I can’t really choose a single favorite art supply so I did a little doodlewash of my entire kit! Beyond a mechanical pencil, kneaded eraser, and the Pentalic Aqua Journal this is sketched in, here’s everything I ever use. This is good because it has to fit on my little corner of the kitchen counter, which serves as my temporary art studio for the brief hour each evening I can paint. Starting clockwise at the top left we have my tiny metal travel palette (from my Joe Miller’s Travel Painter Set), Escoda Versatil Travel Brush Set (sizes 2-10, though I typically always use a 6, shown in front), Lamy Safari Al Star Pens with black, sepia and blue Platinum Carbon ink (color coded so I remember what’s in them), and a small anodized aluminum palette (I don’t like the way colors pool in plastic). I’ve always loved little shiny things, so this kit suits me well and is all I really need! (All palette colors are listed at the bottom of the full post).

Though I added the Lamy Safari Pens last December and January, this is pretty much the kit I acquired within the first couple months of beginning to paint. I’ve played with some new colors from Sennelier, and will probably swap some of those colors for the ones I rarely use in my little tin once I get the energy to clean it out and start fresh. The primary reason I personally fell in love with watercolor was the ability to be this compact when it comes to art supplies. It’s a ridiculously portable studio that you can take with you wherever you like! I’ve always felt that less is more, so this suits me just fine. Also, if you don’t have a dedicated room to acquire art supplies, which I don’t, then this is also quite necessary. After 404 days of consecutive painting, all the doodlewashes I’ve featured here were made with just this little studio.

I’ve always dreamed of having my own dedicated studio with lovely windows looking out onto some brilliant scene. I like the idea of it more than the actual thing though. Each evening while Philippe is making dinner, we’re chatting and talking about the day, while I quickly make a little doodlewash of some kind. After dinner, I scan it and very quickly type some sort of stream of consciousness post like the one you’re reading now. It’s certainly a brief little ritual, but it’s a wonderful way to end the work day and segue into the evening. I don’t have much more time than that, but like my art supplies, I’m good with the little I have. The important thing to me has always been grabbing a little bit of time daily to practice. Just a few minutes each day for a doodlewash and often a little glass of wine. And despite anything that happened during the day, I’m always reminded in that little moment, that life is actually kind of perfect after all.

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About the Doodlewash

M. Graham Watercolors: (Shown in the little metal palette above, starting at the top left) Azo Yellow, Gamboge, Quinacridone Gold, Azo Orange, Alazarin Crimson (rarely use it), Pyrrol Red, Dioxazine Purple, Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Teal, Cobalt Blue, Sap Green, Phthalocyanine Green, Azo Green, Burnt Sienna, Neutral Tint, Permanet Green Pale, Quinacridone Rust, and Perylene Maroon. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink for this sketch in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal.

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36 thoughts on “My Favorite Art Supplies

  1. With those few supplies, you’ve created a whole year’s worth of amazing and entertaining art – and told us about your experiences. In an hour, i might have gathered everything in one place and fiddled with a paintbrush. You are certainly dedicated – and how you have mastered the craft – just, WOW!

    1. Awww thanks so much, Sharon! What a wonderful thing to say! 😊💕 It’s been such a fun journey. I love that it’s become a habit now. It’s definitely tough some days to sneak in my little doodlewash and post, but it’s kind of fun to always try! Glad you enjoy them!

  2. I think you’re the only artist I know who is not an art supply addict! Jessica and I have a little ‘art addict’ club😄).
    But you’re right, the important part is the sketch everyday and your sketches are always wonderful!

    1. Thanks so much, Teri! 😃💕 hehe… now you know why I was thrilled that Jessica came on board to talk about art supplies! I’d be super boring on that topic! Lol I love looking at them and learning about them, but I know if I bought them, I’d just go back to these tried and true little friends of mine. 😊😊

  3. Love your compact little set of supplies that you create absolute magic with – like today’s amazing painting and wonderful post. What a lovely routine you have, and aren’t you just the lucky one getting to paint while Phillippe cooks you dinner! I hope you at least do the clean up! LOL! If not – I am TOTALLY jealous! 🙂 xo

  4. Wow. Totally awestruck, love what you have done here. Adore the painting, and really want to create a little corner like what you described, it sounds great and makes perfect sense. Wonderful post, thank you for sharing and inspiring.

  5. WOWZA! That’s impressive, Charlie!! 😉💕🎨 I, on the other hand, have 4 different watercolor pallettes and art supplies spread over the entire house! 😆 Love what you can create with your supplies like your painting today!! AWESOME! 🌟😃🎉

    1. Awww… thanks Jill!! 😃💕 Haha! Yeah, I’m totally weird in that I LOVE art supplies and reading about them and yet never pull the trigger to actually buy many. 😊 There’s a tiny tub under the bed downstairs with some lonely contenders. I felt bad for them, so I stopped buying new supplies. Except paint… I’m still interested in playing with different colors and brands of paint!

  6. What a lovely post.I am so impressed that you create so much and so well after so little time.
    I too have that travel set..have not used it a lot yet but I will.I am a bit of a collector…should focus more on getting better.
    When we were in arks I would paint at the end of the day with a glass of wine.The two went very well together.

  7. I also have found that less is more when it comes to watercolor painting and have a simple travel pallette. I really enjoy mixing most colors so I don’t need a large number of pans or tubes to fill up the spots. I also enjoy having everything fit in a small, tidy travel bag. However, I go through spells of painting with my Derwent Inktense pencils, and I want ALL of those gorgeous colors! Your evening routines of painting, blogging, and Phillipe cooking sound wonderfully satisfying🍷🍷. Thanks for sharing a little glimpse into your evenings, your supplies, and your tiny spot on the counter where the paintbrushes fly. Yes, less really can be a whole lot more! 🎨💖

    1. Awww thanks, Carol! 😃💕 Yeah, colored pencils are definitely something I’ve considered, but you DO need all them to get the colors you want! hehe… so I just avoided that trap. Plus I like mixing colors too much! So happy you enjoy my little stories and doodlewashes. Thanks, friend!

  8. Yes, lovely post, Charlie. I think I will join Teri and Jessica’s club, being addicted to art supplies. However, spurred on by your example, I have been experimenting and am amazed by how much variety you can get with just a few colors. I live and learn…👍

    1. Thanks, Marina! 😃💕 There’s little doubt that art supplies are just FUN! hehe… Honestly, I’m probably doing myself a disservice by not experimenting with more. But I just love my little set… playing with too many other things would feel like I’m cheating on it! Lol

  9. A great post Charlie, this really is a great advert to show that anyone can do it, just a few supplies, and a little space, but still an amazing 404 days of consecutive painting, a little watercolour does go a long way. Interestingly as I use all mediums ( so my living room has become quite full of supplies) the space taken up by each, watercolour, least space, pastel…one little box, oil next, surprisingly this also lasts ages, and a little goes a long way…..followed by acrylic, eeek too much space taken up by this medium!
    Amazing also that you only spend 1 hr… I usually go from 1.5- 4 hours, I wish it was always 1.5 hours 😀

    1. Thanks, Rebecca! 😃💕 Glad you liked this post! And wow! I wish I had 4 hours to paint! (I think 1.5 is the longest I’ve ever had) Then I could do proper layers without blowing on the paper or just splashing more paint on anyway. hehe I used acrylics in college and disliked them so much it actually put me off of painting entirely. I can’t even say why, but the mess was a huge part of it. Looking back, I think it’s the light to dark thing with watercolor and the transparency that made it sing for me. Can’t believe I didn’t discover it until last year, but better late than never! 😊

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