Thursday, June 30, 2016

Craft Tools Worth Adding to Your Studio

My collection of art goodies and tools has grown to include many supplies marketed mainly to crafters.  While none of these are essential, many of them are very helpful, and well worth adding to your own studio.  I've included my Amazon affiliates links whenever possible, to make it easier for you to find these products.  When you purchase items linked through my Affiliates account, it does not add any additional cost to you, and I see a small bounty, which helps keep the lights on in the studio.  If you enjoy content like this, but prefer to do your shopping elsewhere, please consider becoming a Patron of my Patreon.

Tim Holtz Inkssentials Non-Stick Craft Mat



Despite the goofy name, this craft mat has really become a staple at my drafting table, because very little sticks to it.  Waterbased ink, alcohol ink, acrylic all wipe off cleanly with the right solvent (usually water or rubbing alcohol).  This is perfect if you make a mess, like I do.  It's also great for utilizing all those stray droplets- just pick up your piece, and dab up the excess with a spare piece of paper. 

Tombow Mono Removable Adhesive




This is also available in a non-removable formulation, but either are a boon to paper crafters who need to apply a minute amount of non-liquid adhesive.  The removable adhesive rubs away with your finger tip or a masking fluid rubber pickup, and doesn't leave a residue if you pick it up in time.

Adhesive Dots



http://amzn.to/1Yr4JaE

Bone folders



If you assemble minis, ashcans, or fold cards, a dedicated bone folder is a fantastic one time investment.  I've owned this Martha Stewart bone folder for 5+ years now, and reach for it every time I'm assembling a new ashcan.


Spritzer bottles




Perfect for water, rubbing alcohol, alcohol ink mists, or watercolor mists, these are cheap, easy to find, and well worth trying out.  You can find these everywhere- Dollar Tree, Target, Walmart, but I buy mine in bulk from Amazon.


Bottles of Alcohol Ink

Ranger





Jacquard





Not yet on the radar for many illustrators, alcohol ink bottles are a great addition to your alcohol marker collection.  Jacquard and Ranger both make alcohol inks that are worth giving a shot.  Jacquard inks tend to be less expensive than Ranger inks, but has a smaller range of colors, and may be more difficult to find.

You can use these inks in empty Copic markers, you can use them in spray bottles, you can allow them to evaporate in palettes and reactivate with rubbing alcohol

  • Alcohol Ink Mixatives- Opaque alcohol inks and metallic alcohol inks


Metallics




Opaque




A subset of alcohol inks, these opaque inks in metallics and white and black are a great addition to your alcohol ink collection.  Although I cannot recommend using them in empty Copic markers (yet- I just haven't tested it out), these pigment based alcohol inks can painted on using a synthetic paintbrush dipped in rubbing alcohol while wet, or allowed to dry and applied in a similar way.  Both Copic and Jacquard offer metallic inks.

Rubbing Alcohol

If you use alcohol markers, you're going to need to have some rubbing alcohol on hand.  Rubbing alcohol has many uses in the general studio, and even more in the alcohol marker studio.  High proof rubbing alcohol is inexpensive- far cheaper than blending solution- and can be used to make your own alcohol inks, reinvigorate dead alcohol markers, and do general cleanup if you get messy with your spray inks.  Although you can purchase rubbing alcohol in almost any grocery store or pharmacy, I recommend higher proof rubbing alcohol, and I'm lazy, so I order mine off Amazon.  This is the brand I use.

Toner based printer



Useful for printing your lineart on the paper of your choice.  Waterproof and alcohol ink safe.  I own the Dell C1760 printer, and work the heck out of it for convention merch.  I love the print quality it gives me, but there are limitations.  This printer will not print watercolor paper.

Brusho in salt cellars

Brusho



Brusho is a dye based, crystalline watercolor medium that I've played with for a few months, but Haven't had an opportunity to write about.  I keep promising a review, but that's contingent on the video being ready, and I have a video backlog long enough to last me a year.  Don't wait for the review, if you're interested in playing around with watercolors that literally blossom on your paper, give Brusho a try.

Salt and Pepper Shakers




Brusho can be difficult to handle, but I've found keeping it in little salt shakers helps.  I add a little rice to help with humidity control, but the rice releases starch which can effect your Brusho's performance.  I don't mind, but its something to be aware of.

Small Funnels




Those salt shakers can be difficult to fill, but these little funnels help a lot.

Masking Tape




I use white masking tape all the time in my studio- it helps to hold pieces of paper down to my craft matt when I apply Brusho, I tape down my field tests with white masking tape, I use white masking tape when creating comic roughs.

Blue Painters Tape




I use wider, lower tack Painters tape specifically to stretch watercolor pages.  I prefer 3M's Scotch Blue to other brands, and I definitely prefer this tape to artists' watercolor tape, which tends to wreck my pages when I remove it. 

Bulldog and Binder Clips

Binder Clips




I use a combination of large binder clips and large bulldog clips when stretching watercolor paper. 

Bulldog Clips




Although you CAN find large bulldog clips for sale at art stores (sold open stock), it's much cheaper for me to purchase them through Amazon Prime.

Gatorboard/Corrogated Plastic




Don't buy watercolor stretcher boards, don't waste your money on thin lap desks.  Corrogated plastic is strong, cheap, and light weight, and it's IDEAL for stretching watercolor paper.  I purchase mine from the hardware section of Amazon, and cut it to size.

Washi Tape






Even lower tack than masking tape, washi tape is useful for taping down more delicate papers, but can also be used as an accent in your pieces.

Plastic Pipettes



I use plastic pipettes for almost everything watercolor or alcohol marker related.  These are handy for dripping clean water into palettes, transferring watercolors to mix, or adding rubbing alcohol to smaller containers.  Don't buy the ones in the craft section- those are massively overpriced, purchase them from the general or medical sections. 

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