Follow Me On Twitter Join My Facebook Fan Page Pin Me Follow Me On Google+ Watch Me on Vimeo

6 New Favorite Art Supplies & Colors

Lately, I’ve been sticking to some of my favorite art supplies, but expanding my color palette.

I’ve found I return again and again to shiva oil paint sticks, heavy body acrylics, water-soluble oil pastels by Portfolio, lokta papers and inks.

I have a routine I am comfortable with whenever I create any painting… I grab my favorite art supplies and play until I cover up the white space. Then I add my character. And these days I always seem to cut out the character from the background using oil sticks or acrylic paints. But first, I add lots and lots of layers.

Here are some of my newest favorite art supplies and colors to create luscious layers…

From: Top to Bottom, Left to right)…

1. Neocolor II Artists’ Crayons: This is the first time I purchased neocolors. Everyone had always recommended them, but I was hesitant given the price. But when I saw you can pick up just a few favorite colors individually, I decided to give them a try. I use my Portfolio brand water-soluble oil pastels very differently since they are super creamy and smear easily. I use the Neocolors more for small areas that I want to highlight or when I feel like scribbling. I have the violet, turquoise and orange.

2. Origami papers. When I started my whimsical character paintings one of the fancy-seeming papers I got find locally (that wasn’t crazy expensive) were packs of origami papers. I recently picked them up again and they’ve brought a whole new life and inspiration to my recent paintings. I especially love the papers with metallic designs.

3. Sharpie Pens: I’ve long used the Sharpie water-based paint pens (I always come back to hot pink and white for my faces), but I am adoring the florescent blue, silver and red for accents and embellishments. I had intended to order the florescent red, but got the traditional red instead and it was such a happy accident. Especialy when used with the florescent blue, the colors just pop!

4. Acrylic inks: While I love liqutex brand, I am in love with a few new colors I’ve tried from Daler Rowney (floresent red, sepia and genesis green). I’m finding I love to use the sepia around the edges of a painting to get the look of tea stained paper.

5. Chalk Pastels: These are another supply I used when I first started my whimsical paintings and I happened to have huge boxes of them still in my supply closet, so when I was looking to sketch again, they were perfect. I initially used them for shading my faces, but now I am loving them for drawing and scribbling all over on my paintings on paper to get an extra pop of color and a drawn-look.

6. Calligraphy Ink: I’d been using black india ink for my black outlines, but lately I’ve been using paynes gray calligraphy ink instead for a softer look. I love covering my backgrounds with the ink too whenever I want a dark-look, then wipe some away or scratch into it to add detail and variation.

What are some of your favorite art supplies? I’ll look for your suggestions in the comments.

Juliette Crane

Ps. If you’re interested in learning more about how I use all of my art supplies, feel free to watch a few videos for my online classes here.


  1. Hi Juliette, my favorite art supply for the moment are the FC gelatos, they can really add some depth and highlights in subtle ways. Of course, stencils are also a staple of mine.

    Thank you for keeping me inspired to create!

    • Always love your stencils, Donna. I’m always on the lookout for new ones and just found some vintage lace that is perfect too 🙂

  2. I love these posts, Juliette! I, too, just started experimenting with the caran d’ache sticks–they’re fun to play with (wet and dry). My favorite supply lately is neon colored acrylic paints–winsor and newton has a few that are less opaque and blend nicer. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would use those colors, but they give a nice pop here and there, and really make my pieces come alive. Their warmth gives me something I’d been looking for, for a while.

    • I love neons so much too! I have a neon orange that looks crazy out of the tube, but when mixed it gives colors such an incredible pop.

  3. Hi Juliette, I always read your posts.I really love your creativity and interest. I am an artist as well as craft maker.Keep sharing !!

  4. I use glitter in my work as I love it! I use gutta to create depth and have recently discovered mica powder which gives everything a pearly shine. Pretty! I also like distress inks for giving pieces a more aged look round the edges.

Leave a comment... I would love to hear from you!