And lastly, if you are rocking the cheaper brands and are perfectly happy with them, keep on rocking them! More power to you!

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