Supplies- many paint tubes of different brands


Art Supply Trades- I’m here to encourage them.

Can’t justify or afford that new tube of watercolor?  Trade for a pan of a color you already have.  Watercolor brush you’ve used once or twice that doesn’t suit you?  It might suit someone else.  Finished with that book about painting or maybe it didn’t turn out to be quite your style, maybe you can swap with someone else for a book they have.

There’s a new Forum on Doodlewash® called Art Supply Swap, give it ago and swap away.  It’s located under the “Community” tab up there at the top of the page.  There’s a lot to explore in that tab, it’s a dedicated social community for watercolor artists. You can create your own profile and gallery and connect with other watercolor artists.  Lately people have been chatting it up and sharing photos about a new limited edition Schmincke palette.


Charlie has created this online community- Doodlewash®– for watercolor enthusiasts, artists, hobbyists, supply hoarders, minimalists, dabblers, and general all around awesome people.  I’ve been trading half pans of watercolor with people lately and getting to know artist friends and neighbors a little bit better because of it.  Mostly through Instagram, but many of them are virtual acquaintances because of

Cloth diaper used for watercolor brush wipe

As I write this I’m chuckling, thinking about trying to share things one is passionate about not always being received well.  A guy that I work with told me he watercolors. I tried to give him a flat cloth diaper to use as a brush wipe. A brand new and unused one.  I had a whole package of them so I though I’d share. He had a kind of look on his face, it was a mixture of annoyance and this lady is not all there, kind of a look. I love this supply! I think he accepted it to get me to go away, I had tried to give him other stuff prior to the diaper. Not everyone understands our obsessions.

Maybe you have an extra sketchbook, but need a brush, and someone needs a sketchbook, but has an extra brush.  Trade a few sheets of Arches, to try Fabriano. Or something like that.  Doodlewash Guest Artist Sandra Strait and I recently connected in the forums and are trading some paper 🙂

This trade thing works great with swapping watercolor pans.


Mission gold 36 tube set in 4 boxes

Those are my pans for trades, doing their drying all cute like on that little tray.   On a side note, Daniel Smith Aussie Red Gold cracks and shrinks more than any paint I’ve seen.  That’s it in the pic above, bottom row, second from the left.  I’ve let my swap partner know about that behavior.

A tube of paint goes a long way.  Maybe two friends go halfsies on something like a Mission Gold tube set with 7 ml. tubes  Buy two palettes and squirt half of each tube in each palette.  Artist quality set at half the cost.

Or maybe you have a painting to trade for supplies, or supplies to trade for a painting from an artist you admire.  Or maybe trade paintings with each other.  Doodlewash Guest Artist Jamie Campbell and I swapped paintings when she was working on The Bird Project. I received a really cool bird from her, and I sent her a nebula.

Someone have a technique or style that you like, and would like to learn about?  Instead of saying- you should do a YouTube, invite them on an art date- in person or via Skype and you both can share what you know with each other.  Amy Maricle of Mindful Art Studio, invited me on my first art date. I love her work, she uses acrylic mostly, and in the most wondrous of ways.  I learned a lot from our art date and we have plans for a second one.

Maybe you end up swapping an art journal back and forth with someone with entries from both of you, and get to see the world through each other’s eyes, and/or riff on each other’s styles/ideas/creativity, and do it twice, so you each have one to keep in the end.

World Wide Tribe watercolor painting by Jessica Seacrest
World Wide Tribe

It’s sort of like being pen pals, only it’s art pals, who maybe also trade pens. This is really to get people thinking, and coming from a place other than from lack mindset, we all go there sometimes.  It may at times seem that we live in a world rife with consumerism, critical self comparisons, and out right envy.  Oftentimes I think there is another way.  Ever heard of Ubuntu philosophy“The belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity.” Just a little something to think about.


Happy painting and sketching…and swapping.

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26 thoughts on “SPECIAL FEATURE: Art Supply Envy

  1. This is a fabulous article! I admit to being an art envier. Before I even started reading I was looking through the banner at top to see what colors you had, that I didn’t. From the look of your Aussie Red Gold, I think that Mayan Blue has it beat. Mine shrank into tiny pebbles. Some paints are not good for pans.

  2. I love this… I’ve made a paint palette for a friend’s kids from paints I really hated, and they love them. When we came up with this I was cleaning my paints and dove right in to let go of some doubles I bought/were given as gifts (finding tubes unused can separate sometimes I didn’t want them hanging about). I would only say this — if someone posts things they would like to let go of and says what they need, but you want that and have other things to give, go ahead and offer! I am getting a couple paints to play with in a brand I like but don’t normally buy!

  3. Great ideas, Jessica! I just think you need to live in the same continent at least, for trades to be worth it. As to the rest, I was part of the Traveling Sisterhood Sketchbook, and that was one of the most fun things I’ve ever done. So bring it on, I’ll join in anything! Or I must get round to organizing something myself, I suppose. 😬

  4. This is an excellent idea, Jessica, especially if the postal expenses aren’t too high. I tend to give leftovers to my grandchildren who love them. They get to use “real” art supplies! I get a bit of space and if I’m lucky, a piece of art from them. Win-win.

  5. I love this idea. Only problem for me is that I live in New Zealand and postage is really expensive. So unless there’s someone else from here it’s probably not worth it for me.

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